July 13, 2019

Saint Paisios the Athonite and the Deer (an unpublished story)

In the guesthouse of the Monastery of Savvathiana on the island of Crete, a retired teacher recalled the following story about Elder Paisios.

Once the abbot of Koutloumousiou Monastery, Christodoulos, had a problem he was dealing with, so he decided to visit Elder Paisios early in the morning to consult him. When he arrived at his cell, he found him alone. As they spoke, a deer appeared outside his cell. When the Elder saw it, he spoke to it, saying: "I told you not to wander around in the morning because someone may kill you." The deer then lifted one its legs, and the Elder realized it was broken.

The Elder entered his cell and returned with a piece of wood to which he bound the broken leg of the deer as if it was a cast. He then said to the deer: "You will return in 25 days so we can remove the cast."

The abbot jotted down the date and after 25 days he returned to the cell of the Elder to see if the deer would come. It was not long when the deer appeared again at the door of the Elder. The deer's leg was healed. Elder Paisios removed the "cast" and said to the deer: "Be careful to not wander around in the morning because you are in danger."