At Sihastria Monastery in the mountains of northern Romania, Elder Cleopa (1912-1998) tended sheep for many years as a young monastic, spending his days in prayer and spiritual contemplation. Then, at the age of twenty-nine, he was unexpectedly chosen to be the new superior of the monastery. Elder Cleopa quickly demonstrated his skill in directing people in the spiritual life. He instructed both monastics and lay people in the practice of the Jesus Prayer and in the cultivation of interior silence. After being arrested and threatened by the communist secret police, Elder Cleopa departed to the wilderness, where he spent a total of ten years in unceasing prayer. Eventually he returned to Sihastria Monaster where, for the next thirty years, he daily received hundreds of visitors flocking to him for spiritual guidance. Endowed by God with spiritual insight, he would patiently and wisely guide them into closer communion with God. At the time of his death, he was spiritual father to all of Romania.