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Let me introduce you to St. Joseph of Vatopedi

In our first installment of “Let me introduce you to Saint …” blog, I want to introduce an Athonite Saint whose name is Joseph of Vatopedi. The man who was known for his deep understanding of theology and unwavering obedience to his elder. Joseph (although not formally canonized yet) is one of the disciples of Joseph the Hesychast. Elder Joseph of Vatopedi met his elder Joseph the Hesychast in the desert of the Holy Mountain which was known as St. Anna Skete and they formed a brotherhood. Eventually, the brotherhood was moved from St. Anna Skete to Vatopedi (2nd monastery in hierarchy on the Holy Mountain) and there the Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, after the repose of his Elder Joseph the Hesychast, spent many years of his life and found there his blessed repose. So as not to go into tedious details of his biography, I will allow some pictures to do the talking as to what kind of life he lived on this earth.

Namely, when Elder Joseph of Vatopedi departed this life, his mouth was opened. The
monks who were preparing his body for the funeral would tie around his jaw a cotton ribbon that was meant to keep his mouth shut. However, this did not help. His mouth, due to stiffness, would open up again untying the ribbon. 

After many attempts to lay out his body with his mouth shut, the monks briefly departed from the room where elder Joseph’s body was resting. When they returned they saw a magnificent sight. Elder Joseph’s mouth was shut as though he wanted to fulfill the last desire of his brethren and on top of that elder Joseph had a smile. My dear spiritual children, this is how someone who served Christ all life long dies and looks like in the face of bodily death:

May this image be stuck with us throughout our sojourn in this life and may we
experience joy that Elder Joseph of Vatopedi experienced after his blessed repose which even his dead body reacted to.

Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, pray to God for us

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