The hours are difficult every day for the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery, Ephraim. Although he was diagnosed with COVID-19 quite early in Vatopedi Monastery, he was transferred to a hospital after his health got a lot worse.
He was transported by helicopter to Evangelismos Hospital following the intervention of the Civil Administrator of Mount Athos, Athanasios Martinos.
The abbot has been hospitalized for almost two weeks. He has spent most of his hospitalization in the intensive care unit. The physicians who are more optimistic say things are not easy. He remains intubated —at least until the time this article is being written— and the fever goes up and down.
The abbot is being monitored by the same medical team that took care of Archbishops Anastasios of Albania and Ieronymos of Athens when they were in the same hospital for COVID-19.
Two trusted monks
When you asked him, Abbot Ephraim as a spiritual father replied he loved all the members of the brotherhood in the same way. However, there are two people he trusts most to “run” Vatopedi.
These two people enjoy the abbot’s wholehearted confidence whom he consults and trusts to “run” Vatopedi when conditions did not allow him to be near them. These two are the monks Evdokimos and Arsenios.
Evdokimos is considered by those who know him a mild-mannered monk who has the knowledge and experience, the composure and the insight to manage difficult issues concerning the Monastery.
Since the beginning of the month, Vatopedi Monastery has taken over the administration of Mount Athos and there are many issues that concern the Holy Community.
It is the monk Evdokimos that person whom religious administrator George Vatopedinos discusses and consults before making decisions or proposing something to the representatives of the other monasteries.
The second monk whom Abbot Ephraim trusts is the monk Arsenios. He is the sharpest in the brotherhood of the Monastery. He is the person, along with Abbot Ephraim, who expanded Vatopedi Monastery out of the narrow borders of Mount Athos.
The monk who oversees all the activities related to the monastery’s external relations (publications, business activities, media, etc.) and, along with his associates, takes care of the public image of Vatopedi.
The two monks, Evdokimos and Arsenios, are managing the crisis in Vatopedi now that the abbot cannot fulfill his administrative duties. Until he recovers —this is something we all wish for— and returns to the Monastery and his spiritual children.
From the column of Greek edition orthodoxtimes.gr, Melchizedek