A Message – Told to a Pilgrim to the Caucasus


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We know you do not believe in Religion

In August, 1928, Hieromonk Dionysius told the following story to a pilgrim to the Caucasus: “Quite recently in the town I come from there was a priest, a difficult man. He liked cards, drank a good deal and was rude towards his parishioners. Punishments from the church authorities were in vain. In the beginning of the new regime he was summoned by the authorities of the government and told: ‘We know you do not believe in religion and that your children are studying at our universities. It will be better for you and for them if you give up deceiving the people, leave the priesthood and work with us for the welfare of the people. You can make speeches in the factories against religion. Think it over. You know that we do not joke, but think also of your children!’ Father Nicholas was so frightened that he gave up drinking. But he was not able to reject this satanic temptation. He left the priesthood. Time passed, and gradually his conscience awoke; he could not look his former parishioners in the face. Then he had a dream in which he was surrounded by utter darkness and he saw no possibility of going in any direction at all, but he had the urge to go somewhere. Then he heard someone weeping, but he could not move his head to see who it was. Suddenly he knew it was the voice of his mother weeping over his lost soul. He was ready to weep with her as he had done as a child, but he was unable to move. When he awoke his pillow was wet with tears, whose we cannot say. He used to say of himself that it was impossible for him to weep. He dressed as quickly as he could and ran to his former church which was at that time not yet closed. He ran to the altar steps. The frightened people thought he had come to close the church. But he crossed himself and turned to the people:

  prayer

  Pray to God that He raise my soul to new Life

“‘Orthodox Christians! The Lord has said: ‘Fear not those who kill the body, but fear those who kill the soul.’ These people have killed my soul and left my body. I beg you: pray to God that He raise my soul to new life. Judas, after having betrayed his Lord, went out and hanged himself. After having betrayed my Saviour, I pray that He will give me strength to suffer for Him. I can no longer lead the life I have led till now. Forgive me!’

“Then he left the church. Of course, in the evening he was arrested. A week later his parishioners met in the church and prayed for the servant of God, the martyr Nicholas. You see how God helped a human soul to rise above despondency and attain great glory, and clad in garments whiter than snow, to celebrate victory over evil. Have strong faith, for without God’s will not a single hair can fall from the head of any man. Remember that God will never give you a cross beyond your strength… Always pray to the Holy Virgin: ‘Most Holy Virgin, I commit to thee my body, soul and spirit.'”

(Source: “In the Caucasus Mountains: a visit to New Athos”, Orthodox Life, early 1950s)

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3 thoughts on “A Message – Told to a Pilgrim to the Caucasus

  1. But he crossed himself and turned to the people:
    “‘Orthodox Christians! The Lord has said: ‘Fear not those who kill the body, but fear those who kill the soul.’

    This is extreemely urgent \ topical today as never before probably!
    And not only for Orthodox Christians, but for all ppl.

      1. More interesting is that damaged souls are like disease. Contagious one disease which can lead to epidemic among ppl.

        The same time it also means that they can be cured.
        Exist a lot of ways.
        For example such one is pretty popular in countries if former USSR and particulary Russia:

        😀

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