St Sophrony the Hesychast of the Holy Mountain
St Sophrony, the new saint in the star-filled firmament of the Orthodox Church, is a rare gift of God to our time, an inexhaustible figure whom it is difficult to describe in his entirety.
Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and St Vlassios was in contact with St Sophrony over many years and had a special link with the monk of the Holy Mountain who founded the Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex, England. He adopted the Saint’s teaching and uses it in his writings. And now he has published a new book about the God-seeing Saint.
He was a man endowed with great spiritual gifts, as well as being well-versed in human knowledge and a theologian with a wealth of revelational experience. St Sophrony is the new successor to the Prophets, the Apostles and the great Fathers of the Church. He lived the mystery of salvation in profound repentance. He had experiences of the divine vision of the uncreated Light, and he was an authoritative teacher and guide, nurturing within people inspiration, longing and impetus towards God. With his unceasing prayer for the whole world, he lived the universality of Orthodoxy, and for that reason he was a citizen of the whole world and a worthy heir to the spiritual heritage of St Silouan the Athonite.
St Sophrony’s great contribution to our age lies in the fact that he restated the teaching of the holy Fathers in the twentieth century, and presents it to us in contemporary terms through his own experience of deification.