Equal of the Apostles and Emperor St. Constantine the Great with his Mother Helen
Commemorated on May 21
The Vision of St. Paisios of St. Constantine the Great
St. Constantine the Great, the first King of the Christians, who descended from heaven, being sent by God, and told St. Paisios the Great: ‘Blessed are you who have been made worthy of the monastic life, for truly unique is the godly blessing of the Savior towards you.’
‘I am Constantine the Great, and I descended from the heavens, that I might reveal to you the glory which Monks receive in the heavens, and the closeness and boldness which they have towards Christ. And I magnify you, O Paisios, for you guide them in this holy path of asceticism. I therefore blame and condemn myself, for not being granted this greatest rank of the Monastics, and I cannot bear the loss which I experienced.’
“And St. Paisios said: ‘Why, O wondrous one, do you judge yourself? Have you not received that eternal glory, and divine illumination?’ He replied to him: ‘Yes, I have received them, but I do not have that boldness of the Monks, neither glory equal to theirs, for I saw the souls of some Monks who had been separated from the body, and flew as eagles, and with great daring rise to the heavens. And the rank of demons did not dare approach them at all. Then I saw that the gates of heaven were opened for them, and they entered in, and appeared before the heavenly King, standing with great boldness before the throne of God. For this reason, therefore, I am amazed by you Monks, and I bless you, and I condemn myself for not being made worthy of boldness life this. For I wish that I could have left my passing kingdom, and the royal robe and crown, and to become poor, and to wear sackcloth, and to accept all those things that the monastic life seeks.’
This event is taken from the full life of St. Paisios published in the “Neon Eklogion” ( “Νέον Εκλόγιον”), which is a compendium of numerous full lives of Saints.