Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries

The change in the Calendar

by Elder Joseph the Esychast
From the book "Spiritual experiences of the Elder Joseph the Esychast"    SACRED MONASTERY KARAKALLOU - HOLY MOUNTAIN
Publisher: ''ORTHODOX KYPSELI'' 2005. (p. 200).


When the Calendar changed and the Church thereafter observed the new calendar, the Holy Mountain -because of its Tradition- retained the use of the old calendar, but without interrupting its communion and its dependence on the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Because of this change in the calendar, certain Hagiorite monks - the self-titled "zealots" - had interrupted their spiritual communion with the Patriarchate and the rest of the Holy Mountain.  They did not participate in the Liturgies and the festivities, nor did they communicate with any of the other Fathers.

The Elder Joseph was very pained about this situation. He would fall to his knees and with an aching soul would beseech Holy God, saying:

"We have sinned, we have done wrong before You and we have betrayed Your most holy will, and You have justly overlooked us, hence we are in such disarray and strayed from the light of Your Truth.  We have ignored the firmament of Truth, Your unshakeable and immovable Church - the most holy Body where You established with us Your very presence - and we have surrendered ourselves to the conclusions of human thoughts and meditations.  Remember, Most Merciful One, Your compassions and Your charities, for they are from the ages to the ages."

He would knock on the door of divine mercy with great anguish, and the Most Benevolent God did not overlook his humble supplication.

"During this intense prayer" - narrates the blessed Elder Joseph - "I fell asleep. I suddenly found myself atop a tiny piece of the Holy Mountain afloat in the sea, rocking, and in danger of sinking at any moment. This sight scared me, and I thought to myself that if that small piece cut itself off from the mainland and is in danger of sinking, then I too will be doomed. Then with a powerful leap, I found myself on a stable part of the Mountain.  And indeed, the small piece of rock that I was standing on was finally swallowed up by the sea, and I gave praise to Holy God, Who had rescued me from the calamity! I immediately linked this dream to the matter which preoccupied me and I begged the Lord to not let me be misled by my own judgments."

He then heard a divine voice saying:  "The Church is within the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople".

When they returned along with the remaining Hagiorite Fathers, and upon the Elder Joseph's advice abandoned the zealots, they then experienced in practice the power of Divine Grace, in the Mysteries that they performed.

Father Ephraim of the Katounakia region could always see Divine Grace sanctifying the Precious Gifts, into Body and Blood of Christ.  While he was still with the zealots, he could only see something like a veil before him, which did not allow him to clearly see Divine Grace acting.  This "veil" was "lifted", when he returned to the living Church.




Translation:  A.N.

Article published in English on: 31-7-2013.

Last update: 31-7-2013.