Ephrem of Philotheou]]Archimandrite ''' Ephrem of Philotheou''' ( commonly known as ''' ''Elder Ephrem''''', sometimes spelled '''''Ephraim''''') is an [[archimandrite]] and former [[abbot]] of [[Philotheou Monastery (Athos)|Philotheou Monastery]] on [[Mount Athos]], spiritual guide of several [[monastery|monasteries]] on Mount Athos and Greece, and the founder of several monasteries in the United States. He resides in Arizona at [[St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery (Florence, Arizona)|St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery]].
has been a [[hieromonk |priest-monk]] for the past 50 years and has served as an elder for almost 40 years. He was a [[disciple]] of Elder Joseph the [[Hesychast]] of Mount Athos and lived in monastic obedience to him for 12 years until his Elder's repose in 1959.
Life==Elder Ephraim was born in 1927 in Volos, Greece, with a [[baptism]]al name of John. He grew up in poverty and helped his father at work, but always tried to emulate the pious life of his mother ( who became a [[nun]] with the name of Theophano). He began to desire the monastic life around 14 years of age, but he did not get a blessing from his spiritual father to leave and become a [[monk]] until he was 19.
Life== When he arrived at Mount Athos, he became a disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast who [[tonsure]] d him in 1948 and gave him the name Ephraim. Elder Ephraim was subsequently [[ ordain]] ed a [[deacon]], and then a [[priest]]. The life in the brotherhood under Elder Joseph was very austere and [[ ascetic]] al, and Elder Ephraim made great spiritual progress under his holy Elder. After Elder Joseph's repose in 1959, Elder Ephraim continued to live in asceticism for many years until he became the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Philotheou in 1973, where he was able to revive the spiritual life there in a short time. Due to the reputation of Elder Ephraim, the monastery's brotherhood grew rapidly. Elder Ephraim was asked by the council of Mount Athos to revive and expand several other monasteries on Mount Athos which had a dwindling number of monks. These monasteries were [[Xeropotamou Monastery (Athos)|Xeropotamou]], [[Konstamonitou Monastery (Athos)|Konstamonitou]], and [[Karakalou Monastery (Athos)|Karakallou]]. He was also asked to repopulate the [[Great Lavra (Athos)|Great Lavra]] but declined. These monasteries are still under his spiritual guidance today. Along with the monasteries on Mount Athos, there are several other monasteries in Greece under Elder Ephraim's spiritual guidance .
Elder Ephraim has a reputation of being a grace-filled [[confessor]] and true Athonite elder and has thousands of spiritual children around the world: monastics, [[clergy]], and [[laity|lay-people]]. He is considered by many to be the first to establish an authentic Athonite monastery on American soil. As of 2005, Elder Ephraim has founded seventeen monasteries in the United States and Canada under the Greek Orthodox Archdioceses of America and Canada; this includes monasteries for women and for men.
<!--==Monasteries under Supervision==
== Writings ==
*''Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim'' by Elder Ephraim. Florence, Arizona: St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery, 1999. (ISBN 0966700031)
*''[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/elderephraimcounsels1.aspx On the World and Family]'' by Elder Ephraim
*[http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/Map.htm Monasteries founded by Father Ephraim in the United States]
com/ index.html?history .html History] of the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Monastery in Harvard, Illinois, with a brief biography of Fr. Ephraim