Celebrating Saint Paisios with Our Son

July 12th is the feast of Saint Paisios the New of Mount Athos. I have loved Elder Paisios since meeting him in The Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos Markides. I love him so much that one of our sons is named Lucas Paisios. The saint is someone whose example of a beautiful, simple, child-like faith is needed in our times. I’ve certainly needed him. There are a lot of lessons he has taught me, but one of the most important ones has been about thoughts. These are just a few gems from him:

“I wish you many years — but not for them to be too happy, because happiness in the world isn’t really so healthy. When a man is too happy in this world, he forgets God and forgets death.”

“The devil does not hunt after those who are lost; he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, criticism. Therefore we should not trust our logical minds.”

“Grumbling is caused by misery and it can be put aside by doxology (giving praise). Grumbling begets grumbling and doxology begets doxology. when someone doesn’t grumble over a problem troubling him, but rather praises God, then the devil gets frustrated and goes off to someone else who grumbles, in order to cause everything to go even worse for him. You see, the more one grumbles, the more one falls into ruin.

Sometimes the devil deceives us and makes us unable to be pleased with anything; however, one can celebrate all things in a spiritual manner, with doxology, and secure God’s constant blessing.”

How We Celebrate Saint’s Feast Days in Our Family

In our family, we celebrate saint’s feast days (some people call them name days) by praying, discussing the saint, having a dessert, and doing a good deed in honor of the saint. It’s a lot like a birthday, with everyone telling the person “Happy Feast Day!” and enjoying the special day together.

July is our month of feasts–we now have six feast days to celebrate! Six! It starts today with Saint Paisios. You can read our Feast Day Buddies! post where I explain more how we celebrate Saint James and Saint Anne together (which now includes Joachim because our baby is named after him!)

This morning Manny and I took Lucas Paisios to run errands with us in town. Because we have a large family, it’s a special thing for the kids to go out alone with us. He asked to go out for pancakes, so we decided to indulge him. On the way, I read a short bio about Saint Paisios to him and then shared a few of my favorite miraculous stories about Saint Paisios. I loved seeing him listening attentively and thinking his saint is “cool!”

After breakfast, we picked up some groceries and Lucas chose fruit popsicles to bring home to his siblings. In a little while, I am going to gather everyone in the prayer room, and we will pray part of the Akathist to Saint Paisios. I want to instill in Lucas that prayer is a charitable thing to do so I told him to honor his saint by praying for other people today. He said he thinks that’s a good idea.

These days are important for children. We have to make the saints real for them because they are real! We need to show them how to honor their patrons and how to have a relationship with them. Children must be told their saint’s stories, hear their miracles, and celebrate their lives. The Communion of Saints is an unmeasurable blessing that we have. Saint Paisios, pray for us!



  1. St. Paisios is my favorite saint by far. His Spiritual Counsels are pure gold. Our next child’s middle name will be Paisios too. Thanks for the article.

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