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History of the Monastery

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Raising the Brown Cross at the Monastery

Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Monastery is one of the seventeen monasteries in the United States and Canada under the spiritual guidance of Elder Ephraim. At the age of 19 he became a spiritual son of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, also known as the Cave-dweller. Elder Joseph is a well-known ascetic from Mt. Athos in Greece, and is also one of the most recent saints of our century.

The Elder Ephraim is now in his mid-seventies and a priest-monk for over fifty years. His spiritual children number into the tens of thousands from all around the world, including lay people, monastics, and priests. He is also the spiritual supervisor of four monasteries in Mt. Athos and eight women's monasteries throughout Greece.

His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, Heirarch for the Metropolis of Chicago, fulfilled and blessed the requests of local pious Orthodox Christians for the establishment of a men's monastery in the area of Illinois and Wisconsin. In the fall of 1998, after many efforts and a long search, this beautiful land was chosen to be a monastery commemorating the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. One priest-monk and two monks were assigned from St. Anthony's Monastery, which is in the desert of Arizona, to come here to start the monastery.

Here in McHenry County the community is very friendly, and during the zoning proceedings there was a unanimous decision in favor of the Monastery. We are very obligated and thankful to everyone who has helped and is helping the Monastery in any way that they can, and we wish from our hearts that the Lord may bless them all.

Metropolitan Iakovos of the Diocese of Chicago Nun Theophano and Mother Makrina Elder Joseph of the Holy Mountain Elder Ephraim of the Holy Mountain