The Monk Who Got Married



“A monk in a Romanian village got rid of his monastic ‘habit’ (ie. Orthodox monastic clothing), left his monastery and got married. He became a father, many years passed by, and eventually the time of his repose came. His family and relatives washed his body, clothed him, said prayers, made all necessary arrangements at the graveyard and the church, and made an appointment with the local priest to come at their home and read the service of the funeral. When the priest arrived at the appointed time, he found the house empty. Nobody was there. He went upstairs and found the dead person all alone. The priest was wondering what had happened. Suddenly he heard heavy footsteps at the stairway. He turned and saw a huge bear. The bear spoke to him and said: “Why did you come here? So that you will say prayers about him? This man was a monk who renounced his monastic schema. No matter how many prayers you will say about him, this one is mine.” At these words, the bear took the body of the dead man and disappeared! Then the priest’s eyes were opened and he saw all the people in the room, around the dead man, crying over him. The priest was in shock. When he recovered after some time, he asked the people around him to take him back home, and he did not stay to read the funeral service. Back at his home, he told everything to his matushka and asked her permission to go to Mount Athos and become a monk. He lived the rest of his life there with asceticism and profound repentance.”


* A true story told by another Romanian Hieromonk, + Papa Methodios Karyotis (Koutloumousianon Kellion Agion Theodoron, Mount Athos) (1905-1979). Papa Methodios met in person the Romanian priest who was called to do the funeral service for “the monk who got married” but could not after the vision he saw at his corpse, and became himself a hieromonk at Mount Athos;  he heard the story from his lips.


Source: From the Ascetic and Hesychastic Tradition of Mount Athos,

A collection of stories by the Monastery of St John the Forerunner, pp134-136.

The author(s) of this book chose out of humility to remain anonymous, but ‘rumour’ has it that  this collection of brief true stories is a joint authorship by St. Paisios of Mount Athos, Elder Euphemios, Karoulia, and Elder Gregorios, the spiritual father of the Monastery of St John the Forerunner, and St. Paisios’ spiritual child and tonsure.

10 comments on “The Monk Who Got Married

  1. mgvt says:

    Please put it in youtube, we will share it, it will be more convenient


  2. Panayiota says:

    Hi little city hermit! Your story was very interesting(The Monk Who Got Married). Can you tell me if and how I can get hold of the book as I was unable to find it.


    • Dear Panayiota, So far I have only been successful in tracing the Greek edition, Από την Ασκητική και Ησυχαστική Αγιορείτικη Παραδοση, Αγιος Ορος 2011, σσ 134-136. Sadly, I know a number of monks (and nuns, but more so men), who have renounced their schema and got married, made family, etc. May Our Lord show Mercy on them and us. Recently, I also came across a passage by Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos pointing out very soberingly to a group of postulants and novices that this is a very serious decision and there is no way taking it back; “in the Church, a priest may be defrocked and return back to lay status, but once a monk or a nun, always so, under any circumstances; it cannot be reversed”. Hope that has been of any help to you. This book is a collection of amazing, truly amazing, real stories. God bless.


      • anchoritelady says:

        I am not sure when you mention being defrocked one returns to laity, if this is in reference to the RC Church, when one is defrocked, it just means they no longer can say Mass or hear Confessions or wear religious garb. The ordination however always stays with them – this cannot be reversed or taken away – because it is a sacrament. So what is lost is much of course, however it is the priest”hood” that is gone, but not the priest. Is this what you were referring to?


      • Dear anchoritelady, whatever I am referring to in this, and in all posts, is always in reference to the Orthodox church, not the RC Church. I will have to ask this question to someone who knows better the theology of ordination. Hopefully, within a day or two, I should be able to come back with a clearer answer. Your prayers


      • anchoritelady says:

        Dear City Hermit: Thankyou for your response and taking time to search more into the topic of Ordination. I believe Ordination leaves an indelible mark, so while one leaves the priesthood, he does not remove the indelible mark. God bless…..


      • Panayiota says:

        Thankyou very much little city hermit! I’ll have to learn greek Thankyou very much! 🙏God bless you all.


  3. anchoritelady says:

    What an inspiring and true story! I am particularly interested in how Matushka gave her blessing for the Priest to leave and become a Monk…..and I am surprised Mt Athos took him in under those circumstances. We just don’t know what the Lord has in store for us! God bless….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear anchoritelady, all such stories I have heard are so ‘bizarre’ in their details, and yes, God’s ‘imagination’ and the ‘reality’ of our lives is so much more fascinating than any Holywood script or Booker prize. Your prayers

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s