On Sunday, November 25th, 2018 His Grace Bishop Irenei arrived at the Monastery of St. Paisius with the sounding of the bells for an extended visit in anticipation of its patronal feast day. On the days preceding the feast, His Grace spoke at length in the monastic trapeza to the sisterhood, in company with clergy and guests. His talks encompassed such themes as overcoming complacency in our Christian life, the value of living in the present moment, the power of forgiveness, and true joy which is the fruit of suffering. Even though these were general themes, by the grace issuing from his words each one present experienced them as speaking directly to their own heart. In the afternoons, the sisters and clergy would gather again with His Grace for further talks. When more serious issues of the Church were addressed, the strength of our confessing bishops was evident.
His Grace was shown around the monastery, including the soon-to-be-completed trapeza building; grateful for his continued prayers for its completion.
On Tuesday the All-night Vigil was served in honor of St. Paisius. The day of the feast was adorned with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, with six additional priests serving. Many of the guests commented particularly on the beauty and grace present at that Liturgy.
At the trapeza which followed, His Grace commented on the life of St. Paisius, of his inner stillness, and particularly of the saint’s face and how the light of Christ shone forth from within him, attesting to his sanctity.
O Venerable Father Paisius, pray to God for us!
Saint Paisius Monastery, Safford, Arizona - 11/25/2018
Photographs: Bishop Irenei