From these private talks to the monastery, a selection appears in English in Words of Life. The present book is a larger collection of extracts from talks given in either Russian or French. The choice of texts to translate was made with the criterion that they are applicable outside the monastery itself, and furthermore that they are applicable for lay people living ‘in the world’.
Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov founded in 1959 a monastic community in Essex. He was already 62 years old and in poor health. Unexpectedly, God preserved his life until 1993, and he was able to depart leaving the monastery established on solid foundations. Part of his legacy to his community is a series of talks he gave during the last decade of his life. These talks were destined primarily for those new to monastic life. With considerable reluctance he acceded to our wish to record and transcribe some of his words for posterity.
About the author
Saint Sophrony, started his monastic life on Mount Athos. His acquaintance with Saint Silouan became the landmark of his life. He lived as a cenobitic monk at St Panteleimon’s monastery and later as a hermit in the caves of Karoulia. After twenty years on the Holy Mountain, he travelled to Paris for medical treatment, where he served as a parish priest. In 1959, he founded our monastery in Essex, England, where he served as the abbot and spiritual father. Towards the end of his life he withdrew to live once more as a recluse.