Aimilianos (Vafeidis)

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Archimandrite Aimilianos is the former abbott of [[Siminopetra Monastery (Athos|Siminopetra Monastery]]. (There are many variations on spelling his name in English - Amelianos, Aemilianos, etc.)
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[[Image:Aimilianos.jpeg|thumb|left| The Elder Archimandrite Aimilianos]]
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The Elder [[Archimandrite]] '''Aimilianos (Vafeidis)''', [[monastic]], was the [[abbot]] of [[Simonopetra Monastery (Athos)|Simonopetra Monastery]] from 1974 to 2000. As a young [[monk]], Elder Aimilianos looked forward to a career as a foreign [[missionary]]. Assigned to a [[monastery]], the Elder experienced a spiritual crisis from which he emerged a man, supremely energized, and dedicated to revitalization of monastic life.  
  
==History and Life==
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==Life==
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Alexandros Vapheides  was born in Piraeus, Greece, in October 1934. His higher level education began with his studies at the University of Athens where he received, in 1959, a degree in theology. His intentions were to enter the [[Holy Orders]], become a [[priest]], and then become a foreign missionary. After consulting with his friend [[Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Albania|Anastasios Yannoulatos]] (now Archbishop of Albania), who supported his intention, but thought he should prepare for this work by spending time at a monastery. Yannoulatos had him contact the [[Bishop]] of Trikala, who he thought would initiate the young Alexandros into a monastic life.
  
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Entering a [[monasticism}monastic]] life, Alexandros was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] and given the name Aimilianos on [[December 9]], 1960 and two days later, [[December 11]], he was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]]. On [[August 15]], 1961, Dn. Aimilianos was ordained a [[hieromonk]]. His bishop then had him spend time at several monasteries before placing him at the Monastery of St. Vissarion in the foothills of the Pindus Mountains. It was while at St. Vissarion Monastery that Father Aimilianos seemed to have had a kind of spiritual crisis and profound religious experience that transformed him radically and influenced his subsequent work, a transformation that made the young twenty seven year old hieromonk into a charismatic elder.
  
==Writings==
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Emerging from the experience, Fr. Aimilianos was a different man, like the dramatic conversion of [[Apostle Paul|St. Paul]], he had become energized and single-mindedly dedicated to the revitalization of monastic life. He was soon appointed [[abbot]] of Meteora with the additional duties as diocesan preacher and confessor. As a preacher he soon took the Meteora region captive as his brilliant, mesmerizing speeches resonated especially with the young people who came in great numbers to hear him. Having heard Fr. Aimilianos, many were attracted to a monastic life under his guidance, so that soon he headed a large and dynamic community.  
* ''Spiritual Instruction and Discourses, volume 1: The Authentic Seal''. By Archimandrite Aimilianos. Ormylia, Halkidiki: Ormylia Publishing, 1999. 400 pages. ISBN 9608560330. (Available in North America from [http://www.alexanderpress.com Alexander Press] or [http://www.alexiapublications.com/ Alexia Publications]
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==Works about him==
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With his fame as well as the natural attraction of Meteora many tourists came, adding to the pressures on the community. As life at Meteora became increasing difficult under the pressures of tourism, an opportunity arose when the governing body of [[Mount Athos]] invited him and his community of monks and [[novice]]s, in 1983, to repopulate the ancient [[Simonopetra Monastery (Athos)|Monastery of Simonopetra]], that under the charismatic elder the organization and structure of life of which was dramatically altered. 
* [http://www.stnina.org/test/journal/art/3.4.13 An Interview with Sister Aemiliane] of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Monastery,
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Thebes, Greece (''St. Nina Quarterly'', vol 3:4)
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Elder Aimilianos also founded, in 1974, Panagia Philanthropini, a Center for Social Advancement and Medical Prevention and Research, (Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who Loves Humankind) that is located in northern Greece, near the town of Ormylia, Chalkidike. The center functions as an adjunct to the [[Cenobium of the Annunciation (Ormylia, Chalkidiki)|Sacred Convent of the Annunciation of the Mother of God]], a large monastic community with over 120 [[nun]]s from various nations—the majority of whom hold university degrees. The convent is a dependency of the Monastery of Simonos Petras on Mount Athos.
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Elder Aimilianos retired as abbot in 2000.
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==Source==
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*[http://elderaimilianos.blogspot.com/  Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra]
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==Bibliography==
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''' In English'''
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* ''Spiritual Instruction and Discourses, Volume 1: The Authentic Seal''. By Archimandrite Aimilianos. Ormylia, Halkidiki: Ormylia Publishing, 1999. 400 pages. ISBN 9608560330. (Available in North America from [http://www.alexanderpress.com Alexander Press] or [http://www.alexiapublications.com/ Alexia Publications].) <ref> An excerpt from this book, ''Orthodox Spirituality and the Technological Revolution'' is available at [http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/AimilianosTechnology.php OrthodoxyToday.org] </ref>
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*''The Church At Prayer - The Mystical Liturgy Of The Heart''. By Archimandrite Aimilianos. ISBN 960-518-251-3.
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* ''The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos''. Translated with introduction and notes by Hieromonk [[Alexander Golitzin|Alexander (Golitzin)]]. South Canaan, PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1996. 311 pages. ISBN 1878997483. (Available in the UK from Orthodox Christian Book Service, 95 Spencer Street, Birmingham B18 6DA.)
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* [http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder_sub13.html Last sermon of Archim. Aimilianos] at Holy Cross Monastery, Thebes, Greece.
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'''In Greek (original texts)'''
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* ΧΑΡΙΣΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΟΔΟΣ - ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΒΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΟΣΙΟΥ ΝΕΙΛΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΛΑΒΡΟΥ. ISBN 9789605183585
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* «Ασκητικά» ο Λόγος περί Νήψεως του Αρχ. Αιμιλιανού Σιμωνοπετρίτου, ερμηνεία στον Άγ. Ησύχιο (Prologue by Bishop Kallistos Ware) No. of Pages. 632. ISBN 9789605183028
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== Notes ==
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<references/>
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==External links==
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*[http://elderaimilianos.blogspot.com/ Elder Aimilianos blog]
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*[http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/AimilianosTechnology.php ''Orthodox Spirituality and the Technological Revolution''] by Archimandrite Aimilianos, Posted: 28-Nov-05 on OrthodoxyToday.org
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*[http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/elder_sub3.html Extract from ''O Holy Mountain''] by Fr Basil Pennington (for a photo of Archim. Aimilianos)
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[[Category:Athonite Fathers]]
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[[Category:Monastics]]
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[[Category:University of Athens Theology School Graduates]]

Latest revision as of 06:39, August 30, 2010

The Elder Archimandrite Aimilianos

The Elder Archimandrite Aimilianos (Vafeidis), monastic, was the abbot of Simonopetra Monastery from 1974 to 2000. As a young monk, Elder Aimilianos looked forward to a career as a foreign missionary. Assigned to a monastery, the Elder experienced a spiritual crisis from which he emerged a man, supremely energized, and dedicated to revitalization of monastic life.

Contents

Life

Alexandros Vapheides was born in Piraeus, Greece, in October 1934. His higher level education began with his studies at the University of Athens where he received, in 1959, a degree in theology. His intentions were to enter the Holy Orders, become a priest, and then become a foreign missionary. After consulting with his friend Anastasios Yannoulatos (now Archbishop of Albania), who supported his intention, but thought he should prepare for this work by spending time at a monastery. Yannoulatos had him contact the Bishop of Trikala, who he thought would initiate the young Alexandros into a monastic life.

Entering a [[monasticism}monastic]] life, Alexandros was tonsured a monk and given the name Aimilianos on December 9, 1960 and two days later, December 11, he was ordained a deacon. On August 15, 1961, Dn. Aimilianos was ordained a hieromonk. His bishop then had him spend time at several monasteries before placing him at the Monastery of St. Vissarion in the foothills of the Pindus Mountains. It was while at St. Vissarion Monastery that Father Aimilianos seemed to have had a kind of spiritual crisis and profound religious experience that transformed him radically and influenced his subsequent work, a transformation that made the young twenty seven year old hieromonk into a charismatic elder.

Emerging from the experience, Fr. Aimilianos was a different man, like the dramatic conversion of St. Paul, he had become energized and single-mindedly dedicated to the revitalization of monastic life. He was soon appointed abbot of Meteora with the additional duties as diocesan preacher and confessor. As a preacher he soon took the Meteora region captive as his brilliant, mesmerizing speeches resonated especially with the young people who came in great numbers to hear him. Having heard Fr. Aimilianos, many were attracted to a monastic life under his guidance, so that soon he headed a large and dynamic community.

With his fame as well as the natural attraction of Meteora many tourists came, adding to the pressures on the community. As life at Meteora became increasing difficult under the pressures of tourism, an opportunity arose when the governing body of Mount Athos invited him and his community of monks and novices, in 1983, to repopulate the ancient Monastery of Simonopetra, that under the charismatic elder the organization and structure of life of which was dramatically altered.

Elder Aimilianos also founded, in 1974, Panagia Philanthropini, a Center for Social Advancement and Medical Prevention and Research, (Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Who Loves Humankind) that is located in northern Greece, near the town of Ormylia, Chalkidike. The center functions as an adjunct to the Sacred Convent of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, a large monastic community with over 120 nuns from various nations—the majority of whom hold university degrees. The convent is a dependency of the Monastery of Simonos Petras on Mount Athos.

Elder Aimilianos retired as abbot in 2000.

Source

Bibliography

In English

  • Spiritual Instruction and Discourses, Volume 1: The Authentic Seal. By Archimandrite Aimilianos. Ormylia, Halkidiki: Ormylia Publishing, 1999. 400 pages. ISBN 9608560330. (Available in North America from Alexander Press or Alexia Publications.) [1]
  • The Church At Prayer - The Mystical Liturgy Of The Heart. By Archimandrite Aimilianos. ISBN 960-518-251-3.
  • The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos. Translated with introduction and notes by Hieromonk Alexander (Golitzin). South Canaan, PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1996. 311 pages. ISBN 1878997483. (Available in the UK from Orthodox Christian Book Service, 95 Spencer Street, Birmingham B18 6DA.)
  • Last sermon of Archim. Aimilianos at Holy Cross Monastery, Thebes, Greece.

In Greek (original texts)

  • ΧΑΡΙΣΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΟΔΟΣ - ΕΡΜΗΝΕΙΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΒΙΟ ΤΟΥ ΟΣΙΟΥ ΝΕΙΛΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΛΑΒΡΟΥ. ISBN 9789605183585
  • «Ασκητικά» ο Λόγος περί Νήψεως του Αρχ. Αιμιλιανού Σιμωνοπετρίτου, ερμηνεία στον Άγ. Ησύχιο (Prologue by Bishop Kallistos Ware) No. of Pages. 632. ISBN 9789605183028

Notes

  1. An excerpt from this book, Orthodox Spirituality and the Technological Revolution is available at OrthodoxyToday.org

External links

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