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Four Fathers from Mount Athos were declared Saints by decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Spileotis, Elder Ephraim Katounakiotis, Elder Ieronymos of Simonopetra, and Elder Daniel Katounakiotis: The names of these four Athonite Fathers will be entered in the canon of the Church, according to the announcement of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during his official visit to Mount Athos. The announcement was welcomed with great joy and emotion by the Athonites since according to his Holiness "Saintliness is the quintessence of this place and our Saints are what's most invaluable of the Church".

The Patriarch, who officiated at the official doxology held at the Protaton church, stressed the relationship between the Mother Church and the Athonite Monastic State, a relationship that lasts for thousands of years.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Spileotis (1897-1959) was born in Lefkes, Paros and after the early death of his father, he took care and protected his mother. His mother, for whom it is mentioned that she often had visions of supernatural phenomena, had predicted the monastic inclination of her son, who at the age of 23 began studying holy books and was attracted by the life of severe ascetics. His meeting with the Athonite Elder monk led him to Mount Athos and relatively quickly yet excruciatingly he discovered his desire to follow a secluded and quiet life and enjoy prayer. He voluntarily chose the solitary monastic life and became a shining example for his spiritual children. He was a spiritual guide and his teachings for all those who were blessed to share them with him were a unique theological experience.

Ephraim Katounakiotis was born in 1912 in Abelochori, Theva, and was given the name Evangelos. Already at the age of 20, he withdrew himself and went to Katounakia at Mount Athos, the retreat of Holy Ephraim the Syrian. He became a monk with the name Longinos and in 1935 he became a high-ranking monk with the name Ephraim. He was blessed with the charisma of envisioning and could perceive the spiritual state of every cleric or monk, as well as future situations, while he could also sense sin, which filled him with disgust and repulsion.

Elder Ieronymos Simonopetritis arrived in Simonopetra from Asia Minor at the age of 17. He became a high-ranking monk after a trial of 47 years and did not sleep in a bed for 43 years. He wrote more than 10,000 comforting letters - offering consolation to those who mourned, while he helped which his speeches and his works thousands of people who turned to him. The Metropolitan of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki Nicholaos, who lived with him at the dependency of Analipseos referred to the Elder as an "earthly angel."

Elder Daniel Katounakiotis (1846-1929) was born in Smyrna, Asia Minor, with the name Dimitrios Dimitriadis. He graduated with distinction from the Evangelical School of Smyrna, and at the age of 19 left to become a monk, visited various monasteries in the Peloponnese and the islands, and met holy Elders.

In 1866 he became a monk at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon. He faced hardship as secretary of the monastery, because of the efforts of the Russians to control the administration of the Monastery and after evident injustices against him, he was vindicated by the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Joachim and went to the Monastery of St. Anastasia. In 1881 he set up in the wilderness of Mount Athos his ascetic sanctuary, Katounakia. There he wrote treatises and studies and hundreds of letters that reveal his wisdom in serious spiritual and theological issues, while he is regarded as the voice of self-consciousness of Mount Athos, an advocate of the orthodox faith and life and the guarantor of the Orthodoxy.

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