In this video, Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol [Cyprus] reveals to us a vision of Father Ephraim of Arizona. Father Ephraim of Arizona moved to the eternal Kingdom on December 7th, 2019, after a lifetime of service to the Orthodox Church.
“He was in the jungle, holding a small child in his arms… and the wild beasts were following him closely…”
Related by of Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol [Cyprus] on December 8th, 2019
When I went to Arizona, he (Fr. Ephraim) told me: “I want to tell you what I experienced when I came to America.”
And then I asked him, “Father, how did you succeed, from the Holy Mountain, an hesychast, without worldly knowledge (he lived in the hermitage since he was 18) to live in America, with the specifics of these places?”
And he told me: “I really encountered many temptations, many dangers. They wanted to kill me. They were trying to destroy me… on a physical level and on a spiritual one as well… Many dangers, many temptations and many sorrows… And many troubles…
Many times I wondered myself: Did I do a good thing by coming here? And what can I do, a simple and humble monk, on a continent with so many problems, so many difficulties and so many weirdnesses?
So… as he prayed, being troubled, he saw himself in a jungle, with all the specifics of the jungle! And it was full of wild beasts!
And he was in the jungle, holding a small child in his arms… and the wild beasts were following him… wildly trying to tear his body to pieces.
And he runs, he runs, he runs in that jungle, and the beasts were following him. But then he understood that they wanted to rip the baby apart, the baby which he held in his arms.
So, running, he was in great trouble and great fear!
He reached a difficult path, with very narrow edges, And it was only a hollow through which he could get out. And the beasts, from right to left, were trying to tear him and the baby to pieces. And struggling to get out from that narrow path, a great dragon, a snake, came out before him, ready to swallow him!
When he saw that he had no escape and he was ready to be torn by the dragon, shouted: “My Holy Mother!”
After he called the Mother of God, he heard the voice of the Theotokos, who spoke, saying, “Michael!”
And by saying “Michael”, Michael the Archangel showed up before him, and fought with that dragon, and hit him hard and the dragon disappeared and everything returned to calm.
When the peace came back, the Father being troubled, said: “What does this vision mean?” And he prayed to God, saying: What does this vision mean, O Lord? This terrible and indescribable vision that I saw… That disturbing vision…
And God said unto him, “This will be your life: full of persecutions, sadness and dangers, bodily and spiritual dangers!”
And the Father asked: “And the baby? What does it mean?”
And God answers him: “The baby is your soul! You have to save your soul no matter how many obstacles you will face!”
The Father came to his senses and he understood that this was his mission! And he had great trials…
Let me just mention something from Arizona…
He lived in a desert in which no man had ever lived since the creation of the earth.
As it is stated by scientists and researchers, no man has ever lived in that desert!
An endless desert, full of cactuses, snakes with bells and tigers… Wild beasts! Nobody lived there!
When Father Ephraim was passing by plane on his way to Phoenix, to hear confessions, saw the desert from above, from the plane’s window.
And God told him that: “This is where I want you to build a monastery!” And he saw St. Anthony the Great who said to him: “Here I want you to build a monastery!”
But how to build a monastery in the desert of Arizona?
He went there by car, being accompanied by three other cars and the local Metropolitan. The Father said nothing to anyone. He just said, “Let’s go through the desert, to see a town…” “Father, in the desert? The road is difficult and dangerous!” He said, “It doesn’t matter, let’s see it!”
Passing through the desert, by the place where the monastery is now, they all heard bells!
Bells like in Mount Athos ringing in the desert! All three-four cars stopped! They got down and said to each another:
“Do you hear the bells?”
The Metropolitan heard the bells, and so the Father, and the fathers and those who accompanied them.
And they built the first monastery of St. Anthony the Great, in which Father Ephraim fell asleep today [December 7th, 2019].