Saint Paisius name before the monastic life was Arsenius Eznepidis. He born on July 25, 1924 and he left peacefully on July 12, 1994. The Saint Paisius was widely known for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios.
Venerable Elder Paisius was canonized on 13 January 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the church commemorates his feast day on July 12.
Arsenios was born in Pharasa, Cappadocia, in Asia. His father was called Prodromos and his mother was called Evlampia. Arsenios’ name was given to him by St. Arsenios the Cappadocian, who baptised him, naming the child with his name.
After the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the Eznepidis family settled first at Greece in Piraeus, after in Corfu, in Igoumenitsa and at the end in Konitsa. Arsenios grew up here, and after intermediate public school, he learned carpentry.
During the civil war in Greece, Arsenios served as a radio operator. He asked many times to fight on the front line, so some family men, not damaged. But the longer term of his served, he had the specialty of radio operator. So, often mention him as “radio operator of God.” He was dismissed from the army in 1949.
Arsenios entered first time on Mount Athos to become a monk in 1949, immediately after his dismissal from the army. In 1950, having completed his service, he went to Mount Athos to Esphigmenou Monastery. Τhere he took place the ceremony of “rasoefchis” and took the first name that was Averkios. He was known for his hard work, his great love and understanding that showed for their “brothers”, his faithful obedience to the elder, his humility.
In 1954 he left the monastery of Esphigmenou and headed to the Monastery Philotheou. In 1956, it was finally named and “Paisius“, thanks to the Bishop of Caesarea Paisius II.
In 1958 he went to Spout Konitsis. There he helped the tortured and poor Greeks. He made charities, or consoling them and supporting them psychologically, spearheaded the word of the Gospel. To 1962 he went to Mount Sina.
In 1964 he returned to Mount Athos, they never left. In 1966 he fell ill seriously and was hospitalized. Underwent surgery, in the run up to recover and return to Athos, he was hosted at the Sacred Hermitage of St. John the Evangelist in Souroti. He returned to Mount Athos after his recovery and in 1967 moved to Katounakia.
In 1979 Saint Paisius moved to Panagouda, a hermitage belonging to Koutloumousiou Monastery. It was here that his renown grew. Between prayer and assisting his visitors, he only rested for two or three hours each night.
From the time that went into Panagouda, large crowds of people visiting him. He received many letters. Despite the busy schedule, he continued intense ascetic life. He was resting 2-3 hours a day. But he continued to accept and try to help visitors.
In 1993 Saint Paisius left Mount Athos for medical attention. Despite his wish to be gone only a few days, he was diagnosed with cancer requiring immediate surgery, and after recovery, he was transferred to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti. Despite wishing to return to Mount Athos, his health did not allow it.
At the end of June, the doctors announced that his lifetime was two to three weeks at most. On july 11, he received the Holy Communion. He died Tuesday, July 12, 1994, at 11:00.
He was buried in the Holy Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Souroti Thessaloniki. Since then, every year on 11 to July 12, the anniversary of the death of, committed vigil in the Sanctuary Retreat, involving thousands of believers.