120,000 people visited the grave of elder Paisios the Athonite on the 20th anniversary of his repose
20 years ago (on July 12, 1994) the Athonite elder Paisios (Eznipidis) reposed. On July 12-13, 2014, a very large number of people came to commemorate the great ascetic of our times and to pray at his grave, reports AgionOros.ru.
Thousands of pilgrims queued for hours in huge lines waiting for their opportunity to come up to the elder’s grave, to lay flowers and pray. At the Convent of Sts. John the Theologian and Arsenios of Cappadocia, where elder Paisios of Mount Athos is buried, at the anniversary of his repose a service for the dead and a Vigil were celebrated, followed by the Divine Liturgy early in the morning.
The church could not hold thousands of worshippers, “including a great number of children”, so they had to pray in the convent’s courtyard. According to the police, 50,000 people prayed at the night service. 120,000 pilgrims visited the elder’s grave on July 12.
Three-day events, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the elder’s blessed repose, were to take place in the town of Konitsa. At 19.00 of July 12, at the Church of Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Cosmas of Aetolia, a hierarchical evening service was to be celebrated. A Matins and a Divine Liturgy were scheduled for Sunday, July 13.
At the mayor’s office the international conference, “Life and teaching of elder Paisios the Athonite”, was held also on Sunday. After the conference, a new documentary dedicated to Paisios the Athonite was shown for the first time. On July 14, for all comers a lengthy tour of the sites associated with the elder’s life was organized. These places include his cell at the Stomio Monastery; St. Barbara’s Church, “where the elder used to pray”; and the house where the future elder spent his childhood. Events dedicated to elder Paisios took place in many cities and towns of Greece. He was also commemorated in Serbia and other Balkan countries. In Russia, an international conference was scheduled for the 20th anniversary since the elder’s blessed repose.