By dogcatcher on February 25th, 2012
  The Living Saint This letter was written to the editors of It serves as one example of several reports to the website claiming that Elder Ephraim is a living saint. We have also heard reports of requests for donations to help the “living saint” pay his mortgages. We know of no reports that there is a living saint in any of the monasteries of Greece. The following is a record of a conversation heard in Dallas, Texas. It has been edited for conciseness. Dear Editor, I thought you might find a recent conversation I was part of while in Dallas interesting and worthy of publication on your site. Just what in the world is going on with our Church these days? The Living Saint Little did I realize during my travel to Dallas this March for a non-Church function that I would come into direct and disturbing contact with an enraptured Fr. Ephraim adherent. I traveled to Dallas to attend an AHEPA conference followed by a dinner honoring several Greek Americans in that region. During the morning and early afternoon, the AHEPA bigwigs and its Supreme Lodge held a meeting. These meetings may be attended by all AHEPANS in good standing to attend, to observe and at times participate in the discussions. During one meeting, a lengthy discussion took place about the AHEPA Funeral Ritual which the membership conducts during wakes and funerals of departed fellow members. The first part of the discussion was a revision and modernization of the ritual. The second part concerned the fact that fewer wakes are being held due to high costs of funerals, thereby reducing the number of AHEPA Funeral Rituals held. Some discussions on this issue have taken place with several Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Archbishop, the Supreme President of AHEPA and several members of the Supreme Lodge. The Metropolitans promised to review the situation and discuss it at a future Holy Synod Meeting of the Church. Following these meetings, many retired to the lobby area of the hotel to wait for the start of the banquet. Different conversations took place while waiting for the banquet to start. At one point, one highly agitated individual blurted out: “You know, this thing with the funeral ritual disturbs me. I don’t go to a Greek Church anymore. None of you should. All of the bishops and metropolitans are corrupt and not true Greek Orthodox Christians. None of their parishes are truly Greek Orthodox.” “The only person I believe in is the Living Saint, Fr. Ephraim, in Florence Arizona at the St. Anthony Monastery. He is the only true Greek Orthodox Christian left who practices our Faith the correct way. I go there maybe three times a year.” A lawyer asked “have you ever gone to confession before Fr. Ephraim?” “No”, he replied. “My Greek isn’t good enough although my wife speaks perfect Greek. I usually do my confessions with Fr. Paissios, his top assistant. My wife sometimes confesses with Ephraim.” “You know that he and a few monks from Mt. Athos were driving around a car in the middle of the Arizona desert when Fr. Ephraim ordered the car to stop. He got out and poked a stick in the ground and that’s where they built the monastery, right on that spot. The builders that were with them claimed there would be no water, but they dug a well on the spot where he poked the stick and water spewed out!” “Are you telling us that they built the monastery without buying the land first?” asked the lawyer. “That they just went out there and put up a monastery? No title search? No contract of sale? If I were to go out there and research it I would find no deed to that land issued to the Church or the monks?” “That’s right! And there is no electricity anywhere on the grounds; everything is natural with candles, even in the Church.” “I saw a bunch of photographs on the St. Anthony Monastery site. Many of those buildings showed air conditioner units next to them. They are running air conditioning with no electricity?” asked the lawyer. “Well, maybe there is some electricity there.” “The St. Anthony’s website is maintained from there, they have telephone numbers on it,” said the lawyer. “Those look like some pretty fancy, expensive and comfortable buildings. I hear the elder lives alone in a building by himself with wood and marble imported from Greece. Is that true? He doesn’t live in a little spartan cell? He has his own house?” “I don’t know anything about that.” “Hey, you were there with your wife”, said the adherent, pointing to another man. “You tell him.” The other man said: “Yes, my wife and I went there once for confession. The place is beautiful but the confession was very strange. I came from Greece so Greek is no problem for me. Fr. Ephraim kept asking me all kinds of questions about my sex life, until I finally said ‘Father, I am 82 years old. I haven’t had a sex life in 20 years!’” “What did the elder say when you told him that,” the lawyer asked. “He just laughed and then ended the confession with a blessing. Other people who have gone there say the same thing.” “Where did they get the money to build that monastery,” the lawyer asked. “I am assuming that they purchased the land long before Father Ephraim poked his stick into the ground.” “They get all kinds of donations”, the 82 year old replied.” Another sitting at the table said: “You know what bothered me?” During the liturgy they set up a table in front of the Iconostasis, and everyone took off their jewelry, and put them on the table, along with money, wallets, purses and other valuables. Fr. Ephraim then blessed the table twice, once early during the service and at the end of the service. Then everyone took their jewels and put them back on after they were blessed.” “Are you telling me that he also blessed credit cards and drivers licenses?” asked the lawyer. “Well, if they were in the purses or wallets, I guess so. I didn’t take my watch off or put my wallet on the table. I thought that was too weird.” “Yes, I heard of that too,” said another sitting at the table. “Do they eat the leftovers on the Elders’ plate?” asked the lawyer to the adherent. “The monks do that.” “Does he fly around the room?” “Where did you hear that?” “Does he perform miracles?” “Well he built 20 monasteries and rebuilt all of Mt. Athos before he left.” “Why did he leave Mt. Athos,” asked the lawyer. Was he kicked off the mountain after he left the Greek Orthodox Church around 1990 and joined a Russian Orthodox Church for a while?” “I don’t know anything about that.” The adherent then got up and walked away in a hurry. “Man,” said one person sitting at the table. “Somebody needs to talk to him and straighten him out.” “I don’t think he likes me much anymore,” said the lawyer. “I heard that in Chicago, they have all kinds of people like him and some priests who tell those little stories all the time about Ephraim. I didn’t know you guys had those kinds of headaches down here in Texas!”