The Church today honors the memory of Saint Silouan the Athonite, who is one of the greatest modern figures of Mount Athos and of Orthodox monasticism in general.
He was born in 1866 in Russia to devout Christian parents. After various transitions and upheavals of his early youth, a revealing vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary helped him to deeply repent and crave the monasticism.
In 1892 he went to the Orchard of the Virgin, Mount Athos, to the Russian monastery of Saint Panteleimon. He became a Little Schema monk in 1896 and later a Great Schema monk in 1911.
His life on Mount Athos was imbued with the constant memory of God, he stood out for his consistency and accuracy both in spiritual struggles and in monastic sermons.
Patient and long-suffering, meek and harmless, humble and obedient, Saint Siluan won the love and appreciation of his allies, but also received many attacks from the devil. Having himself surrendered completely to God, he soon claimed to receive gifts and to experience unique signs from God.
He felt unbearable pain for sin. He mourned and wept for the souls that are far from the truth. He prayed unceasingly for the whole world. He loved people and God without limits. He gained rare wisdom and experience through his struggles and studies. Communicating with him was a source of joy. He was giving peace and equanimity to other people.
In the prayer and praise of God he finished his earthly course. He passed away on 11/24 September 1938 in Mount Athos.
His teaching, which is reflected in his writings, is deeply experiential and refers to key issues of the spiritual life.
Saint Silouan writes “If a people or a state suffers, then everyone must repent and God will smooth everything for the better”. And he advises the man who is conspired by everything around him to disappoint him: “Keep your mind on Hades and do not despair”. Indeed, the humble man has all his being devoted to the will of God.
Source: Church of Cyprus