November 8, 2014

The Elder Who Entertained the Archangel Michael

By Archimandrite Cherubim Karambelas

Fr. Pachomios, who was the guestmaster (of Konstamonitou Monastery) for twenty years, had become tired after the first five and asked Fr. Philaret (+ 1963) to change his obedience. But the elder told him:

"If you practice patience, my child, you will entertain angels."

And he related to him a certain wondrous personal incident inexplicable to many:

For one period, Fr. Philaret happened to be guestmaster. One time, therefore, he was preparing the trapeza. The doors were all locked. Suddenly he saw a beautiful youth enter and say:

"Bless! I am very hungry."

Surprised, Fr. Philaret answered automatically, with his characteristic hospitable courtesy and friendliness:

"Welcome! Sit down! What is your name?"

"Michael," said the youth.

And before he had time to prepare food for him and have him sit at the table, the youth suddenly disappeared!... He had the conviction that it was an angel of the Lord. He remembered with special feeling and warmth of heart the hospitality of Abraham, who had entertained even the Holy Trinity in the form of three angels.

From Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos - vol. 2, pp. 638-639.