Parfeny Aggeev - 106 year old Benedict

Steven Avery

Part two. Wandering and traveling through European Turkey and staying in Holy Mount Athos (1855)

A tale of wandering and travel through Russia, Moldova, Turkey and the Holy Land. Volume 1
Parfeny Aggeev


112. The joy of the one hundred and six-year-old elder Benedict

But their elder Benedict, one hundred and six years old, always told them that he would not die until he accepted the Russians into the monastery. He clearly showed this at the hotel when they treated the Russians. He came to the hotel with his staff, and, bowing three times to the ground, with tears he read the prayer “Now dost thou let thy servant go, O Master,” to the end. Then he approached Father Paul, bowed to the ground, and took a blessing from him. And then, taking him into his arms, he began to say the following: “Now my heart has rejoiced, and my spirit has rejoiced that today I hold the Russians in my arms: now I hold the lost treasure; Now the expelled sheep has come again, wandering through the mountains and forests, and having neither a fence nor a shelter where to lay its head; now she has returned to her former enclosure; now I hold her in my arms; I will no longer drive her out, and I will not let her go from me. Now I have cleared my conscience, which always denounced and worried me for the expulsion of the Russians; now I have accepted her again and hold her in my arms.” Then he let me go, and again said: “Sit down, my dear guests, sit down, my honest fathers, sit down, my beloved children, sit down, expelled sheep, and again those returned to their fence, sit down, newfound treasure, sit down, purity of my conscience, sit down, joy my ineffable one, sit down, my much-desired brethren. Have fun and rejoice, and triumph with us as one.” When he said this, the Greeks all stood and looked at him and cried a lot; The Russians understood little.

113. Speech of Elder Benedict

Then Elder Benedict turned his eyes to his brethren, the Greeks, and began to speak to them with great joy, with triumph, the following, and exclaimed: “Rejoice with me, my children, rejoice with me, my brethren; and again the river: rejoice! Today my youth is renewed like an eagle, today my hundred and six year old bones have become younger, today my blind eyes have brightened: for today they see Russians again in our monastery; Today one enemy, the devil, is crying, who laughed at my old age, who embarrassed me into expelling the Russians; I, like a man, listened to him, and crawled into great temptation during the last years of my life; I also listened to some of you, and expelled the Russians from the monastery, and outraged my conscience, and ruined my many years of labor and exploits, and burdened my heart. For three years this heavy stone lay on my heart, and I was never able to calm my conscience and soul, and I shed many tears about it; and asked my Lord Jesus Christ and the Most Pure Virgin Mary to return the Russians to our monastery. And the Lord heard my prayer, and informed me that the Russians would perform the funeral service and bury me; and I waited with longing for the day when I would see the Russians in our monastery; I received this today . This is the day that the Lord foretold to me: let us rejoice and be glad on it. Now listen, my brothers: I expelled the Russians, but I again brought them in and accepted them. I tell you again that I accepted them and placed them in this monastery, your elder and mentor, sinful Benedict. I accepted the Russians, and I am leaving you for eternity; I leave the Russians as my heirs for eternal generations. And you will live forever with the Russians in love and like-mindedness, and bear each other’s burdens; and I leave you all, and entrust you to this blessed elder, your abbot, and my disciple, Father Gerasim. And truly he is blessed and blessed: all of you have wavered against the Russians; he alone stood for the Russians. But I didn’t listen to him. And he alone could foresee our mental and physical harm; He alone could bear all the infirmities. But now, thank God, I have again accepted the Russians and covered them up, and I leave them as heirs, and entrust you to Abbot Gerasim. Already now I am not a persecutor of Russians, but a patron and protector. That's all I wanted. Amen". Then he said goodbye to everyone, wished peace and love, and went with the help of others to his cell. And he never left his cell; and no one saw him again. After being accepted by the Russians, he lived only forty days and left for eternal life.

And so the Russians and the Greeks celebrated that day, that is, November 21; and on the 22nd they cleaned the temple for consecration, in the building designated for Russians, on the third floor. And on that day, many Russian brethren, from different monasteries and cells, came together to share joy and joy in the Russian monastery, and to celebrate the bright feast of St. Mitrophan of Christ, the Voronezh Wonderworker.
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