December 3, 2022

The Clairvoyance of Saint John the Hesychast

A certain woman from Cappadocia, named Vasilina, a deaconess of the holy Church of Constantinople, arrived in Jerusalem with her cousin, a man of high rank. He was truly a virtuous man, but he adhered to the wickedness of Severus,* and that is why he was not in communion with the holy catholic Church. The pious deaconess invested a lot of effort to convert him to the right faith and join the holy Church. That is why she fervently begged each of the holy fathers to pray to God for him.

Hearing about Saint John the Hesychast, she wanted to venerate him as well. But when she found out that women could not enter the Lavra, she called Theodore, John's disciple, and begged him to take the man who had come with her to the holy elder. Theodore took the heresy-injured man, went with him to the elder, bowed to him according to custom, and said: "Bless us, father!"

The elder said to the disciple: "I will bless you, but the one who came with you has no blessing."

To that the disciple said: "Don't do that, Father! but bless us both."

The elder answered: "No! I will by no means bless this other man."

Upon hearing this, the wicked man marveled at the elder's grace-filled clairvoyance, and this miracle caused him a complete change, and he promised that he would truly unite himself with the Orthodox. Then the elder blessed him, and with his divinely inspired teachings removed all doubts from his heart, gave him communion with the Immaculate Mysteries, and thus converting him to Orthodoxy, sent him away in peace.

Upon learning of this, the pious deaconess Vasilina would be seized with an even more irresistible desire to see the holy elder with her own eyes. Therefore, she decided to change into a man's suit, go to him in the Lavra and confess her thoughts to him. An angel told the elder about her intention, and he sent her this message: "Know that, even if you come to me as you thought, you will still not see me. Therefore, don't try, but stay where you are now, and I will contact you in your dreams, I will listen to what you want to tell me, and I will tell you what God tells me to tell you."

Hearing this, the deaconess was shocked by such transparency of Venerable John, that he could see people's thoughts from afar.

And she stayed, waiting for the Saint to call on her. And one night the Venerable one appeared to her in a dream and said: "Behold, God sent me to you; so tell me what you want."

She confessed her thoughts to him, and received the necessary medicine from him. And after teaching her, the Venerable one became invisible. And Vasilina, waking up from sleep, gave thanks to God. 


* Severus was Patriarch of Antioch from 512-518; he was one of the moderate representatives of the Monophysite heresy.