*1926: Fr Sophrony arrived at Mt Athos, entering [[St. Panteleimon's Monastery (Athos)|Russian Orthodox Monastery of St. Panteleimon]] , desiring to learn how to pray and have to right attitude to God. *1930 : Fr Sophrony ordained to the [[diaconate]] by St [[Nikolai Velimirovic|Nicolai (Velimirovic) of Zicha]] . Becomes disciple of St [[Silouan the Athonite]], Fr Sophrony's greatest influence. While St Silouan had no formal system of theology, his living of theology taught Fr Sophrony volumes, which Fr Sophrony would later systematise. *1932 -46: Fr Sophrony exchanges letters with Fr David Balfour, a Catholic who converted to Orthodoxy. These letters reveal Fr Sophrony's knowledge of many Fathers of the Church, and forces Fr Sophrony to articulate his theological thought, and to demonstrate the differences between Western and Eastern thought. Many of Fr Sophrony's later thoughts would arise out of the same topics addressed in this correspondence. *1938 : St Silouan reposes ([[September 24]] ). Following St Silouan's instructions, Elder Sophrony left the monastery grounds to reside in the Athonite desert; first at Karoulia, then at a cave near St Paul's Monastery. :The Second World War was a time of such intense prayer that Fr Sophrony's health was affected , teaching him the interdependence of all mankind. *1941 : Fr Sophrony ordained to the [[priest]]hood, and becomes a [[Geronta|spiritual father]] to many Athonite monks.