Spiritual Treasure in Filthy Rags

Nun Macaria Spiritual Treasure in Filthy Rags: An Introduction to the Paisian Tradition through the Optina Elders Theosis Books, 2016


“This little book introduces the reader to the Paisian tradition from his time through to the lives of the Optina Elders, giving a brief history of how this spiritual transmission developed from the labors and spiritual hunger of St. Paisius Velichkovsky on Mount Athos to his disciples in the Roslavl forests in Russia to the Optina Monastery which over the course of 100 years produced a series of fourteen charismatic elders. This is the tradition that gives us the Philokalia, The Kollyvades Fathers, and the spiritual renewals of Greece and Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries.”


Paisius Velichkovsky (1722-1794), also Paisius of Neamt, led the renaissance in Orthodox monasticism in the late eighteenth century, helping the Church recover from the decline in monastic life and spirituality caused by the troubles and conflicts of the previous centuries. His effort was centered on the spirituality of the hesychastic tradition, which was expressed in the popularity of counseling by starets (elders) in nineteenth-century Russia.

For Paisius, see:




Schemamonk Metrophanes and Fr. Seraphim Rose Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky: The Man Behind the Philokalia Saint Herman Press, 2nd revised edition, 1994

John A. McGuckin “The Life and Mission of St Paisius Velichkovsky 1722-1794. An Early Modern Master of The Orthodox Spiritual Life” Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality Volume 9, Number 2, Fall 2009, pp. 157-173 Available on-line at: http://stpaisiusmonastery.org/about-the-monastery/life-of-st-paisius/the-life-and-mission-of-st-paisius-velichkovsky-1722-1794/




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