Life of Grand Elder of Athos Archimandrite Gregory Zumis

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Archimandrite Gregory (Zumis), hegumen of the monastery of Dokhiar Holy Mountain Athos, passed away in the age of 76
19:00, 24 October 2018

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On October 22, 2018, Grand Elder of Athos Archimandrite Gregory (Zumis), hegumen of the monastery of Dokhiar Holy Mountain Athos, passed away in the age of 76. In recent years, he humbly endured the pangs of a severe incurable disease.

Archimandrite Gregory (Zumis) was born in Paros and was a close relative of the famous Athos Elder Joseph the Hesychast.

He has spent 65 years of his life in a monastery. He began his monastic way under the leadership of two ascetics of piety, the elders: Philotheos (Zervakos) and Amphilochius (Makris) of Patmos.

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January 1, 1967, he took his vows from Elder Amphilochius and worked in the monastery under his guidance. After the death of the Elder Amphilochius in 1970, Gregory with some other monks was forced to go to a monastery in the central part of Greece, then to the monastery of the Prussian Icon of the Mother of God in Karpenisi.

Soon he and several brothers have been invited to Dohiar Monastery on Athos. Just after the arrival, Gregory was chosen an abbot.  Archimandrite Gregory was strict and benevolent at the same time. Despite suffering severe health problems, he almost daily climbed into the mountains (up to a kilometer high) to monitor the work on the restoration of ancient ruined temples. Despite his great authority, the old man wore old clothes and was very open. Being an archimandrite, he presented himself as a hieromonk. He asked people to pray for the "robber Gregory." 


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Gregory (Zumis) was quite famous outside the Holy Mountain. The believers from all over the world came to hear the wise words of the Elder in his conversations with Heronda, listening to the speech of the translator, they could know the stories about monastic exploits, suffering, oppressed, and those lost in passions.

The archimandrite criticized the Greek authorities, condemning them for taxing monasteries.

Archimandrite Gregory is the author of The People of the Church I Knew book. It follows the patericus tradition and contains a lot of his basic life wisdom.

Here are a few fragments of Gregory’s (Zumis) works, in which he writes about modern theology, borrowed from the West and getting out of this situation.

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On the Greek rulers

Evil rulers, please, leave Greece alone. Do not stifle a centuries-old heritage. Do not expect to endure thanks to tourism.

Our fathers, who ate bread, onions, and bitter olives, did great things and established our little state.

You still do not understand that the enemies of Greece are keeping you in power to destroy Greece? We treat you as a scarecrow. The only thing you do is set taxes and drink workers’ blood and sweat...

Greek land, how do survive? How haven’t you swallowed them yet? My heart is always worried about it.

Dear Lord, destroy them to the seventh generation so that no one will remember those who have cast down and trampled everything under their feet. 

On the state of the Church and modern theology

We can only mourn the new dogmatic teachings and the so-called meta-patristic (post-theological) theology.

Who are the "new fathers of the Church?" You mean those dressed in expensive clothes, gorged and drunk? Who never ate breadcrumbs in their lives, but ate only fresh bread from the bakeries, not from the desert?

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That is why, while reading their theological works, the human mind is not enlightened, but darkened, the heart does not expand, but shrinks, as if you suddenly occurred on the edge of an abyss and looked into the abyss.

We have been addressing the heritage of the holy Fathers and sought to bring it to the people until now.

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Today, any theological book is full of references to the godless, rationalistic, and scholastic West. We have mixed celestial truths with Western inventions of a dimmed mind and barren heart.

On solving the current situation

Who can save the world and bring it out of this confusion? We have built the tower of Babel, in which the voice of the Church is not heard, and therefore we cannot find a common language with each other. May the Holy Spirit come to us.

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We need the people who are looking for the Kingdom of Heaven within themselves.

For many years now, the Church has completely thoughtlessly borrowed Western rags to sew from them the “miraculous chiton of Christ.” Taking into consideration the Western theology, it will not be possible to create even a patched blanket ...


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We have a great need to save the land of our fathers and the moral ideals handed down from generation to generation. May God grant us to remain Greeks and Orthodox, and we will have no need either to have the East or Europe.

Church, hold your reins tightly. Do not be afraid: your hands would be worn down to the blood, but you will do good.

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