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November 2, 2022

When Elder Theophylaktos of New Skete Was Visited by the Holy Unmercenary Saints

Elder Theophylaktos with an icon of the Holy Unmercenaries

Once again I had the same war [as Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi reports, his war was: "a kind of sadness, almost like melancholy"] and despair plagued me terribly.

Of course I knew it was a war, but I couldn't get rid of it.

Because of my inexperience I did not fight it from the beginning, when this passion first appeared to me, and it became a permanent cross for me.

After I sat down to rest I saw a group of people of different ages coming up from the street of Kyriakos [of New Skete] upwards, towards my Hut, and they were talking among themselves.

I watched who they were and where they were going.

When they crossed the crossroad and approached my front door, they stopped for a moment and I heard them clearly say:

"Are we not passing by our joint?" [The Hut of Father Theophylaktos was dedicated to the Holy Unmercenaries].

Indeed, they opened my door and entered one by one, chanting their own apolytikion:

"The twenty-numbered divinely-inspired phalanx, that shines with grace from heaven, the radiant band of the Unmercenaries let us praise, for they deposed the power of the evil one, and with sympathy alleviate the illnesses of all those who cry out with reverence: Glory to God in Trinity."

Saint Panteleimon, young, fair-haired, majestic and with a medal of medicine on his chest, was in front of everyone, and the rest followed melodiously singing their entire troparion.

They climbed the stairs of the Hut to the upper floor which is their church, they entered, stood in turn at the two choirs and began to chant troparia from their service.

When they had finished chanting, they turned back and left for the upper part of the Skete, after they had left me their blessing and much consolation, and for a number of days I was full of joy and spiritual happiness.
 
Source: From the book Οσίων Μορφών Αναμνήσεις (2003). Translation by John Sanidopoulos.