February 16, 2017

The Glorious Vision to Saint Akakios of the Holy New Martyr Romanos

In the Chapel of the Dormition of the Theotokos, at the Cell of Saint Akakios in Kavsokalyva of Mount Athos, where the Venerable New Martyr Romanos (+ 1694) lived in asceticism, there is depicted on the north wall a striking fresco dated to 1759, from the workshop of Hieromonk Parthenios from Agrafon, whose source is the life of Saint Akakios of Kavsokalyva. It depicts the appearance of the Venerable New Martyr Romanos, who is celebrated by the Church on January 5th and February 16th, with lightning-white robes.

Before Saint Romanos left to pursue martyrdom, he made a promise to Saint Akakios, his spiritual father, that if he was able to complete martyrdom, then he would intercede to God for his salvation, following his death, being in the Kingdom of Heaven. Saint Akakios, on the other hand, until Saint Romanos would be made worthy of the crown of martyrdom, would pray to God for him ceaselessly. Saint Akakios had agreed to remain in his cave until the end of his life. After the martyrdom of Saint Romanos, however, Saint Akakios left his cave of asceticism for a few months, to descend to the Cell of Saint Athanasios above Kavsokalyva.

There he one time was praying, when he came into ecstasy, and he saw Saint Romanos shining in an indescribable manner. His face shined more than the sun, as he was amidst the glory of God. He, however, turned his godly head from the Elder, and showed his displeasure for his breaking of their agreement, that he left his cave. Saint Akakios fell to his knees, and entreated him to look upon him with sympathy and compassion and to forgive his error. Saint Romanos, however, did not hearken to Saint Akakios' entreaties, and he straightaway disappeared.

After this, Saint Akakios immediately returned to his cave in Kavsokalyva. There during prayer, he many times beheld Saint Romanos, again drenched with the uncreated light, however, not with the same austere expression. Instead, he had a joyous and sweet expression, and he consoled and strengthened his friend and Elder.

Read also:

Holy New Martyr Romanos of Karpenisi (+ 1694)

Saint Akakios the New of Kavsokalyva (+ 1730)