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Thursday, December 8, 2022

"I Expect the Resurrection of the Dead" Were the Last Words of Saint Parthenios of Chios

The time came when Saint Parthenios of Chios (+ 1883) received the heavenly message of his departure... since he longed for heaven all his life. A day of joy was the day he realized that the time had come for the heavenly journey. He lived for this hour. "When will I face the unspeakable beauty face to face? When shall I come and behold the face of God?' he wondered.

45 years of rigorous asceticism had passed. He had been an ascetic since he was 23 years old and was now 68 years old.

One night, as he slept peacefully in his wet and wild cave, a dream filled him with joy. He saw our Lady the Theotokos!

"Parthenios," she said to him, "in three days your resting place will be ready. The saints are waiting for you!"

The Saint woke up. He thought he was still hearing the heavenly message from the mouth of the Virgin.

"I never did good in my life," said he, "and the Lady of the Angels came to notify me of my departure?"

This is what his humility urged him to say. Because the good things he had done, the efforts, the vigils, the tears, all these he forgot. But God, in spite of his humility, filled him more and more with His grace. H got up and he announced it to the monks:

"In three days I will die," he said.

On Tuesday, December 8, 1883, he lay on his deathbed without any illness to torment him. He received the Immaculate Mysteries.

"Where should we bury you?" they asked him.

"Take me by the leg and throw me into a ravine," he answered them out of humility, just like Anthony the Great responded to a similar question when he was about to depart.

Later, as he saw the saints and angels who had come to accompany him to the abode of the blessed, he said:

"Welcome my lords!"

"I expect the resurrection of the dead," were his last words.

Soon his eyes closed. A censer burned in front of his revered relic. The bells of the monastery rang mournfully. The monks mourned the loss of their spiritual father and guide, but rejoiced because now they have a protector in heaven in their elder, the holy Parthenios. The repose of Saint Parthenios was indeed his triumphant ascension to the heavenly realms.

Many sick people were healed at his funeral when they embraced his remains. He was buried in the narthex of the katholicon of the monastery. In addition, his holy relic was fragrant, evidence of his holiness. 

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