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.
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.
Joseph was very pained about this situation. He would fall to his knees
and with an aching soul would beseech Holy God, saying:
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."
knock on the door of divine mercy with great anguish, and the Most
Benevolent God did not overlook his humble supplication.
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
heard a divine voice saying: "The Church is within the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople".
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.
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