SOUROTI, Greece (AP) -- Thousands of faithful have made the pilgrimage to the monastery of St. John the Evangelist in a small town in northern Greece to visit the grave of the Orthodox Church's latest saint, Saint Paisios.
Revered among the faithful as a wise man and a prophet, he was canonized last Tuesday by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate bishops in Istanbul, Turkey, just over 20 years after his death, on July 12, 1974, at the age of 70.
The faithful who flocked to the monastery Sunday in Souroti, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Thessaloniki, came from across the Balkans.
The pilgrimage and liturgy were the culmination of five nights of continuous prayers in this women's monastery, which St. Paisios helped found in 1967 and in which he spent the final months of his life. The nuns are going to publish an official biography, as well as a multi-volume collection of his saying and alleged prophecies.
"Saint Paisios spent two years with us (at St. Catherine's) ... We are praying for God's and St. Paisios' enlightenment, so that Greece may be saved," he said.
"He was a perfect human being ... I saw him every few weeks. He listened a lot to people and he answered to whatever concerns and worries they had."