Letters to His Family

The book consists of letters Archimandrite Sophrony wrote to his family in Moscow between 1958 and 1986, addressed in particular to his sisters Maria and Alexandra, as well as a talk recorded there in 1975. The talk and letters are rich in historical interests and in spiritual teaching, as well as providing insight into Archimandrite’s Sophrony’s life and his understanding of the state of mankind in the modern era.


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‘Once again, I am writing to you without any sequence. But that is the way it usually goes. Besides, letters are not literature for future generations. And actually in a certain sense it can even be better – more straightforward.’

‘I think I have already told you in another letter that if we live our state only as our own, our soul is impoverished… Our task, set before us by the Gospel, is to become universal persons, to bear in ourselves all the cosmos, to live in our life all the depth of the world’s history, and above all of man. For all humanity is “I” and all history is my life.’

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 two 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.

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Letters to His Family
Letters to His Family
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