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Mount Athos, Saint Joseph of Hesychast

Marie Anne Torres

Saturday, June 24, 2023

“Mount Athos, St. Joseph Hesychast” is the type of movie you watch and immediately want to share with all of your friends. The film shares the life of St. Joseph Hesychast, from his boyhood to his days as a holy Monk on Mount Athos in Greece.
The documentary boasts stunning landscapes and authentic-looking reenactments. This might be enough to reel in some watchers, but it is not the highlight of the film. What stands out as the most beautiful aspect of the film, despite the breathtaking backdrop of the mountains, is the spirituality of St. Joseph Hesychast himself. A spirituality that is revealed to us through this film, as a book opens up before you and shares precious and sacred text. His spirituality, lived out “high up and in the mountains,” becomes accessible to us, revealed on screen, and tangible in a way. 
This is the greatest gift of the movie: his interiority is made known to us with care and detail, almost relatably, despite his great sainthood. The film is honest and raw, in a way that invites you to journey with him, to take up your walking stick and follow right behind him as he ascends.  
During the course of it all, you become a close witness to his joys, his searching, his supplications, his trials, his temptations, and his consolations. Most of all, you witness his perseverance in prayer and his desire to have nothing and no one in his heart but Christ. Periodically, you feel that St. Joseph Hesychast looks back at you and checks on you, as if to say, “Come with me, I’ll show you the way.”
This is the beauty of this film. Through its precious minutes we are offered a step by step guide to sainthood, a roadmap to imitate, from someone who has paved the way before us. We are offered roadmap to ascend ourselves, no matter what our state of life. 
Together, we can imitate St. Joseph Hesychast in prayer, chastity, resolve, and desire only to be united with Christ. We can climb the mountain too.
This must-watch film airs Sunday June 25 at 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT on Salt + Light TV.  You can watch the trailer here:

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