This morning, 20 October 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announced during his sermon at the Protaton Church in Karyes of Mount Athos, the canonization of four Athonite Elders beloved throughout the Orthodox world: Hieronymos of Simonopetra (+ 1957), Daniel of Katounakia (+ 1929), Joseph the Hesychast (+ 1959) and Ephraim of Katounakia (+ 1998).
Many of the Athonite monks present were moved to tears by the announcement. Elder Ephraim, the abbot of Vatopaidi Monastery on the Holy Mountain, expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch for such a joyful announcement upon his visit to Mount Athos. He said: "We are moved All-Holiness by this announcement of the canonization of four new elders of the Holy Mountain."
Patriarch Bartholomew replied to Elder Ephraim: "Holy Abbot, I was keeping it from you as a surprise."
Speaking of the relationship between the Mother Church of Constantinople with the Holy Mountain, the Patriarch said among other things: "Holiness is the quintessence of this place and our Saints are what is most precious in the Church."
|Elder Hieronymos of Simonopetra|
|Elder Daniel of Katounakia|
|Elder Joseph the Hesychast|
|Elder Ephraim of Katounakia|