About St. Silouan the Athonite
St. Silouan, was born in 1866, of devout parents who came from the village of Sovsk in the Tambov region. His name 'in the world' was Simeon Ivanovich Antonov. At the age of twenty-seven he received the prayers of St. John of Kronstadt and went to Mt. Athos where he became a monk at the Russian monastery St. Panteleimon. He received from the Holy Theotokos the gift of unceasing prayer, and was given the vision our Lord Jesus Christ, in glory, in the church of the holy Prophet Elijah adjoining the mill of the monastery. After the withdrawal of that first grace, he was oppressed by profound grief and great temptations for fifteen years, after which he received from Christ the teaching, "Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not". He reposed on September 24, 1938.
He left behind his writings which were edited by his disciple and pupil, the Archimandrite Sophrony. Fr. Sophrony has written a complete life of the Saint along with the record of St. Silouan's teachings in the book St. Silouan the Athonite.
Archimandrite Sophrony's book provides valuable insights into the experiences and teachings of St. Silouan. A few excerpts from this book help to better understand them, especially the phrase "Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not."
These web sites with icons, prayers, and other materials about St. Silouan also contain useful information:
- Russian St. Silouan page [External Link] This page loads very slowly, but it has a wealth of information in many languages about St. Silouan.
- OrthodoxPhotos.com [External Link] A site with examples of St. Silouan's writing and some photographs of the saint.
- French Site [External Link] French language page with other links to St. Silouan related documents.
- Monastery of St. Silouan [External Link] A French monastery dedicated to the saint.
- Icon of St. Silouan [External Link] Brief text description of an icon.