Silouan the Athonite
The venerable Silouan the Athonite (also known as Silouan of Mount Athos) was a monk of the early twentieth century at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon known for his wise counsel. He is remembered by the Church on September 24.
Saint Silouan was born Simeon Ivanovich Antonov in 1866 to Russian Orthodox parents who came from the village of Sovsk in Russia's Tambov region. At the age of twenty-seven he left his native Russia and came to Mount Athos, where he became a monk at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon and was given the name Silouan, the Russian version of the Biblical name Silvanus.
An ardent ascetic, he received the grace of unceasing prayer and saw Christ in a vision. After long years of spiritual trial, he acquired great humility and inner stillness. He prayed and wept for the whole world as for himself, and he put the highest value on love for enemies. Thomas Merton, a twentieth-century Catholic monk, described Silouan as “the most authentic monk of the twentieth century.” St Silouan died on September 24, 1938. He was glorified by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1987.
Though barely literate, he was sought out by pilgrims for his wise counsel. His writings were edited by his disciple and pupil, Archimandrite Sophrony. Father Sophrony has written the life of the saint along with a record of St. Silouan's teachings in the book Saint Silouan the Athonite.
- On the path of humility,
- By your prayers you received Christ as your Master.
- In your heart the Holy Spirit witnessed to your salvation.
- Therefore all people called to live in hope rejoice and celebrate your memory!
- Holy Father Silouan, pray to Christ God to save our souls.
Troparion (Tone 2)
- O all-blessed Father Silouan,
- Flaming zealot of the seraphim's love for the Lord
- And fervent imitator of Jeremiah who wept for the people,
- Hearing the call of the Mother of the Lord of Hosts,
- With wise courage you spewed out the sinful serpent
- And withdrew from the snares of the world to the mountain of Athos,
- Where in labors and prayer, joined with tears,
- In abundance you acquired the grace of the holy Spirit with which our hearts are enflamed.
- Being strengthened by you, we cry out with compunction:
- My Lord, my Life and the Joy of your saint,
- Save the world and us from all cruel things!
Kontakion (Tone 8)
- During your life on earth you served Christ and followed His path;
- Now in Heaven you contemplate Him Whom you have loved!
- Since you dwell with Him as He promised to His elect, holy Father Silouan,
- Instruct us now in the path that you have traveled.
Kontakion (Tone 2)
- O Silouan, beloved of God,
- Truly amazing preacher of humility
- And radiance warmed by the love for mankind of the Holy Spirit:
- The Russian Church rejoices in your labors.
- All monks on the Athonite mountain
- And all Christian people are rejoicing as well,
- Turning themselves towards God with the love of children.
- Beseech Him for us, you who have seen God and are equal to the angels,
- That burning with your love our souls may be saved.
- Archimandrite Sophrony. Saint Silouan the Athonite. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 0881411957