In the late hours of Saturday, December 7, 2019, Elder Ephraim of Philotheou peacefully fell asleep in the Lord at Saint Anthony Monastery in Florence, Arizona at the age of 92. As the founder of 17 monastic communities in the United States, Elder Ephraim was responsible for the growth of Orthodox monasticism in this country.
Elder Ephraim was prolific in his teachings and writings, including several commentaries on his personal experiences and knowledge gained from his time as a disciple of Saint Joseph the Hesychast. His experiences as the abbot of Philotheou Monastery on Mount Athos, as well as being a hieromonk for 71 years and an elder for 50 years, made Elder Ephraim a significant spiritual guide for thousands of people throughout the world.
“To earn one’s crown of righteousness and the gift of eternal life is truly a blessing, and it was something that Elder Ephraim strived for throughout his time on this earth,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “Every moment of every day was spent in prayer, fasting and worship, and I know that God to whom he prayed so fervently has welcomed Elder Ephraim into paradise.”
The Funeral Service for Elder Ephraim will be prayed on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery, 4784 N. Saint Joseph’s Way, Florence, AZ 85232. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will preside at the funeral service. His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco will also serve at the funeral, along with other hierarchs of the Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Members of the monastic communities, clergy and faithful from throughout the Archdiocese and abroad will also journey to Saint Anthony Monastery to pay their respects to Elder Ephraim.
Beloved in the Lord,
It is with great sadness that news of the falling asleep in the Lord of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago has been announced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He reposed on Friday, June 2, 2017 following a brief illness.
The passing of Metropolitan Iakovos marks the end of an era in our Archdiocese. He was a devoted servant of the Lord who gave his entire life for his ministry. I first met him when I was a young student at Hellenic College Holy Cross where he was serving as President. Even in those early years, he was an influential leader and a man who loved, respected and worked for the Greek Orthodox Church in America, its traditions and culture, as well as the Mother Church of our Ecumenical Patriarchate.
As a lasting tribute to his legacy, we must move forward with the same faith and inspiration that Metropolitan Iakovos demonstrated throughout his distinguished service for the benefit of future generations of Greek Orthodox Christians. The clergy and faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco extend our deepest condolences to the Metropolis of Chicago and all those who mourn his passing.
I ask that all our parishes offer a Trisagion for the eternal rest of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, that he may be welcomed into the Lord's Heavenly Kingdom wearing a crown of everlasting righteousness.
Once the details for the services are finalized, I will prepare to travel and pay personal tribute to Metropolitan Iakovos and join in prayer as he journeys into eternal life.
May his memory be eternal!
With Love in Christ,
@Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco