Many many thanks to all those who contributed to match a generous $3000 donation from an anonymous donor. The goal was attained this past weekend. It is because of people like you that the Mystagogy Resource Center can continue to offer unique material to all for free on a daily basis that I hope people find beneficial. For those who still wish to contribute, please do so, with much gratitude in return. God bless you all!

July 27, 2023

When Saint Panteleimon Healed Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi

 By Archimandrite Ephraim of Vatopaidi

At that time, [Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi] again suffered strongly with stomach issues. His only food was pasta. He did not forgive himself for using oil because of his illness, when the typikon called for no oil. He ate pasta with or without oil.

In spite of the bad state of his health, no longer being obliged to participate in the various common obligations of the Skete, he went willingly to help. This was despite the fact that the typikon stipulated that the fathers in the dry huts of the Skete beyond the Tower were not obliged to participate in the common obligations like the other fathers, because at that time they were not included in the huts of the Skete, but were directly dependent on the dominant Monastery.

The late Elder Konstantinos of the Hut of Saint Haralambos spoke with admiration about his great self-denial.

The Elder had gone, according to his custom, to do communal work in the mountain, to clean the springs from which the Skete was watered. Every year after bad weather there usually fell soil from landslides, branches, leaves, etc. and they had to be cleaned.

This involved long hours of shoveling and other laborious work. As was done on such occasions, the fathers took with them some food and some wine for their special effort.

At meal time the Elder apologized that for health reasons he would not be able to eat their own food and drink some wine with them and brought out his own meal which was pasta.

Then Father Konstantinos wept with emotion before his sacrificial spirit and said to him: "Elder, if anyone else was in the same state of health as yours, and indeed living in the dry huts which have no obligation to the common work, they would not even come down to ascertain the reason why the bell rang and called the fathers to do their common work, nor would they come with us, making so much effort and at the risk of tearing open your stomach as well!"

He was constantly patient with his stomach. There was no longer any possibility of treatment by human intervention other than surgery, which he decided in favor of at the urging of his spiritual brothers.

But, "at the end of exhausting patience, the Grace of God appears perceptibly," said Elder Joseph.

Then, Elder Theophylaktos, his co-ascetic, saw in a vision Saint Panteleimon, the exarch of the Holy Unmercenaries, who said to him: "Tell the monk to leave it to the Panagia and he will get well." Elder Theophylaktos saw Saint Panteleimon, as he is in the icon of the Skete of Saint Panteleimon.

And the Elder believed in the word of Elder Theophylaktos and from that day began a spectacular improvement, and until he became completely well, he was not in pain at all. He only had a slowness of digestion left. From then until he reposed the Elder was no longer bothered by his stomach.

Later he himself wrote: "I had an advanced ulcer and neither diet nor medicine offered me anything. After the abstinence of all the affected for two years and more there was no other solution than surgery. Then the glorious Great Martyr of Christ, the most charming Panteleimon, intervened and ordered Elder Theophylaktos to tell me peremptorily not to operate, but to leave it to the care of our Panagia.

Immediately I was completely cured, and in order to verify this, I actually visited my treating doctors, who knew my disease in its full extent so that they could tell me now in what condition I am. They did an x-ray on me and they found absolutely nothing, only a small scar, an old healed wound."

Source: From the book Γέρων Ιωσήφ Βατοπαιδινός 1.7.1921-1.7.2009, published by Vatopaidi Monastery. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *