May 9, 2022

Testimony of a Nun Who Knew Saint Hieronymos of Simonopetra

Abbess Taxiarchia writes:

I have known the Elder [Hieronymos of Simonopetra] since 1934 when I was still a child. He always welcomed us with affection. He was tireless to give us the spiritual fruits of his love.

I had never told him that I would become a nun, because I had not yet thought about it on the one hand, and on the other hand I had a big war going on at home. I was not even allowed to go to church.

Many times I went secretly to both the Elder and the church.

I went once, when I had a disagreement with my sister, to confess and I told him:

"Elder, I had an argument with my sister."

And he, in a very serious and kind manner, said to me:

"Is it right for you who will become a nun to quarrel and get angry with your sister, when you should talk to her and care for her with love?"

Then I told him, as I remember:

"Elder, I will not become a nun, I have not thought of becoming a nun."

He told me again:

"You will become a nun!"

One time my father struck me with the horse lash we had because I went to church. The next morning I went to see the Elder, of course secretly from my house. I did not go to work and I went to the [Monastery of the] Ascension. He was liturgizing.

As soon as it was over, I went to get antidron and the Elder told me:

"How did your father's beating go with the horse lash?"

I was ashamed and because there were others there, I said, "My father did not hit me, I fell and hit myself."

Again, the Elder said:

"Very well, sit down to eat now and we'll talk."

It should be noted that I was also fasting, because they did not let me eat at home the previous day, as I was punished.

Many times we saw the Elder during the liturgy not stepping foot on the ground. He was a span above it, in front of the Holy Table.

If today I am steadfast in the love of our Christ, I owe it to his holiness… Many times, only with his blessing, many who were sick have recovered.

Then I went to the monastery. Unfortunately I do not know anything further of his holy life. I apologize to my Elder if over the years I have forgotten much of his holy life.

Source: From the book by Monk Moses the Athonite, Ιερώνυμος Σιμωνοπετρίτης, ο Γέρων της Αναλήψεως, published by the Monastery of Simonopetra. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.