Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (Greek: Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης), born Arsenios Eznepidis (1924–1994), was a well-known Greek Eastern Orthodox ascetic from Mount Athos, who originated from Pharasa, Cappadocia.
He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia.
Venerable Elder Paisios was canonized on 13 January 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the church commemorates his feast day on July 12.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided at its meeting of May 5, 2015 also to add the name of the Venerable
Paisios of Mount Athos to the Menology of the Russian Orthodox Church, establishing his feast day on June 29/July 12, following the Menology of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople.
A number of controversial political statements and prophecies have been credited to Elder Paisios. These include the prediction that a war between Turkey and Russia will lead to a restoration of a Greater Greece, including Albania, Macedonia, and Byzantium (Istanbul), and the mass conversion of Turks from Islam to Orthodox Christianity. Many have compared Paisios to Nostradamus. On 21 September 2012, a Greek citizen was arrested on charges of malicious blasphemy and offense of religion for the creation of a satirical Facebook page called "Elder Pastitsios the Pastafarian". The page, which has since been taken down, satirised the commercial exploitation of Paisios's legacy. The matter was raised by a member of parliament belonging to Golden Dawn.
The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate canonized Elder Paisios on 13 January 2015. Paisios' sainthood happened quickly according to church standards, and was the second-fastest sainthood in recent church history.
On Sunday January 17, 2015 many faithful from across the Balkans went on pilgrimage to the monastery in Souroti, which St. Paisios helped found in 1967, culminating five nights of continuous prayers. Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, abbot of St. Catherine's Orthodox Monastery in Egypt's Sinai peninsula since 1973, was also present at the ceremonies.
On Sunday January 25, 2015 the first church to be dedicated to Saint Paisios the Athonite was consecrated in central Limassol, Cyprus, in the neighbourhood of Ekali, across from Tsirion Stadium.
The sacred service began at 6pm with the reception of the holy relics of Hieromartyr Heraclides, Bishop of Tamassos (September 17), of Saint Cosmas of Mount Athos, and of the New Martyr George of Cyprus (April 23). These were placed respectively in the three altars of the new church, which was thus dedicated to Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia (November 10), to Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (July 12), and to the holy Martyrs Barachisius and Jonah (March 29), given that the church in Pharasa, Cappadocia, which was Saint Arsenios' and Saint Paisios' village and place of birth was dedicated in honour of the Martyrs Barachisius and Jonah.
This video describes his last years...