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September 18, 2020

Monk Onouphrios Agiannanitis (1845 - 18 September 1935)

Skete of Saint Anna on the Holy Mountain

 By Monk Moses the Athonite

He came from the hierarchical province of Metron in Eastern Thrace and was the son of a rich shepherd of many sheep. While grazing the sheep, he did not fail to pray. When he was young he decided on his monastic dedication. He left with only one cape, without money and things with him, for Mount Athos. After many adventures he arrived at the Athonite port of salvation in 1888.

He went to the Monastery of Iveron to venerate the Panagia Portaitissa. Someone approached him, and when Onouphrios informed him that he had come to become a monk, he was told to go to Papa-Menas in Mavrovounio at the Skete of Saint Anna. He went, knocked on the door, Papa-Menas came out and welcomed him with joy, telling him that the Panagia had brought him from the City. The young man admired how the Elder knew about him, without having told him anything. Entering the temple to worship he saw the icon of the Virgin "sweaty". He realized that the Elder was praying to the Panagia and she enlightened the man in the Monastery of Iveron to direct him here. As a novice he did extreme obedience. Papa-Menas (+ 1916) soon tonsured him a monk in 1890 and gave him the name of his Elder Onouphrios of Cyprus, who once for his obedience angels carried him by boat from Daphne to the beach of Saint Anna.

His Elder Papa-Menas in the Hut of the Divine Transfiguration of the Savior was also of great virtue. Father Onouphrios had all his hope in the Oikonomissa, Portaitissa, Vematarissa, Tricherousa and Curator of Mount Athos the Lady Theotokos. He invoked her with much reverence and many tears. He said to his submissive Papa-Chrysanthos (+ 1981): "Pray and have great joy, that she brought us to her Garden. And not only here is the Mother of God, but also where there is a monastery or church in her name, she is nourishing, comforting, and above all a giver of heartfelt noetic prayer. Study this to be saved. Because it is a lifeline of our temporary life."

At other times he said to him: “With a voice that is silent and full of joy, invoke the sweetest name of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is also called the eye of all creation. When it enters the heart of the monk, you ascend very high, there you will be taught what your inner man is, and when you are taught what your inner man is, you will then take care to purify him completely through the sweetest name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Your nous and intellect will delight in this so much, it will not leave your heart at all."

His words revealed his inner state. He never wanted to grieve anyone and endured many sorrows with much innocence. He was found worthy to have seen Saint Anna serving in the Kyriakon of the Skete. To his spiritual children he always brought forth as an example his holy Elder. He reposed in the Lord on 9/18/1935 at the age of ninety. 
- Chrysanthos Agiannanitis hierom., Γεροντικαί ενθυμήσεις και διηγήσεις, Vol. 1, Molos Lokridos 2008, pp. 152-173.

Source: Monk Moses the Athonite, Great Gerontikon of Virtuous Hagiorites of the Twentieth Century, Volume II, pp. 299-300, Mygdonia Publications, First Edition, September 2011. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.