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Saint Sophrony of Essex

Saint Sophrony (+1993) is “one of the most beloved orthodox Christian elders of our times, revealed to the world his own experience of union with God, and the path to that union, drawing near to God with intense love and longing accompanied by struggle, self-emptying and searing repentance, Fr. Sophrony was granted to participate in the life of God Himself through His uncreated Energies. Like orthodox saints throughout the centuries, he experienced God's grace as an ineffable, uncreated Light. ... Born into a Russian Orthodox family in Moscow in 1896, Archimandrite Sophrony embarked on a successful career as a painter in Paris. There he delved into Eastern religions for a time, before repenting bitterly of this and returning to the faith of his childhood. After a brief period of theological study in Paris, he left for the ancient Orthodox monastic republic of Mount Athos in Greece, where he spent fifteen years in a monastery and a further seven as a hermit ‘in the desert’. On Mount Athos he became the spiritual son of a simple monk of holy life, Elder Silouan. It was under the guidance of Saint Silouan that Fr. Sophrony experienced divine illumination, knowing God...” (*Elder Sophrony has not been declared a Saint) [Source: Description of We Shall See Him As He Is

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