Living Saints in Romania


The video has English subtitles and is worth the patience to watch – particularly the interview at the end. Living saints are rare and a great blessing. It is one of the treasures of this ancient, Orthodox land.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.



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16 responses to “Living Saints in Romania”

  1. A Pilgrim Avatar
    A Pilgrim

    Wow! Thank you Father for this! The line that really struck me must was when the monk at the end said that he once had the prayer of the heart, that unceasing prayer, but says “I had it, and lost it because of my unworthiness.”

    It makes me think how we feel like, especially here in America, that we entitlted to certain things. How we feel like they should just be given to us. But here is this monk, who does not live in the world, who spends in his day in prayer, and even though he has renounced all, he does not seem bitter that he’s lost his unceasing prayer. Far from it, he admits that he is not even worthy to have it!

    As he said, “Humility, humility, and humility.”

  2. Justin Farr Avatar

    I’ve seen this before, but wow… thanks for posting it! I had forgotten about it and needed to see it again!

  3. Karen C Avatar
    Karen C

    Dear Father, bless! Thank you. All beautiful. What struck me most was the Elder’s comment to the effect that “we monks are not allowed to insult or ridicule one another” and also that they are taught to not even “spank a child.” How contrary to the ways of the world. What a beautiful expression of the gentleness and kindness of God. As a mom, I stand convicted. Lord, have mercy on me!

  4. Anson Rhodes (Wordsmyth) Avatar
    Anson Rhodes (Wordsmyth)

    Thanks for posting this. Father, did you ever get my email about the Protestant view of God’s wrath?

  5. Subdeacon John Kent Avatar

    I viewed this and it helps me to realize just how unworthy I am. The humilty, especially of the monk at the end of the video is sobering. I can only pray for God’s mercy.

  6. fatherstephen Avatar

    I so agree. When I first watched this, I was aware of his age. I know a number of older monks and Bishops – and revere them. They have lived a long life of asceticism and prayer and it shows. What sweet humility in this aged hermit. The fragrance of Christ was all about him.

  7. fatherstephen Avatar


    I got the email, I’m just being slow in responding, mostly because of a deluge of services, etc. Christmas, Theophany are some of the Church’s busiest times. I’ll not forget.

  8. Vincent Avatar

    Thank you, Father. Do you know of any documentaries of this sort that interviews monastics of the United States? Though it joys me that there are Saints in Eastern Europe praying fervently for the salvation of all of us – and of course prayer knows no geographical boundaries – I can’t help but be curious about similar saints living in the land I call home.

  9. Anson Rhodes (Wordsmyth) Avatar
    Anson Rhodes (Wordsmyth)

    Thanks Father. I thought as much, I just wanted to be sure.

  10. Visibilium Avatar

    Father, what a wonderful post. Thanks.

  11. Meskerem Eshetu Avatar
    Meskerem Eshetu

    Thankyou Father for Posting this. I have seen monks before, I am from Ethiopia and they sometimes came out during or after church Services and gave open Sermons. You do not see them after that. Their teachings their wisdom is unbelievable. They have disciplined their body to follow and practice the Faith strictly with Fasting and Prayer. Like he mentioned pure body is what GOD needs from us.

    I just wish we get more postings like this.

    Thanks again

  12. Steve Avatar

    The Elder Cleopa recommends a minimum of three hours of prayer morning and evening, and a further hour at midnight to completely break the powers of darkness.

  13. claire Avatar

    Yikes, if that monk gained but then because of his unworthiness lost the prayer of the heart, why/how should the rest of us even try…?

  14. Steve Avatar

    If we make prayer of the heart the point, everything else is drawn into that prayer…

  15. Steve Avatar


    I think what the Elder Cleopa was trying to convey here was more than just symbolism (“seven” representing perfection/ fullness).

    Encouraged by the living Saints of Romania, I tried to spend as much time in prayer as I possible could this week (and managed something over four hours at a go). The main point was to listen out for the voice of the Spirit.

    In the end, the Holy Spirit came in from an entirely unexpected direction (the right one, I might add).

    We have everything to gain in prayer!

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