December 7th 2019, the much-beloved Elder Ephraim of Arizona reposed in the Lord after being ill for many years. According to reports, Elder Ephraim was aware of his impending death some days before, and despite this he would still daily go out and give his blessing to the people. His personal doctor told him to not go out Saturday evening, the day of his repose, to bless the people. Elder Ephraim was lucid on the day of his repose and partook of the Immaculate Mysteries. Then at 9:00pm (Mountain Standard Time), as he was upright occupied with something, he suddenly tilted slightly to the side and died. Nurses found him practically upright, having delivered his spirit to the Lord.
Elder Ephraim, also known as Ioannis Moraitis, was born on June 24,
1928, in Volos, Greece. He spent his childhood in poverty helping his
father with his work, but he always followed the example of his mother
(who later became a nun and bore the name “Theophano”).
At the age of 14, he decided to follow a monastic path, but his
spiritual father did not give him the blessing to go to Mount Athos
until he was 19 years old. Upon his arrival at Mount Athos on September
26, 1947, he went straight to Elder Joseph the Hesychast in the
Monastery of Timios Prodromos (Saint John the Forerunner), who accepted
him into his brotherhood. Nine months later, in 1948, he received the
In 1973, the brotherhood moved to the Holy Monastery of Philotheou
where Elder Ephraim became abbot. Thanks to his good reputation, the
monastic brotherhood grew rapidly.
In 1979, he went to Canada due to health issues. Along with his
medical examinations, he was preaching the Greek population and hearing
their confessions. Then, he wanted to establish a monastery in America,
so that the Greek population would have their own spiritual place.
He established 19 monasteries in North America, 17 in the US and 2 in
Canada, both for men and women, which are subject to the Greek Orthodox
Archdioceses of America and Canada. Elder Ephraim lived in St.
Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona, not too far away from Phoenix and the
town of Florence.
sources and gratitude to: orthochristian.com, orthodoxtimes.com