Saint Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-Dweller

Feast Day: August 16th


The Life of Saint Joseph the Hesychast: “At once I was completely changed and forgot myself. I was filled with light in my heart and outside and everywhere, not being aware that I even had a body. The Prayer began to say itself within me.” …

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Prayers

Apolytikion: The offspring of Athos and the great adornment of Monks, defender of Ascesis, haven of silence and Prayer, our Father you were revealed. Through your life you showed us, Grace’s ways of Salvation, saving through your entreaties those who faithfully Pray to you. And therefore intercede with the Lord, O Righteous Father Joseph.

Kontakion: By the streams of thy tears, O Father, thou didst wash clean, and by thy sleepless Prayers thou didst make gleam, the garment of thy Soul, O Joseph; and within the incorrupt Bridechamber thou dost now exult with the Saints whose way of life thou didst follow. With them, do thou Pray that those who honour thee be saved.

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“This is truly the road, my sister, and the one writing to you bears witness to the truth out of his own experience. So be brave and strong in the Lord, enduring whatever comes to you, expecting, along with the pain, the Peace and Grace of God. Be strong and give courage to your Soul”

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“If someone wanted to live with me, he would hear my Prayers and sighs and would see the tears I shed for all my brethren. All night I Pray and shout, ‘Lord, save all my brethren, or else blot me out as well! I don’t want Paradise if I’m on my own!'”

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“Keep saying The Prayer! Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! This is what will save you. The Name of Christ will illumine your mind (nous); it will strengthen your Soul; it will help you in the war against the demons; it will cultivate the virtues; and it will become everything for you.”

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“God is everywhere. There is no place God is not… You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, ‘I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’”

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“You may think that your voice did not reach the Saints, our Panagia or Christ. On the contrary, even before you cried out, they rushed to your aid.”

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“Praxis is not to try out and then retreat, but to enter the battle, duel, defeat, and be defeated, win and lose, fall and rise, crush the gates everywhere, and to expect struggles and fights until one’s last breath.”

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“Without temptations, pure Souls are not known, Virtue does not show, patience is not discernable.”

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“No sacrifice is more fragrant in the sight of God than purity of body, which is realised through… great struggles.”

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“Don’t be sad, my child. Don’t worry so much. Even though you have fallen again, get up again. You have been called to a Heavenly road. It is not surprising for someone running to stumble. It just takes patience and repentance at every moment.”

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Once while Elder Joseph the Hesychast was Praying for a departed Soul who had been condemned, he had the following vision: “As I was Praying, I saw the late Father George Karslidis in front of me. He is a contemporary Saint. I managed to meet him because he was still alive when I was in the world. Ever day, he served the Liturgy and commemorated thousands of names. Afterwards, he would go to the tombs and read Trisagion Prayers and Memorial Services for the departed, all day long. I saw him in a vision and heard him saying to me in great amazement: “Wow! Until today, I thought that the deceased were only saved with Liturgies and Memorial Services. But today I saw and realised that people in hell are also saved with Prayer Ropes.” Again he repeated with admiration: “Yes, people are also saved with Prayer Ropes.” – Abbot Haralambos Dionysiatis

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“But, O sweet love of Christ, what good didst Thou see in us that Thou didst lead us along Thy Divine path?”

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“Let humility be your garment in everything.”

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A few months before his Blessed Repose, Saint Joseph was visited by our Most Holy Mother of God and she promised she would take him on her Feast Day. Saint Joseph then reposed in peace on the day of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in 1959.

“All the Saints wrote many praises to our Panagia. But I, the poor one, have found no words more elegant or sweet to describe her, than to cry out to her at every moment: “My dear Mother! My dear, sweet Mother! When my Soul departs may it come into your hands, and through them may it be given to its Creator, your Only-begotten Son.”

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“Embrace in your arms the Icon of the Panagia as if she were alive, as you embraced your dear mother when you were little. Tell her all your pain, wet her Icon with your pure tears, then you will derive consistent consolation. She will intercede with her Son, Who is so good, Who loves the good, has mercy on the bad, and forgives repenting sinners. He will open the noetic eyes of your Soul and fill your heart with love and divine eros. And then your eyes will become two fountains of tears.”


Below are some photos of Saint Joseph with his brotherhood of Monks. Two of these Monks, Elder Arsenios the Cave-Dweller and Elder Haralambos Dionysiatis, had been with him since his early years. Included in the photos are also Elder Ephraim of Arizona.

“Swim, O my nous, in the sweetest tranquility!”

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Elder Ephraim of Arizona greatly loved his Elder Joseph, and they are seen together in some photos and an Icon below.


“Ascesis, my son, requires deprivation. You cannot obtain virtues through luxury and the easy life. It takes a struggle and much labor. It takes crying out to Christ day and night. It takes patience in all temptations and afflictions. It takes suppressing your anger and desires.”

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Icons

Below is an Icon of Saint Joseph the Hesychast together with Saint Iakovos of Evia, Saint Paisios the Athonite and Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia.

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Below is an Icon of Saint Joseph the Hesychast with Saint Ephraim of Katounakia.


A Movie about The Life of Saint Joseph the Hesychast