Icon of St. Ephraim of Katounakia - (1EP37)

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Commemorated February 27

“Countless souls traveled the pathway to the ascetic dwelling of the Holy Saint Ephraim of Katounakia (+1998) – laity, monks, priests and bishops – visitors and beggars of spiritual mercy. The sick came and left healed. The burdened came and left feeling lighter. They came weak and left strong.”

“Obedience was his beloved topic. On an almost daily basis, he would refer one thing to all and relate to all, obedience. And with that expressive tone of his strong voice, with the persuasion and experience of an old Biblical figure, he would often come back to the topic so dear to him with a new surge of refreshing ascetic demeanor, to the sweetest lesson and the unique matter, obedience. This is the requirement of sacred humility and the coming of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, the cause of all fruitfulness, the pretext of pure prayer. "Do you have obedience? You have prayer. If you don't have obedience, you do not have prayer", he would say, without his words receiving any objection (and Father Ephraim insisted correctly). For, according to St John of Sinai, "obedience means that we place our own discernment into the care of the rich discernment of the spiritual father.”