On July 28, we commemorate the holy Apostles and Deacons Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas (1st century).
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Eustathius of Ancyra.(c. 316)
On this day we also commemorate the holy Martyr Acakius of Miletus (c. 321); and the consecration of the church of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Quarter of Deaconess.
On this day the holy Martyr Drosis died after she was cast into a crucible of gold.
On this day the devout Paul Xeropotaminos, who founded two Monasteries on Mount Athos, Xeropotamou and Saint Paul’s (which is dedicated to Saint George), and who flourished in the year 820, reposed in peace.
On this day we also commemorate our devout Mother Irene of Cappadocia, who lived in asceticism in the Monastery of Chrysovalantou (912).
The holy New Martyr Christodulus of Cassandra (1777).
Our Father among the Saints Samson of Wales, Bishop of Dol in Brittany (c. 565).
Our Father among the Saints Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov (1698).
“After the demonic storm, there will come a divine sunshine”…
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
“Prophetic visions of Elder Anthony”
Prepared by Tatyana Shvetsova
With every passing year the number of technogenic catastrophes and natural calamities increases alarmingly all over the world. In fact, they have become something of a common occurrence, terrible as it sounds. Still, there is no way one can become used to them, or accept them. It’s a tremendous shock every time…
So it is no wonder that among the Orthodox believers in our country there is an upsurge of truly apocalyptic sentiments, which were further whipped up by the recently published in Ukraine book by Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.” The book became a bestseller here in Russia, filling many people with gloom, causing them to look with great anxiety at today’s reality and referring them yet again to the Apocalypse by St. John the Theologian. In his book Father Alexander describes his encounters with a certain Elder by the name of Anthony. The Lord had endowed this zealot with two prophetic visions, which he, in turn, narrated to the clergyman not long before his own demise.
Since theses prophetic visions concern not only Russia but the entire world, we felt obliged to acquaint you with them. We offer you an excerpt from the aforementioned book by Father Alexander, where Elder Anthony speaks of his visions.
Sometime in the early 1970-ies during the Holy Liturgy I witnessed my first vision…
I see a huge crowd of people, streaming forward as if drawn by some unseen force. While in this constant motion, some people are feasting, some fornicating, others plotting evil against their fellow men. And all this – while they are moving forwards. The people are all very different: there are laymen, clergy, the military, politicians – everyone. A greater part of the people are simply thrusting their way ahead, with no concern for others, while a minor part are moving calmly. An awning abyss lies ahead, leading into Hell. A majority of the people, upon reaching it, are plunged down. Moreover, not only the rich, but the people strained in means also hurtle down into Hell. For they share one common idol – the lusts of the world.
There are others, who do not hurtle down, but descend slowly, only to be lifted up by certain luminous persons, who help them across. While still others calmly cross, or better still – fly across the abyss, their feet not touching the ground. It was fearsome. There was not so much a moaning, as a terrible howling coming from the abyss, coupled with a loathsome fetor. This was more than just a foul smell, but a stench, augmented by feelings of terror and finality. In those years of the seeming Soviet welfare it was hard for me to assess the portent of the vision. Today – it’s quite a different thing…
The second vision was of a different nature…
I was, by grace of God, granted a vision pertaining to something that people had been asking me about. If the first vision could be easily described with more or less accuracy, it is practically impossible to do justice to the second one. So I shall attempt to narrate it in some consistency, and not in the way the vision was offered me .
To make it easier for you to understand the following, let me begin by saying a few words about the creation of the Universe. The Lord created all living things in line with a very specific system, where the actions of even the minutest fragment of the Universe impact the life of the entire Universe. Actions of the unreasonable beasts cannot cause harm to the Universe. They are limited by their instincts and self-regulating attributes of Nature itself in the manner of brakes.
But with Man, created by God in His own similitude – is quite another matter. Not only actions, but the very thoughts of Man impact the surrounding medium, the environment, all the Universe.
It was not the Lord that wiped off the face of the Earth Sodom and Gomorrah but sinful Man. What I imply here is that all tragedies that strike man and Nature are not consequences of the Lord’s wrath, for He is All-Merciful. These tragedies occur as a direct outcome of the detrimental actions of mankind itself, led astray by the wiles of the devils. And now, let me pass over to the actual vision of that which, alas, awaits us all in the not-so-distant future. After all, some of what I saw in the vision is already taking place in the present.
So, this is the vision offered me by God: First of all, all manner of technical glitches. The system of existence created by Man is, in effect, satanical, since it counters all of God’s laws. This is why it will start to fail.
Planes will fall from the skies, ships sink, atomic powers stations and chemical plants will explode. All this will take place on the backdrop of terrible natural calamities, hitting all countries of the world, but America first and foremost. These shall be hurricanes of unheard-of force, earthquakes, scorching droughts and veritable deluges. In fact, it will be hard to find a place on earth not affected by these disasters, where man could find a safe haven. Man’s tranquility will only lie in God’s hands, in his faith in the Lord’s benevolence, since Mother Earth will no longer afford this sanctuary. It is the cities that wrathful Nature will hit the hardest, since they have severed their ties with it completely. Just one destruction of a multi-tier state-of-the-art tower threatens hundreds of souls, buried under the rubble without an opportunity for Holy Communion and penance.
These modern houses, built on piles, piercing the earth like arrows straight down to the Hellfire, will bring people an infernal death under the debris. Those who will survive shall envy those blessed with a quick death, since their fate shall be terrible – a slow torturous death from starvation and suffocation. The towns shall present a truly horrendous sight. Even those that succeed in escaping destruction, deprived of electricity and water supply, heating and food, shall resemble huge stone tombs, for so many people shall be dying there… Gangs of brigands will roam the streets, their crimes going unpunished. Even daytime will bring no peace or safety in the city, while at night people shall form large groups, seeking safety in numbers to survive until dawnbreak. Alas, the sunrise shall not herald a happy new day, but mark the beginning of more sorrows in an attempt to survive another day. You needn’t think that the village, rural areas will be much better off. The fields, poisoned by toxic downpours and riddled by drought will not yield any crops…
Terrible numbers of cattle will fall, and people, unable to bury all the dead beasts, will leave them to lie and rot there, poisoning the air with a dreadful stench of decay. The peasant folk shall undergo raids on them by the townspeople, who will be ready to murder one for a slice of bread! Yes, the very slice of bread that you find unpalatable these days without a topping of sauces and spices, shall provoke people into spilling blood over it.
For the villagers, just as for the town residents, night time will be frought with terrors, since it will bring with it plunder and robbery. While for the rural folk it will be imperative to somehow preserve their farm equipment, for they cannot do any work without it and are sure of a death from starvation. Just as in the cities, not only food, property, but people themselves shall become the hunted. Cannibalism shall become a common phenomenon. All laws of morality will be trampled underfoot. The very existence of humanity and its essence shall be directed towards a rejection of the Lord’s Providence and His Grace. While the Commandments, given people by the Lord, are nothing else but a road to a tranquil and happy life in peace and harmony with Him. All the rest, violating the Commandments, is detrimental to the world and all existing in it and depending on it.
Everything begins with the minor things: licentious dress and morals, a joint instruction of boys and girls, and not under the guidance of a man of the church, but a secular individual. It is out of these minor things that the great terrible ones stem. Many times Satan attempted to render moral degradation universal, pandemic, yet invariably came up against the formidable denunciation of the Church. For the spirits of darkness this is what they fear the most – denunciation. For it is when the light of Truth is extinguished that the evil, devilish instigations are the most potent. The world is obscured by the gloom of overabundance of a dozen so-called ‘developed’ countries, which the enemy of mankind has chosen to be instrumental in stupefying the whole world. The principal shock weapon here is the slogan of Freedom! So much blood has been spilt in all the revolutions and coups, social and pseudo-religious manifestations, political and mystical strife – all laid at the altar of the demon of freedom!Yes, the one who rebelled against God, and was thrown down, the vermin that attempted to appropriate the Lord’s place – he is the principle seeker of ‘freedom’! His freedom is not the ability granted Man by the Lord to seek perfection in virtue. His ‘freedom’ is a yoke, whereby man is deprived of the chance to choose between good and evil, leaving him but the possibility to march straight into Hell. This is the freedom that shall reign. I saw the great lengths the universal evil is prepared to go to in a bid to malign the Holy Church, the immaculate Body of Christ! First of all, they shall sling abuse at it in all the papers, on radio and television. The Orthodox Church and Orthodox Christians shall be scoffed and ridiculed, as will be their rites, fasts, the Christian way of life – everything that was always the mainstay of the people’s vitality. Thousands and thousands of destroyers of Orthodoxy shall be infiltrated into the Church itself, among the clergy. Despite an overall outward piety, their spirit will be alien, anti-Christian, and the people shall turn away from the churches where these representatives of the clergy are predominant. So the resurrected, or newly-built churches shall stand empty. However, the light of true sanctity shall continue to flicker in some places. He who seeks shall find… Nobody shall be able to exonerate oneself saying: “Lord, I sought yet did not find!” Amidst the gloom of total lack of Faith and godlessness, lights of Truth flickers all across the land.
Yet, the true clergy shall be persecuted and hounded, and subjected to all manner of disparagement. The demon’s henchmen shall not stop short of murder, if the Lord sees it fit for the pious to accept the halo of a martyr. There shall be many of them, pious martyrs of this time! One of the freedoms that the demon’s henchmen attempt to inculcate in people at any cost is the freedom of moral licentiousness. Alas, people have already accepted it, and made it an inalienable part of contemporary life. Fornication is no longer branded as such, but perceived as sexual freedom. Depravation sets in at an early age in the guise of education in sexual culture and behavior of the sexes. Children are shown naked bodies, the sexual act – all in a bid to fire lustful passions, which they refer to as natural instincts. The press and television are inundated with naked bodies and terrible scenes of fornication. The nakedness in today’s dress is only the beginning. The final aim is much, much more horrible – the feast of Astarte and Baal, where hundreds and hundreds of heathens fornicated, stupefied with alcohol and drugs. That is where the proponents of sexual freedom drag humanity – to worship the demons of fornication. One is a slave to the one who vanquishes one, and people are enticed into this giftwrapped slavery…
However, even the common sin of fornication is not enough for the demons’ retainers: sodomy and pederasty shall be dished out as ultimate manifestations of freedom. The propaganda of these disgusting sins will gather incredible force – almost stronger than sexual licentiousness! Incidents of homosexual marriages shall receive as much éclat as the discovery of antibiotics in its time! Sodomy will be markedly spreading: initially among the artists and politicians. The sin of sodomy will become a label of the future. Already now licentious debaucheries are held under the guise of annual carnivals of homosexuals in America! All this will become a part of the Russian scene, too, in no less an ugly manifestation.
All who resist these ugly demonic onslaughts will be branded as impinging on another’s freedom, as grossly ignorant or even enemies of the state and its interests, since all states shall regard a protection of the demonic freedoms, rather than moral values, as their ultimate goal. Indeed, they are demonic, for even today you will not encounter an Orthodox article anywhere but in a church publication. What rubbish is written and said! Yet, there is no opposition of views, different outlooks on life. So much for freedom when one is only allowed to sling mud at holiness and purity! All else is taboo. All this started with minor things, a long time ago. It started long before the [1917 Bolshevik] revolution, when parish schools were transferred under secular authority. And so the Godless set off there to teach and thus train cadres for the revolutions of 1917! I was blessed with a vision of how youth, under the powerful spell of satan due to multitudinous sins, and intoxicated by drink and drugs, is helpless before the ultimate summons of Hell and will be driven to commit suicide! There shall be a disastrous upsurge in the number of suicides. So much so, that such an end will no longer surprise others. It will become almost the norm, as a matter of course…
All the more so since the number of people struck down by horrible diseases, transmitted sexually, will be so great, and the sufferings of the victims so terrible, that society shall come to accept suicide as ultimately a respite, an act of mercy. Authorities will go so far as to even incite people to it! Everything will be aimed at destroying the souls of the strayed.
Another dreadful demonic trap will be inducing people to increment their earnings, seek wealth as an ultimate goal in life. The very passion of covetousness is in itself harmful, as all things inordinate. And inordinacy leads to destruction of nature.
The second part of this trap lies in the manner of applying this wealth.
What is today’s money? A ghost, an illusion, like all of the devil’s ‘miracles’. A greater part of the money is kept in banks or in stocks and bonds. These banks shall go bust, and people will be brought to their knees! This might happen in a blink of an eye. There have already been numerous successful ‘rehearsals’ of this. And industry shall grind to a halt due to natural calamities and wars. So, what will man be left with? With a mass of useless things, on the accumulation of which he spent years of his life. Now he sees that their value is quite relative, even in the safe and happy world, and certainly they are worth nothing in a world of catastrophe and disaster. Now, imagine that the power and water supply have been cut off, there is no heating… One will readily give all he has for a saw, an axe, a stove… While a precious few possess these things out of a hundred or so… I know I have frightened you beyond measure with my narratives. But believe me, it is much more terrifying to see it all! What I saw is more ugly and disgusting than I could ever describe to you in words. However, I cannot tell all, for I must not instill depression and despondency in the present with my visions of the future.”
This was an excerpt from a book by Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.” We hope that our narrative will not let you fall into despondency, but instead, will inspire you to be ever more zealous in fulfilling the Lord’s Commandments, for there lies the road to Salvation, as promised by the Lord to all faithful Christians.
Excerpts from Orthodox clergyman Alexander Krasnov’s book, “Spiritual Conversations and Edifications of Elder Anthony.”
Copyright © 2004 The Voice of Russia
St. Paisios the Athonite
Let us not expect the spiritual spring if we don’t first pass through the spiritual winter during which the spiritual vermin die. We mustn’t expect the divine to blossom within us if the human hasn’t first died.
We should know that there are not only natural laws but also spiritual. Therefore the future wrath of God cannot be confronted by cooperating with sinners (because we would receive a double wrath), but by repentance and obedience to the Lord’s commandments.”
We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. A lot of ash, rubbish, and indifference has accumulated, and a strong wind will be needed to blow it all away.
It’s frightening! The Tower of Babel is upon us! Divine intervention is needed: Great upheavals are happening. What a bedlam! The minds of whole nations are in confusion. But in spite of the ferment I feel a certain consolation inside, a certain confidence. God still dwells in a part of the Christians. God’s people, people of prayer, still remain, and God in his all-goodness still tolerates us and will put everything in order. Don’t be afraid! We’ve gone through many storms, and still haven’t perished. So should we be afraid of the storm which is now gathering? We’ll not perish this time either!
God loves us. In Man there’s a hidden power which comes out when necessary. The difficult years will be few. Just a lot of thunder. Don’t get upset in the least, for God is above everything.
Difficult times are ahead. Great trials await us. Christians will suffer great persecutions. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that people don’t understand that we’re on the verge of the end times, that the seal of the Antichrist is becoming a reality. As if nothing’s happening. That’s why Holy Scripture says that even the chosen will be deceived.Apolytikion of the Apostles — Tone 3
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Troparion of the Apostles — Tone 4
Holy companions of the Apostles of Christ,/ God chose you as ministers of His flock,/ O Prochoros preacher of things divine,/ holy Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas./ Intercede with Christ our God that we may be granted the forgiveness of our sins.
Apolytikion of St Irene of Cappadocia — Plagal Tone 1
Not a temporal kingdom on earth didst thou obtain, but Christ, thy most comely Bridegroom, vouchsafed thee heavenly crowns, and thou reignest as a queen with Him eternally; for thou didst dedicate thyself unto Him with all thy soul, O Irene, our righteous Mother, thou boast of Chrysovalantou, and mighty help of all the Orthodox.
Troparion of the holy hierarch Pitirim, Bishop of Tambov, in Tone IV —
Teacher of faith and piety, beacon of the Church, example for monastics, O most wise and holy hierarch Pitirim: Piously hast thou tended thy flock and led it to Christ. Wherefore, though adorned in the highest with a crown of glory, thou dost abide with us on earth in spirit, radiating miracles. Entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.
Troparion of the Smolensk Icon of Our All-holy Mistress, the Theotokos, in Tone IV —
We shall never cease to speak of thy power, unworthy though we are, O Theotokos; for if thou hadst not interceded , who would have delivered us from so many misfortunes? Who would have kept us free until this day? We shall never depart from thee, O Mistress, for thou ever savest thy servants from all evils.