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July 31, 2011

Saint Panteleimon and the Complaining Monk


By Elder Paisios the Athonite

Close to Karyes, there were two Romanians living as ascetics in the same Cell. One of them fell gravely ill at one time and the other, unfortunately, could hardly be bothered to look after him. Thus he kept begging Saint Panteleimon either to cure the invalid quickly, or to take him from this life, in order to be spared the small amount of trouble involved in looking after him.

One day, while he was again begging Saint Panteleimon, the Saint appeared to him and said:

"What are you begging for? You are devoid of virtues. Take care of your brother and you will get a trivial reward from God."

The words of Saint Panteleimon startled the monk. From then on he looked after the invalid with the utmost willingness and asked God to keep him alive for many years, so that he could continue to take care of him in his old age.

From Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters, pp. 147-148.