FLORENCE, AZ – Elder Ephraim of the Holy Monastery of St. Anthony in Arizona fell asleep in the Lord on December 7, at 10 PM (PST) at the age of 91.
He first arrived in the United States through Canada in 1979 and has since established 17 monasteries in many states, including St. Anthony’s where he lived. He was also the founder of two monasteries in Canada. Prior to his arrival in the United States he was the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Philotheou on Mount Athos.
He had been suffering from health problems lately, and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, who also met with Elder Ephraim, had visited the St. Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona during the summer. Last September, the Archbishop convened the first Monastic Assembly of representatives of all the monasteries in the Monastery of St. Nektarios.
No information has been provided on the funeral arrangements at press time.
Existing records indicate that the late Elder Ephraim was born on June 24, 1928 in Volos. His secular name was John Moraitis. His mother was very faithful and pious and later became a nun. At the age of 19, he moved to Mount Athos to become a monk and joined the entourage of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, where in 1948 he was honored by a monk with the name Ephraim, then ordained a deacon and priest.
In 1973, he became abbot in the Holy Monastery of Philotheou. He strengthened monasteries in Mount Athos and in the territory of Greece, especially in the area of Volos and Serres.
The Holy Monastery of St. Anthony in Arizona, located just outside the city of Florence, was founded in 1995. About 40 monks live there, including many converts to Orthodoxy. Its Abbot is Archimandrite Paisios.
The monastery follows the custom of Mount Athos monasteries.