While praying to Christ, I felt a certain difficulty. The Mother of God – She was just like my own Mother to me. The same was with St. Euphemia. “My dear Saint Euphemia”, I addressed to her… But it was difficult to pray to Christ. I venerated His icons with fear. When during the Jesus Prayer my mind began to distract from prayer, I did not upset me at all. “Who am I to constantly keep Christ in my poor mind?” – I said to myself. And then something happened what I want to tell you about.
It was the evening after the feast of the Finding of the head of St. John the Forerunner, the eve of the feast day of St. Apostle Carp. I felt very inspired that evening. I did not want to sleep at all and I thought, “ Well, let me write something about Fr. Tikhon and send it to the sisters in Souroti”. By 8:30a.m. I wrote about 30 pages. I still did not want to sleep but decided to lie down for a while because my legs were weak.
Sunrise began. By 9a.m. I was still not sleeping. And suddenly I saw that one of the walls of my cell (the one near which my bed stood) just disappeared. I saw Christ – He was in light, just about 6 meters from me. I saw Him from His side. His hair was bright and His eyes were blue. He did not say a word to me, but only looked – not right at me, but a bit more to the side.
I saw everything with the non-corporal eyes. In such cases, it does not matter whether your corporal eyes are closed or not. I saw that with my spiritual eyes.
When I saw Him, I thought, “ How could they all spit in that Face? How could they – the people without any fear of God – hit that Face? How could they slam the nails into that Body? Oh God…”
I was struck by that. How pleased I felt at that moment! What a joy I felt! I cannot express that beauty with words. It was the very beauty about which is was said: “You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips” (Psalm 45:2). This is what that beauty was. I have never seen something like that on any of His images. There was only one – I do not remember where I have seen it – which looked a bit alike.
A person should work in a monastery ever for a thousand years to see this beauty at least for a moment. What great and indescribable things are gifted to people – and how miserable are the things we try to deal with!
Based on Saint Paisios the Athonite
After this vision, Saint Paisios the Athonite ordered to the nuns from the monastery of Souroti to make an icon of Christ like he saw Him. The image represents this icon.
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