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.

Paisios, a monk who spent most of his life in the nearby Mount Athos monastic community, was essentially made a saint by popular acclamation.

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.