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November 22, 2013

Saint Paisius Velichkovsky: A Great Hesychast Father (6 of 8)

Continued from part five...

5. His Venerable End

The end of such a Saint was worthy of his life. Throughout his life he lived in hesychastic quietude and noetic prayer, and in such also did his life have to end and pass on to eternity.

According to the testimony of his biographer Metrophanes: "Several days earlier he received notification from the Lord regarding his death, for which he stopped the translation of patristic works." He visited his cell and saw him "extremely happy". He asked him "four difficult theological questions" for which he received good responses. When he left the cell, then the brother that served the Saint "locked the door and did not allow anyone to enter. The next day he fell ill. Then it was not allowed for anyone to even knock on the door, to worsen his situation."

He suffered three days and on Sunday felt better and went to the Divine Liturgy. With much difficulty he returned to his cell. "From then his illness worsened and no one was allowed to visit him. The blessed one desired to complete his life in quietude."

"When the end was near he communed of the Immaculate Mysteries, and after inviting two spiritual fathers, through whom he transferred to all the brethren blessings and peace, he departed as if he slept and he gave his soul into the hands of God, leaving the brotherhood, according to the judgement of the common gathering, to elect an Elder and shepherd."

When the passing of the venerable Paisius became known "a multitude of monastic and married priests gathered, together with ordinary people, and there was a common lament from everyone, from ourselves and them, and we buried him with honors inside the church."

He reposed on November 15th in the year 1794. A venerable life, venerable also was his repose. A hesychast life, his repose and burial to the Lord was also hesychastic.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos.