|The Wondrous Occurrence of Taxiotis the Soldier (Feast Day - March 28)|
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich
Taxiotis was a soldier from Carthage. He spent his entire life in grievous sins, but finally repented, left the military service and lived a God-pleasing life.
While he was with his wife on his estate near the city, he committed adultery with the wife of his farm worker. Afterwards, he was bitten by a snake and died immediately.
Taxiotis was dead for six hours after which he arose. Then, on the fourth day, he spoke and related how and what kind of level of judgment he had passed through until he came to the level of judgment for adultery. There, he fell into the dark abode of demons from which he was led out by an angel who attested on his behalf and was sent back in the flesh to repent for his latest sin.
He repented for forty days, going from church to church, beating his head against the doors and thresholds, always crying and telling of the terrible sufferings which sinners undergo in the other world. He implored men not to sin but to repent for those sins already committed.
On the fortieth day, with rejoicing, Taxiotis took up habitation in the Kingdom of the Merciful God.
HYMN OF PRAISE:
TAXIOTIS THE SOLDIER
TAXIOTIS THE SOLDIER
Throughout all of Carthage, Taxiotis sobbed,
Telling to all, the horrors seen:
The horrors, O brethren, what my soul saw!
O malodorous abyss where my soul descended!
O monsters terrible, and mud and shrieks!
O weeping without tears, wailing and screaming!
Not six hours did I think, but a hundred years,
In the world of Hades, that, an inhabitant I was!
Until a radiant angel, a guarantee for me offered,
Raised and lowered me near Carthage,
That I, he said, in the body be clothed again;
For my latest misdeed, to repent.
When, upon the body, the smelly corpse I gazed,
My strength left me and my joy perished:
This smelly corpse, O, how can I enter?
How, in this loathsome carrion, to be clothed?
O, how, until now, could I have in it remained?
For pleasure, that garbage, my soul to lose?
O, radiant angel, spare me pain,
Force me not, anymore, into that fetid shame!
At my crying out, the angel, angry became:
Who in the body sins, in the body repents!
Thus, sternly he said and, added this:
Either, into the body you will, or into Hades again?
When Hades he mentioned, I fell painfully silent,
Rapidly to the body I approached and into the body crawled.
Forty days for repentance, I have,
And a lesson to all and a warning.
Repent, O brethren, quickly repent,
With your sins into Hades, do not stumble.
Repent quickly, only repent,
Repentance will not be allowed you there.
Taxiotis is relating to you what he, himself, saw
O, fetid abyss, where my soul descended!