KYIV. Orthodox believers meet with Archimandrite Irenaios (Verikakis), disciple of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

On February 7, 2018, as was announced earlier, a meeting was held in the Holy Trinity Church of the Holy Trinity Monastery of St. Jonas in Kyiv with Archimandrite Irenaios (Verikakis) from the island of Crete (Constantinople Patriarchate) and who is a disciple of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos. He is a well-known writer, preacher and Orthodox radio presenter.

The meeting was attended by the Abbott of the Monastery of St. Jonah, Archbishop Jonah of Obukhiv, the Deputy Chairman of the UOC DECR Archpriest Mykolay Danylevych and the director of the Pilgrimage Centre at the UOC DECR V. I. Telizhenko, who both acted as translators.

Filling the entire church and side chapel were approximately 400 believers who came to meet with Archimandrite Irenaios .

The main topic of the meeting ˗ “To live according to the Orthodox faith in the modern world” ˗ received such a lively response from the audience that its discussion lasted three and a half hours. The multifaceted nature of the topic allowed various issues to be raised such as: the spiritual life of Orthodox believers, love and marriage, globalisation and its consequences for the Orthodox Christian, the Internet and its benefits and dangers to the modern man, and many other issues.

After the introductory speech-lecture by Archimandrite Irenaios, everyone present had the opportunity to ask the honoured guest questions. Most of the issues concerned various aspects of spiritual life, prayer, spiritual guidance and family relationships. The audience was particularly interested in the Holy Elder of our times – The Venerable Saint Paisios of Mount Athos. People asked Archimandrite Irenaios about his experience during personal meetings with the Venerable Elder, about his recommendations, and were also interested in generally unknown and unpublished pages from his life,

Archimandrite Irenaios answered questions posed by those in attendance, often accompanying his answers with brilliant, instructive, and on occasion with amusing stories.

One of the main theses that persisted throughout the entire meeting was the importance of continuous communication with God.

“We Orthodox often have such self-confidence ˗ yes, we know God and the truth, and this is enough for us, but we do not enkindle this through dialogue with God and with living faith. We must be in constant communication with the source of life which is Christ. If this connection is not enkindled then ˗ the feeling will freeze, and there will be a falling off. But God is our heavenly father, He is waiting for us, and knocks at the door of our heart”, – explained Archimandrite Irenaios.

However, the preacher stressed that the purpose of our lives, regardless of the circumstances, is the sanctification of ourselves and that the quality of the world in which we live depends on each of us, on how we work on ourselves and how qualitatively we change ourselves.

The purpose of our lives is to be sanctified so that our body may be consecrated with the sanctification of the soul. This happens when we succeed in living a Christian life without deceit, every day“.

Archimandrite noted that in the Greek language, the words “revolution” and “resurrection” have the same root, and stressed that if we want the world to change, then each and every one of us has to change as well; achieving in one’s soul a “revolution” against one’s passions that will in turn bring about a transformation of the surrounding world.  This revolution does not start as a result of external factors, but in the hearts of people in churches, where people open their hearts to God.

The meeting took place in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

Anyone who wanted to, but did not have the opportunity to join the meeting, or just wants to relive some of the interesting moments, can listen and download audio on

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