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The Feast Day of Saint Ephraim of Katounakia at the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi

The holy memory of Saint Ephraim of Katounakia, one of the great figures of Athonite monasticism of our time, was solemnly honoured in the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, Mount Athos.

The festive Divine Liturgy was presided over by the Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, Geronda Ephraim, who celebrated his patronal feast day. Also concelebrating the Divine Liturgy were, the Dikaios of the Vatopedi Skete of Saint Andrew (Sarai), Geronda Nektarios, Vatopedi Fathers, representatives of the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos, as well as clergy from Monasteries and Holy Metropolises of Greece.

Also present in prayer was his Eminence Metropolitan Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria

The hymns of the feast day were chanted by Geronda Damaskinos of the New Skete with his accompaniment of fathers, the Protopsaltis Georgios Konstantinou and the Vatopedi Fathers.

Before the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the Kolliva of Saint Ephraim was blessed according to the order of the Church.

This was followed by a Athonite meal in the Synod room of the Monastery where a large number of pilgrims came to offer name day wishes to Archimandrite Ephraim, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi.

In his address, Geronda Ephraim referred to the personality and gifts of Saint Ephraim of Katounakia and the great virtue of obedience that distinguished him.

The choir that was chanted during the feast day services performed hymns in honour of St. Ephraim as well as the Polychronion of the celebrating Abbot, Geronda Ephraim.

His Eminence Metropolitan Ioustinos of Nea Krini and Kalamaria addressed a speech to the fathers and pilgrims of the Monastery, and referred to the relationship that the monk has with his Elder, with focus on the life and the virtue of obedience that distinguished the honoured Saint Ephraim of Katounakia. His Eminence wished Geronda Ephraim of Vatopedi that the Virgin Mary and Saint Ephraim would give him strength and health to continue his work, a work which, as he characteristically said, will go down in history, for the alms offered by Geronda Ephraim.

Summarizing in three words the main characteristics that govern the Elder Ephraim, he said that they are: The love of God, the love of man and the love of the divine services, assigning to each word its meaning in relation to what the Geronda Ephraim does. Finally, wanting to thank Elder Ephraim for all that he offers to his Holy Metropolis and to thousands of our brothers and sisters, His Eminence offered a public thank you, as the great work and contribution must be acknowledged. Following this, the traditional festive Athonite meal took place.