Three New Saints in the Orthodox Church

13 March 2020

Official Communique from the First Day of the Proceedings of the Holy and Sacred Synod
(9 March 2020)

On Monday, 9 March 2020, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened under the chairmanship of His All-Holiness to carry out the tasks of its three-day sitting.

After the reading of the minutes of the previous sessions, it began its consideration of the items on the agenda.

In particular, the Holy and Sacred Synod, on the recommendation of the Canonical Committee, entered into the Catalogue of Saints of the Orthodox Church the following blessed Athonite elders, who were variously gifted by God and widely recognized for the sanctity of their life and works.

a) Daniil Katounakiotis, whose provenance was Smyrna, a worthy and true successor to Blessed Nikodimos the Athonite and the other kollyvades Fathers, the author of pleasing spiritual treatises, close friend of the holy and wonder-working hierarch Nektarios of Pentapolis, and mentor of the holy brotherhood of the Daniilei, who, to this day, preserve the tradition and legacy of this renowned and dulcet chanter. (The date of his annual commemoration is the 7th day of the month of September).

b) Iosif the Hesychast, who labored mightily in recent times, becoming a sharer in divine illumination and the whole array of divine gifts, proving to be an example for monastics; a servant of the practice of vigilance and a meticulous modern incarnation of the theology of Palamas concerning the uncreated light; a model of obscurity and quietude; a worthy successor to the tradition of the Philokalia; a measure of ecclesiology in bleak times when unbridled zeal decimated many devout monks and Christians and estranged them from the bosom of the Church; a great contributor to the widely-recognized revival of the Holy Mountain and its blossoming during the course of the 20th century through his disciples and Elders who have been distinguished in virtue and asceticism. (The date of his annual commemoration is the 16th day of the month of August).

c) Efraim Katounakiotis, an outstanding personality in modern Athonite monasticism. He proved to be a theologian and pedagogue of the wilderness, known as ‘the giant of Athos’ who actively experienced the vision of the uncreated light. (The date of his annual commemoration is the 27th day of the month of February).

Thus, the Mother and Holy Great Church of Christ boasts of the Spirit-bearing and Grace-filled harvest of Holy Athos and has officially fulfilled the announcement made by His All-Holiness the Patriarch during his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain, in the month of October last year, 2019, regarding the induction of Athonite Fathers with a blessed life into the Catalogue of Saints of the Church.

From the Chancellery of the Holy and Sacred Synod