Ijov’s Blog

March 26, 2011

Prophetic Vision of Hell of St. John Bosco

The Holy Saint John Bosco had a Prophetic Vision of Hell in 1868 A.D., (*which is recorded in its entirety below.)

Many of the dreams of St. John Bosco could more properly be called visions, for God used this means to reveal His will for the Saint and for the boys of the Oratory, as well as the future of the Salesian Congregation. Not only did his dreams lead and direct the Saint, they also gave him wisdom and guidance by which he was able to help and guide others upon their ways. He was just nine years of age when he had his first dream that laid out his life mission. It was this dream that impressed Pope Pius IX so much that he ordered St. John Bosco to write down his dreams for the encouragement of his Congregation and the rest of us. Through dreams God allowed him to know the future of each of the boys of his Oratory. Through dreams God let him know the boys’ state of their souls. On February 1, 1865 St. John Bosco announced that one of the boys will die soon. He knew the boy through the dream the night before. On March 16, 1865, Anthony Ferraris passed away after receiving the Last Sacraments. John Bisio, who helped Anthony and his mother during the former’s last hour, confirmed the story of his part in this episode by a formal oath, concluding as foIlows: “Don Bosco told us many other dreams concerning Oratory boys’ deaths. We believed them to be true prophecies. We still do, because unfailingly they came true. During the seven years I lived at the Oratory, not a boy died without Don Bosco predicting his death. We were also convinced that whoever died there under his care and assistance surely went to heaven.”

St John Bosco and his oratory

St John Bosco and his oratory

*The Road to Hell
(Prophetic Dream of St. John Bosco 1868 A.D.)

On Sunday night, May 3 [1868], the feast of Saint Joseph’s patronage, Don Bosco resumed the narration of his dreams:

I have another dream to tell you, a sort of aftermath of those I told you last Thursday and Friday which totally exhausted me. Call them dreams or whatever you like. Always, as you know, on the night of April 17 a frightful toad seemed bent on devouring me. When it finally vanished, a voice said to me: “Why don’t you tell them?” I turned in that direction and saw a distinguished person standing by my bed. Feeling guilty about my silence, I asked: “What should I tell my boys?”

“What you have seen and heard in your last dreams and what you have wanted to know and shall have revealed to you tomorrow night!” He then vanished.

I spent the whole next day worrying about the miserable night in store for me, and when evening came, loath to go to bed, I sat at my desk browsing through books until midnight. The mere thought of having more nightmares thoroughly scare me. However, with great effort, I finally went to bed.
“Get up and follow me!” he said.

“For Heaven’s sake,” I protested, “leave me alone. I am exhausted! I’ve been tormented by a toothache for several days now and need rest. Besides, nightmares have completely worn me out.” I said this because this man’s apparition always means trouble, fatigue, and terror for me.

“Get up,” he repeated. “You have no time to lose.”

I complied and followed him. “Where are you taking me?” I asked.

“Never mind. You’ll see.” He led me to a vast, boundless plain, veritably a lifeless desert, with not a soul in sight or a tree or brook. Yellowed, dried-up vegetation added to the desolation I had no idea where I was or what was I to do. For a moment I even lost sight of my guide and feared that I was lost, utterly alone. Father Rua, Father Francesia, nowhere to be seen. When I finally saw my friend coming toward me, I sighed in relief.

“Where am I?” I asked.

“Come with me and you will find out!”

“All right. I’ll go with you.”

He led the way and I followed in silence, but after a long, dismal trudge, I began worrying whether I would ever be able to cross that vast expanse, what with my toothache and swollen legs. Suddenly I saw a road ahead.

“Where to now?” I asked my guide.

“This way,” he replied.

We took the road. It was beautiful, wide, and neatly paved. “The way of sinners is made plain with stones, and in their end is hell, and darkness, and pains. ” (Ecclesiasticus 21: 11, stones: broad and easy.) Both sides were lined with magnificent verdant hedges dotted with gorgeous flowers. Roses, especially, peeped everywhere through the leaves. At first glance, the road was level and comfortable, and so I ventured upon it without the least suspicion, but soon I noticed that it insensibly kept sloping downward. Though it did not look steep at all, I found myself moving so swiftly that I felt I was effortlessly gliding through the air. Really, I was gliding and hardly using my feet. Then the thought struck me that the return trip would be very long and arduous.

“How shall we get back to the Oratory?” I asked worriedly.

“Do not worry,” he answered. “The Almighty wants you to go. He who leads you on will also know how to lead you back.”

The road is sloping downward. As we were continuing on our way, flanked by banks of roses and other flowers, I became aware that the Oratory boys and very many others whom I did not know were following me. Somehow I found myself in their midst. As I was looking at them, I noticed now one, now another fall to the ground and instantly be dragged by an unseen force toward a frightful drop, distantly visible, which sloped into a furnace. “What makes these boys fall?” I asked my companion. “The proud have hidden a net for me. And they have stretched out cords for a snare: they have laid for me a stumbling-block by the wayside.” (Psalms 139: 6)

“Take a closer look,” he replied.

I did. Traps were everywhere, some close to the ground, others at eye level, but all well concealed. Unaware of their danger, many boys got caught, and they tripped, they would sprawl to the ground, legs in the air. Then, when they managed to get back on their feet, they would run headlong down the road toward the abyss. Some got trapped by the head, others by the neck, hand, arms, legs, or sides, and were pulled down instantly. The ground traps, fine as spiders’ webs and hardly visible, seemed very flimsy and harmless; yet, to my surprise, every boy they snared fell to the ground.

Noticing my astonishment, the guide remarked, “Do you know what this is?”

“Just some filmy fiber,” I answered.

“A mere nothing,” he said, “just plain human respect.”,

Seeing that many boys were being caught in those straps. I asked, “Why do so many get caught? Who pulls them down?”

“Go nearer and you will see!” he told me.

I followed his advice but saw nothing peculiar.

“Look closer,” he insisted.

I picked up one of the traps and tugged. I immediately felt some resistance. I pulled harder, only to feel that, instead of drawing the thread closer, I was being pulled down myself. I did not resist and soon found myself at the mouth of a frightful cave. I halted, unwilling to venture into that deep cavern, and again started pulling the thread toward me. It gave a little, but only through great effort on my part. I kept tugging, and after a long while a huge, hideous monster emerged, clutching a rope to which all those traps were tied together. He was the one who instantly dragged down anyone who got caught in them. It won’t do to match my strength with his, I said to myself. I’ll certainly lose. I’d better fight him with the Sign of the Cross and with short invocations.

Then I went back to my guide. “Now you know who he is,” he said to me.

“I surely do! It is the devil himself!”

Carefully examining many of the traps, I saw that each bore an inscription: Pride, Disobedience, Envy, Sixth Commandment, Theft, Gluttony, Sloth, Anger and so on. Stepping back a bit to see which ones trapped the greater number of boys, I discovered that the most dangerous were those of impurity, disobedience, and pride. In fact, these three were linked to together. Many other traps also did great harm, but not as much as the first two. Still watching, I noticed many boys running faster than others. “Why such haste?” I asked.

“Because they are dragged by the snare of human respect.”

Looking even more closely, I spotted knives among the traps. A providential hand had put them there for cutting oneself free. The bigger ones, symbolizing meditation, were for use against the trap of pride; others, not quite as big, symbolized spiritual reading well made. There were also two swords representing devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, especially through frequent Holy Communion, and to the Blessed Virgin. There was also a hammer symbolizing confession, and other knives signifying devotion to Saint Joseph, to Saint Aloysius, and to other Saints. By these means quite a few boys were able to free themselves or evade capture.

Indeed I saw some lads walking safely through all those traps, either by good timing before the trap sprung on them or by making it slip off them if they got caught.

When my guide was satisfied that I had observed everything, he made me continue along that rose-hedged road, but the farther we went the scarcer the roses became. Long thorns began to show up, and soon the roses were no more. The hedges became sun-scorched, leafless, and thorn-studded. Withered branches torn from the bushes lay criss-crossed along the roadbed, littering it with thorns and making it impassable. We had come now to a gulch whose steep sides hid what lay beyond. The road, still sloping downward, was becoming ever more horrid, rutted, guttered, and bristling with rocks and boulders. I lost track of all my boys, most of whom had left this treacherous road for other paths.

I kept going, but the farther I advanced, the more arduous and steep became the descent, so that I tumbled and fell several times, lying prostrate until I could catch my breath. Now and then my guide supported me or helped me to rise. At every step my joints seemed to give way, and I thought my shinbones would snap. Panting, I said to my guide, “My good fellow, my legs won’t carry me another step. I just can’t go any farther.” He did not answer but continued walking. Taking heart, I followed until, seeing me soaked in perspiration and thoroughly exhausted, he led me to a little clearing alongside the road. I sat down, took a deep breath, and felt a little better. From my resting place, the road I had already traveled looked very steep, jagged, and strewn with loose stones, but what lay ahead seemed so much worse that I closed my eyes in horror.

“Let’s go back,” I pleaded. “If we go any farther, how shall we ever get back to the Oratory? I will never make it up this slope.”

“Now that we have come so far, do you want me to leave you here?” my guide sternly asked.

At this threat, I wailed, “How can I survive without your help?”

“Then follow me.”

We continued our descent, the road now becoming so frightfully steep that it was almost impossible to stand erect. And then, at the bottom of this precipice, at the entrance of a dark valley, an enormous building loomed into sight, its towering portal, tightly locked, facing our road. When I finally got to the bottom, I became smothered by a suffocating heat, while a greasy, green-tinted smoke lit by flashes of scarlet flames rose from behind those enormous walls which loomed higher than mountains.

“Where are we? What is this?” I asked my guide.

“Read the inscription on that portal and you will know.”

I looked up and read these words: “The place of no reprieve.” I realized that we were at the gates of Hell. The guide led me all around this horrible place. At regular distance bronze portals like the first overlooked precipitous descents; on each was an inscription, such as: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25: 41) “Every tree that yielded not good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the the fire.” (Matthew 7: 19)

I tried to copy them into my notebook, but my guide restrained me: “There is no need. You have them all in Holy Scripture. You even have some of them inscribed in your porticoes.”

At such a sight I wanted to turn back and return to the Oratory. As a matter of fact, I did start back, but my guide ignored my attempt. After trudging through a steep, never-ending ravine, we again came to the foot of the precipice facing the first portal. Suddenly the guide turned to me. Upset and startled, he motioned to me to step aside. “Look!” he said.

I looked up in terror and saw in the distance someone racing down the path at an uncontrollable speed. I kept my eyes on him, trying to identify him, and as he got closer, I recognized him as one of my boys. His disheveled hair was partly standing upright on his head and partly tossed back by the wind. His arms were outstretched as though he were thrashing the water in an attempt to stay afloat. He wanted to stop, but could not. Tripping on the protruding stones, he kept falling even faster. “Let’s help him, let’s stop him,” I shouted, holding out my hands in a vain effort to restrain him.

“Leave him alone,” the guide replied.


“Don’t you know how terrible God’s vengeance is? Do you think you can restrain one who is fleeing from His just wrath?”

Meanwhile the youth had turned his fiery gaze backward in an attempt to see if God’s wrath were still pursuing him. The next moment he fell tumbling to the bottom of the ravine and crashed against the bronze portal as though he could find no better refuge in his flight.

“Why was he looking backward in terror?” I asked.

“Because God’s wrath will pierce Hell’s gates to reach and torment him even in the midst of fire!”

As the boy crashed into the portal, it sprang open with a roar, and instantly a thousand inner portals opened with a deafening clamor as if struck by a body that had been propelled by an invisible, most violent, irresistible gale. As these bronze doors — one behind the other, though at a considerable distance from each other — remained momentarily open, I saw far into the distance something like furnace jaws sprouting fiery balls the moment the youth hurtled into it. As swiftly as they had opened, the portals then clanged shut again. For a third time I tried to jot down the name of that unfortunate lad, but the guide again restrained me. “Wait,” he ordered.


Three other boys of ours, screaming in terror and with arms outstretched, were rolling down one behind the other like massive rocks, I recognized them as they too crashed against the portal. In that split second, it sprang open and so did the other thousand. The three lads were sucked into that endless corridor amid a long-drawn, fading, infernal echo, and then the portals clanged shut again. At intervals, many other lads came tumbling down after them. I saw one unlucky boy being pushed down the slope by an evil companion. Others fell singly or with others, arm in arm or side by side. Each of them bore the name of his sin on his forehead. I kept calling to them as they hurtled down, but they did not hear me. Again the portals would open thunderously and slam shut with a rumble. Then, dead silence!

“Bad companions, bad books, and bad habits,” my guide exclaimed, “are mainly responsible for so many eternally lost.”

The traps I had seen earlier were indeed dragging the boys to ruin. Seeing so many going to perdition, I cried out disconsolately, “If so many of our boys end up this way, we are working in vain. How can we prevent such tragedies?”

“This is their present state,” my guide replied, “and that is where they would go if they were to die now.”

“Then let me jot down their names so that I may warn them and put them back on the path to Heaven.”

“Do you really believe that some of them would reform if you were to warn them? Then and there your warning might impress them, but soon they will forget it, saying, ‘It was just a dream,’ and they will do worse than before. Others, realizing they have been unmasked, receive the sacraments, but this will be neither spontaneous nor meritorious; others will go to confession because of a momentary fear of Hell but will still be attached to sin.”

“Then is there no way to save these unfortunate lads? Please, tell me what I can do for them.”

“They have superiors; let them obey them. They have rules; let them observe them. They have the sacraments; let them receive them.”

St John Bosco and his boys

St John Bosco and his boys

Just then a new group of boys came hurtling down and the portals momentarily opened. “Let’s go in,” the guide said to me.

I pulled back in horror. I could not wait to rush back to the Oratory to warn the boys lest others might be lost as well.

“Come,” my guide insisted. “You’ll learn much. But first tell me: Do you wish to go alone or with me?” He asked this to make me realize that I was not brave enough and therefore needed his friendly assistance.

“Alone inside that horrible place?” I replied. “How will I ever be able to find my way out without your help?” Then a thought came to my mind and aroused my courage. Before one is condemned to Hell, I said to myself, he must be judged. And I haven’t been judged yet!

“Let’s go,” I exclaimed resolutely. We entered that narrow, horrible corridor and whizzed through it with lightning speed. Threatening inscriptions shone eerily over all the inner gateways. The last one opened into a vast, grim courtyard with a large, unbelievably forbidding entrance at the far end. Above it stood this inscription:

“These shall go into everlasting punishment.” (Matthew 25: 46) The walls all about were similarly inscribed. I asked my guide if I could read them, and he consented. These were the inscriptions:

“He will give fire, and worms into their flesh, and they may burn and may feel forever.” (Judith 16: 21)

“The pool of fire where both the beast and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Apocalypse 20: 9-10)

“And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up forever and ever.” (Apocalypse 14: 11)

“A land of misery and darkness, where the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horror dwelleth.” (Job 10: 22)

“There is no peace to the wicked.” (Isaias 47: 22)

“There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)

While I moved from one inscription to another, my guide, who had stood in the center of the courtyard, came up to me.

“From here on,” he said, “no one may have a helpful companion, a comforting friend, a loving heart, a compassionate glance, or a benevolent word. All this is gone forever. Do you just want to see or would you rather experience these things yourself?”

“I only want to see!” I answered.

“Then come with me,” my friend added, and, taking me in tow, he stepped through that gate into a corridor at whose far end stood an observation platform, closed by a huge, single crystal pane reaching from the pavement to the ceiling. As soon as I crossed its threshold, I felt an indescribable terror and dared not take another step. Ahead of me I could see something like an immense cave which gradually disappeared into recesses sunk far into the bowels of the mountains. They were all ablaze, but theirs was not an earthly fire with leaping tongues of flames. The entire cave –walls, ceiling, floor, iron, stones, wood, and coal — everything was a glowing white at temperatures of thousands of degrees. Yet the fire did not incinerate, did not consume. I simply can’t find words to describe the cavern’s horror. “The nourishment thereof is fire and much wood: the breath of the Lord as a torrent of brimstone kindling it.” (Isaias 30: 33)

I was staring in bewilderment about me when a lad dashed out of a gate. Seemingly unaware of anything else, he emitted a most shrilling scream, like one who is about to fall into a cauldron of liquid bronze, and plummeted into the center of the cave. Instantly he too became incandescent and perfectly motionless, while the echo of his dying wail lingered for an instant more.

Terribly frightened, I stared briefly at him for a while. He seemed to be one of my Oratory boys. “Isn’t he so and so?” I asked my guide.

“Yes,” was the answer.

“Why is he so still, so incandescent?”

“You chose to see,” he replied. “Be satisfied with that. Just keep looking. Besides, “Everyone shall be salted with fire.” (Mark 9: 48)

As I looked again, another boy came hurtling down into the cave at breakneck speed. He too was from the Oratory. As he fell, so he remained. He too emitted one single heart-rending shriek that blended with the last echo of the scream that came from the youth who had preceded him. Other boys kept hurtling in the same way in increasing numbers, all screaming the same way and then all becoming equally motionless and incandescent. I noticed that the first seemed frozen to the spot, one hand and one foot raised into the air; the second boy seemed bent almost double to the floor. Others stood or hung in various other positions, balancing themselves on one foot or hand, sitting or lying on their backs or on their sides, standing or kneeling, hands clutching their hair. Briefly, the scene resembled a large statuary group of youngsters cast into ever more painful postures. Other lads hurtled into that same furnace. Some I knew; others were strangers to me. I then recalled what is written in the Bible to the effect that as one falls into Hell, so he shall forever remain. “. . . in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be.” (Ecclesiastes 11:3)

More frightened than ever, I asked my guide, “When these boys come dashing into this cave, don’t they know where they are going?”

“They surely do. They have been warned a thousand times, but they still choose to rush into the fire because they do not detest sin and are loath to forsake it. Furthermore, they despise and reject God’s incessant, merciful invitations to do penance. Thus provoked, Divine Justice harries them, hounds them, and goads them on so that they cannot halt until they reach this place.”

“Oh, how miserable these unfortunate boys must feel in knowing they no longer have any hope,” I exclaimed. “If you really want to know their innermost frenzy and fury, go a little closer,” my guide remarked.

I took a few steps forward and saw that many of those poor wretches were savagely striking at each other like mad dogs. Others were clawing their own faces and hands, tearing their own flesh and spitefully throwing it about. Just then the entire ceiling of the cave became as transparent as crystal and revealed a patch of Heaven and their radiant companions safe for all eternity.

The poor wretches, fuming and panting with envy, burned with rage because they had once ridiculed the just. “The wicked shall see, and be angry, he shall gnash with his teeth, and pine away. . . ” (Psalms 111: 10) “Why do hear no sound?” I asked my guide,

“Go closer!” he advised.

Pressing my ear to the crystal window, I heard screams and sobs, blasphemies and imprecations against the Saints. It was a tumult of voices and cries, shrill and confused.

“When they recall the happy lot of their good companions,” he replied, “they are obliged to admit: “We fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour. Behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints. Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of justice hath not shined unto us, and the sun of understanding hath not risen upon us.” (Wisdom 5:4-6) “We wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction, and have walked through hard ways, but the way of the Lord we have not known. What hath pride profited us ? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us ? All those things are passed away like a shadow.” (Wisdom 5: 7-9)

“Here time is no more. Here is only eternity.”

While I viewed the condition of many of my boys in utter terror, a thought suddenly struck me. “How can these boys be damned?” I asked. “Last night they were still alive at the Oratory!”

“The boys you see here,” he answered, “are all dead to God’s grace. Were they to die now or persist in their evil ways, they would be damned. But we are wasting time. Let us go on.”

He led me away and we went down through a corridor into a lower cavern, at whose entrance I read: “Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched.” (Isaias 66: 24) “He will give fire, and worms into their flesh, and they may burn and may feel forever.” (Judith 16: 21)

Here one could see how atrocious was the remorse of those who had been pupils in our schools. What a torment was their, to remember each unforgiven sin and its just punishment, the countless, even extraordinary means they had had to mend their ways, persevere in virtue, and earn paradise, and their lack of response to the many favors promised and bestowed by the Virgin Mary. What a torture to think that they couId have been saved so easily, yet now are irredeemably lost, and to remember the many good resolutions made and never kept. Hell is indeed paved with good intentions!

In this lower cavern I again saw those Oratory boys who had fallen into the fiery furnace. Some are listening to me right now; others are former pupils or even strangers to me. I drew closer to them and noticed that they were all covered with worms and vermin which gnawed at their vitals, hearts, eyes, hands, legs, and entire bodies so ferociously as to defy description. Helpless and motionless, they were a prey to every kind of torment. Hoping I might be able to speak with them or to hear something from them, I drew even closer but no one spoke or even looked at me. I then asked my guide why, and he explained that the damned are totally deprived of freedom. Each must fully endure his own punishment, with absolutely no reprieve whatever. “And now,” he added, “you too must enter that cavern.”

“Oh, no!” I objected in terror. “Before going to Hell, one has to be judged. I have not been judged yet, and so I will not go to Hell!”

“Listen,” he said, “what would you rather do: visit Hell and save your boys, or stay outside and leave them in agony?”

For a moment I was struck speechless. “Of course I love my boys and wish to save them all,” I replied, “but isn’t there some other way out?”

“Yes, there is a way,” he went on, “provided you do all you can.”

I breathed more easily and instantly said to myself, I don’t mind slaving if I can rescue these beloved sons of mine from such torments.

“Come inside then,” my friend went on, “and see how our good, almighty God lovingly provides a thousand means for guiding your boys to penance and saving them from everlasting death.”

Taking my hand, he led me into the cave. As I stepped in, I found myself suddenly transported into a magnificent hall whose curtained glass doors concealed more entrances.

Above one of them I read this inscription: The Sixth Commandment. Pointing to it, my guide exclaimed, “Transgressions of this commandment caused the eternal ruin of many boys.”

“Didn’t they go to confession?”

“They did, but they either omitted or insufficiently confessed the sins against the beautiful virtue of purity, saying for instance that they had committed such sins two or three times when it was four or five. Other boys may have fallen into that sin but once in their childhood, and, through shame, never confessed it or did so insufficiently. Others were not truly sorry or sincere in their resolve to avoid it in the future. There were even some who, rather than examine their conscience, spent their time trying to figure out how best to deceive their confessor. Anyone dying in this frame of mind chooses to be among the damned, and so he is doomed for all eternity. Only those who die truly repentant shall be eternally happy. Now do you want to see why our merciful God brought you here?” He lifted the curtain and I saw a group of Oratory boys — all known to me — who were there because of this sin. Among them were some whose conduct seems to be good.

“Now you will surely let me take down their names so that I may warn them individually,” I exclaimed. “Then what do you suggest I tell them?”

“Always preach against immodesty. A generic warning will suffice. Bear in mind that even if you did admonish them individually, they would promise, but not always in earnest. For a firm resolution, one needs God’s grace which will not be denied to your boys if they pray. God manifests His power especially by being merciful and forgiving. On your part, pray and make sacrifices. As for the boys, let them listen to your admonitions and consult their conscience. It will tell them what to do.”

We spent the next half hour discussing the requisites of a good confession. Afterward, my guide several times exclaimed in a loud voice, “Avertere! Avertere!”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Change life! ”

Perplexed, I bowed my head and made as if to withdraw, but he held me back.

“You haven’t seen everything yet,” he explained.

He turned and lifted another curtain bearing this inscription: “They who would become rich, fall into temptation, and to the snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 6: 9) (Note: would become rich: wish to become rich, seek riches, set their heart and affections toward riches.)

“This does not apply to my boys! I countered, “because they are as poor as I am. We are not rich and do not want to be. We give it no thought.”

As the curtain was lifted, however, I saw a group of boys, all known to me. They were in pain, like those I had seen before. Pointing to them, my guide remarked, “As you see, the inscription does apply to your boys.”

“But how?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “some boys are so attached to material possessions that their love of God is lessened. Thus they sin against charity, piety, and meekness. Even the mere desire of riches can corrupt the heart, especially if such a desire leads to injustice. Your boys are poor, but remember that greed and idleness are bad counselors. One of your boys committed substantial thefts in his native town, and though he could make restitution, he gives it not a thought. There are others who try to break into the pantry or the prefect’s or economer’s office; those who rummage in their companions’ trunks for food, money, or possessions; those who steal stationery and books….”

After naming these boys and others as well, he continued, “Some are here for having stolen clothes, linen, blankets, and coats from the Oratory wardrobe in order to send them home to their families; others for willful, serious damage; others, yet, for not having given back what they had borrowed or for having kept sums of money they were supposed to hand over to the superior. Now that you know who these boys are,” he concluded, “admonish them. Tell them to curb all vain, harmful desires, to obey God’s law and to safeguard their reputation jealously lest greed lead them to greater excesses and plunge them into sorrow, death, and damnation.”

I couldn’t understand why such dreadful punishments should be meted out for infractions that boys thought so little of, but my guide shook me out of my thoughts by saying: “Recall what you were told when you saw those spoiled grapes on the wine.” With these words he lifted another curtain which hid many of our Oratory boys, all of whom I recognized instantly. The inscription on the curtain read: The root of all evils.

“Do you know what that means?” he asked me immediately.

“What sin does that refer to?”



“And yet I have always heard that pride is the root of all evil.”

“It is, generally speaking, but, specifically, do you know what led Adam and Eve to commit the first sin for which they were driven away from their earthly paradise?”


“Exactly! Disobedience is the root of all evil.”

“What shall I tell my boys about it?”

“Listen carefully: the boys you see here are those who prepare such a tragic end for themselves by being disobedient. So-and-so and so-and-so, who you think went to bed, leave the dormitory later in the night to roam about the playground, and, contrary to orders, they stray into dangerous areas and up scaffolds, endangering even their lives. Others go to church, but, ignoring recommendations, they misbehave; instead of praying, they daydream or cause a disturbance. There are also those who make themselves comfortable so as to doze off during church services, and those who only make believe they are going to church. Woe to those who neglect prayer! He who does not pray dooms himself to perdition. Some are here because, instead of singing hymns or saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, they read frivolous or — worse yet — forbidden books.” He then went on mentioning other serious breaches of discipline.

When he was done, I was deeply moved.

“May I mention all these things to my boys?” I asked, looking at him straight in the eye.

“Yes, you may tell them whatever you remember.”

“What advice shall I give them to safeguard them from such a tragedy?”

“Keep telling them that by obeying God, the Church, their parents, and their superiors, even in little things, they will be saved.”

“Anything else?”

“Warn them against idleness. Because of idleness David fell into sin. Tell them to keep busy at all times, because the devil will not then have a chance to tempt them.”

I bowed my head and promised. Faint with dismay, I could only mutter, “Thanks for having been so good to me. Now, please lead me out of here.”

Fires of Hell

Fires of Hell

“All right, then, come with me.” Encouragingly he took my hand and held me up because I could hardly stand on my feet. Leaving that hall, in no time at all we retraced our steps through that horrible courtyard and the long corridor. But as soon as we stepped across the last bronze portal, he turned to me and said, “Now that you have seen what others suffer, you too must experience a touch of Hell.”

“No, no!” I cried in terror.

He insisted, but I kept refusing.

“Do not be afraid,” he told me; “just try it. Touch this wall.”

I could not muster enough courage and tried to get away, but he held me back. “Try it,” he insisted. Gripping my arm firmly, he pulled me to the wall. “Only one touch,” he cornmanded, “so that you may say you have both seen and touched the walls of eternal suffering and that you may understand what the last wall must be like if the first is so unendurable. Look at this wall!” I did intently. It seemed incredibly thick. “There are a thousand walls between this and the real fire of Hell,” my guide continued. “A thousand walls encompass it, each a thousand measures thick and equally distant from the next one. Each measure is a thousand miles. This wall therefore is millions and millions of miles from Hell’s real fire. It is just a remote rim of Hell itself.”

When he said this, I instinctively pulled back, but he seized my hand, forced it open, and pressed it against the first of the thousand walls. The sensation was so utterly excruciating that I leaped back with a scream and found myself sitting up in bed. My hand was stinging and I kept rubbing it to ease the pain. When I got up this morning I noticed that it was swollen. Having my hand pressed against the wall, though only in a dream, felt so real that, later, the skin of my palm peeled off.

Bear in mind that I have tried not to frighten you very much, and so I have not described these things in all their horror as I saw them and as they impressed me. We know that Our Lord always portrayed Hell in symbols because, had He described it as it really is, we would not have understood Him. No mortal can comprehend these things. The Lord knows them and He reveals them to whomever He wills.



March 21, 2011

Miraculous icon of Archangel Michael of Panormitis

Archangel Michael of Panormitis

Icon of Arch. Michael “Panormitis”

Archangel Michael of Panormitis (Gr. O Πανορμίτης) refers to a miraculous icon of the Archangel Michael on the island of Symi and is one of the four miraculous icons of the Archangel in the Dodecanese of Greece.

Monastery of the Taxiarchis

Symi island of the Dodecanese, Greece, is situated in southeast Aegean sea and northwest of Rhodes. While touring around the island you will see many churches and monasteries devoted to the Archangel Michael. The Greek Orthodox Monastery of Taxiarchis Mihail Panormitis is the most important on the island and second largest in the Dodecanese after the monastery of St John the Theologian in Patmos.

The monastery is located on the south end of Symi, situated on the sea front of the tiny village of Panormitis. It is a closed in cove with a small sandy beach, protected by a narrow inlet that opens out into a wide harbour. The mountainous backdrop is covered with pine trees which give the area an ambiance of solitude.

The monastery is a large 18th-century Venetian styled building with the highest baroque bell tower in the world. The facade of the main structure is white and it stretches along the coast on either side of the main gateway. In excellent condition, the Italians constructed these two rows of buildings after World War II. These buildings now contain holiday flats that can be rented by tourists visiting the monastery and also contain a bakery among other things.

Once inside the monastery main gate, visitors are welcomed by an inner courtyard, decorated with exotic trees and plants, and paved with ‘hokhlakia’. The church dedicated to the Panormiti is on the left and inside contains the 2-metre high, silver-leafed, wall icon of the Panormiti. The entire church interior is covered with iconography (of particular interest is the ‘fall of the angels’ mural at the back of the church) and is decorated with very elaborate chandeliers.

Monastery of Arch. Michael “Panormitis” (Symi, Greece)

The exact historical date of the construction of this church remains unknown but some suggest that it was built around 450 AD over the site of an ancient temple dedicated to the pagan god Apollo. It is known for certainty that the existing church underwent a major renovation in the 18th century to bring it to the standard that is in existence today.

The monastery has two museums. One houses ecclesiastical art, and is rich in exhibits like pontificals, silver icons, Russian epitaphs and ecclesiastical utensils, ship model offerings brought to Panormitis from far away by the sea, and one of folk art with important objects of the folk culture of the island, relevant to fishing, agriculture and shepherding. There is also a library with Byzantine manuscripts and editions of ecclesiastical, historical and philological content, as well as a gallery with paintings of the landscape of the monastery and its two chapels. There is also memorial to a former abbot, two monks and two teachers, who in 1944, were executed for running a spy radio for the British commandoes.

The monastery receives heaps of day-trippers from Rhodes, so if you really want to enjoy it in peace and quiet it is best to wait until they have gone. The monastery’s dorm-house can host up to 500 people. The only way to get to the monastery is via a ferry or excursion boat. If you are already on the island, there is a road that exists between the monastery and the town of Symi. This can take over six hours to walk or an hour using a local bus service or rented scooter.
Panormitis Icon

Arch. Michael “Panormitis”

In the church is the famous icon of the Archangel Michael Panormitis, who is not only considered the island’s patron saint but also the guardian of sailors in the entire Dodecanese area.

One story is that this icon appeared miraculously and, on several occasions, was removed only to reappear mysteriously in this same location. The church was then built over the location, which, other sources suggest, was also a template to Apollo.

Folklore and tradition

According to legend, if you ask a favour from Archangel Michael, you must promise to give something in return.
The tradition of the broom offering
The locals of the Dodecanese are known to have offered a traditional broom. Church tradition has passed down that monks from the monastery would hear the Saint sweeping his monastery at night with this broom offerings. Local tradition has passed down that many would be visited by the Archangel in their sleep who would ask them for the brooms.

Fulfil your promise … or else …

The Archangel Michael is famous in the Dodecanese for his righteous nature. If you have made an offering to him and do not fulfull it, he will make it clear through various miracles that he is not pleased – until you complete your promise. One famous miracle that occurs often and to this day, is the miracle of the Archangel preventing the boats from leaving the dock. This has become such a regular occurance, that the Captains of the boat will announce over the PA to the passengers that someone on the boat has forgotten a promise to the Taxiarch. Once this promise is fulfilled, then and only then does the boat’s engines work.

Message in a bottle

Another item of interest is the bottles with prayers inside. The origin’s of this tradition are owed to the Greek sailors, who would cast these into the sea and would end up, mysteriously, on the shoreline of the monastery.
Today, many believers still practise this tradition. If you visit the museum these messages have been kept for anyone to read.

As a result of these traditions, the inside of the church is decorated with an array of gifts given by the devout pilgrims. There have been so many of these gifts that a lot of them can be viewed in the museum and include model ships made from gold and silver. The monastery is also filled with wonderful paintings, carvings and icons depicting various saints.
Other churches of Archangel Michael in Symi

If visiting the island of Symi for this monastery, it is also worthwhile visiting the monasteries of Roukounioti, also dedicated to the Archangel Michael and the Monastery of Kokkimidis. The Monastery of Roukounioti has remarkable murals dating from the 14th century. The Monastery of Kokkimidis, on the other hand, is a old Byzantine monastery renovated in 1697.

Other monasteries of interest include the Monastery of Sotiros and of Stavros Polemou which are on the west coast of the island. Most of the churches on this island are dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

Accurate prophecies of Tarabic

Mitar Tarabic (1829-1899), an illiterate peasant from a small Serbian village called Kremna, had experienced occasional prophetic visions. Being a religious person and having a local Serbian orthodox priest for a godfather, he told this priest about his episodes of “seeing into the future”. The priest, Zaharije Zaharich (1836-1918), wrote down everything in a small notebook, which was damaged by fire in 1943 when his family house was destroyed by the occupying Bulgarian army. This text is now in the possession of the family of Zaharich’s great-grandson, Mr. Dejan Malenkovich.

Mitar Tarabic with local priest

Mitar Tarabic with local priest

Tarabic’s best-known prophecy has to do with a series of political events in 19th century Serbia. Without getting into details, I’ll tell you that he predicted a sequence of events (spanning a course of decades) that eventually led to the removal of the ruling Obrenovich family from the Serbian royal throne. This prophecy came to be known in the region as the “black prophecy”, and it did play out as predicted. It culminated in 1903 with the assassination of Alexandar Obrenovich and his wife Draga, who were killed by their own guards.


“After the assassination of the King and Queen [Alexandar and Draga Obrenovich] the Karageorgevichs will come to power. Then we will again start a war with the Turks. Four Christian states will attack Turkey, and our border will be on the river Lim. Then we shall finally conquer and avenge Kosovo…”

Historical facts:

1903 – Alexandar and Draga Obrenovich are assassinated by their own guards, and Petar Karageorgevich becomes the ruler of Serbia.

1912 – War erupts between Serbia and Turkey. With the help of Greece, Bulgaria, and Montegro (three other Christian states), Serbia soon wins, moving its borders up to the river Lim.

“Soon after this war another war will start… The Big War in which a lot of blood will be spilled. If that blood were a river, a huge stone of 300 kg would roll in its current easily. A mighty army from across a river, three times bigger than ours, will attack us… They will destroy everything on their way. They penetrate deep into our land… Hard times will come upon us… Our army will almost give up, but than suddenly an intelligent man on a black stallion will take the command and cry out:

“Forward to victory, my people! Forward brother Serbs!!” Our army springs to life. Its fighting spirit wakes up and the enemy is chased away across the river… Then an even greater army will come from the north and run over us. Our land will be devastated. We will be dying of hunger and sickness in great numbers. For three years Serbia will live in total darkness. During that time our wounded army will be abroad. They will stay in a place surrounded by the sea, and will be fed and nursed by friends from over the seas. Then, their wounds healed, they will come back home in ships. They will free Serbia and all of the territories where our brothers live.”

Historical facts:

1914 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire starts a war against Serbia, after a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip kills Austrian Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo. This regional war soon develops into the First World War. In the beginning, Austria conquers the northern and central part of Serbia easily, but when General Alexandar Mishich (“the man on a black stallion”) takes command, the inspired Serbian army pushes the Austrians back across the river Drina. Soon after, the Germans attack from the north and the Serb army is forced to retreat through Albania to the Greek island of Kerkira.

There they regroup, and after a full recovery sail for Salonika, where they form a new front with other allied armies. After a lot of heavy fighting, Serbia is finally free and reunited with the other southern Slav nations (Croats and Slovenians), whose territories had been part of the Astro-Hungarian empire for a long time. During the German occupation, a very large number of people in Serbia died of hunger and sickness.

“I will tell you one more thing father, the invading army will come to Kremna exactly on your baptismal day, stay for 3 years, and go away on the same day they came – St. Luke`s day. But you will not see the end of the war. In the last year of the world’s big carnage you will die. Both these wars, the one with the Turks and the big one when the whole world will be at war, will take away two of your grand-children… one before, and the other after your death.”

Historical facts:

The Germans entered Kremna on St. Luke`s day, and the village was liberated on the exactly the same date 3 years later. Zaharije Zaharic died in 1918, the last year of the first “great carnage”, which also took the lives of his two beloved grand children: one before, and one after his death.


“Listen to me, my good father, after the first Big War Austria will disappear, and Serbia will be as big as a real kingdom. We will live together with our northern brothers. For some years we shall live in peace, love and prosperity. But it will not last for long. A venomous hatred will come into our people… Blood is spilled… horrible! I do not know when nor why, but it is probably because of this hatred.”

Historical facts: 1918 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolves, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is formed. The new country is riddled with constant economic, social and political problems caused mostly by conflicts between variaous nationalistic political parties.

1928 – During a particularly fiery question period, a Parliament Member of the Serbian Radical party pulls out a hand gun and kills 3 deputies from Croatia (3 others are also wounded). Soon after this spilling of blood, a military dictatorship is established.

“Then the one who sits on the throne of our kingdom is killed. He will leave behind a widow and orphans. A relative of his will replace him on the throne, and he will try to rule justly and take good care of his cousin`s children. But people do not love him, and he is accused of being an unjust ruler. He is dethroned and imprisoned by his army. His life will be saved by England`s King and Queen. Then on the empty throne, our killed King’s boy sits. But he will rule only for a few days. He will be taken by his soldiers over the seas because our kingdom is again invaded by a foreign, evil army. All of Europe is under the rule of the crooked anti-cross.”

Historical facts:

1934 – While visiting Marseilles (in France), King Alexandar Karageorgevich is killed by a Croatian nationalist. Prince Pavle Karageorgevich, his cousin, becomes the provisional ruler because the King`s son Petar is still a minor. Because of his growing unpopularity, Pavle is ousted by his army and is exiled to England. Young Prince Petar becomes the King, but soon flees Yugoslavia before the invading Nazi hordes.

1941 – Yugoslavia is occupied by the Germans. The ominous shadow of the Nazi swastika covers most of Europe.

“In the beginning Russia will not wage war, but when attacked by the evil army, they will fight back. There is a red Czar on the Russian throne. Here, men with stars on their foreheads will appear. They will rule Uzice and this region for exactly 73 days, and then fleeing their enemies, they will go over the river Drina. These are times of hunger and great evil… Serbs will fight and butcher each other. The invading enemy looks upon Serbian evil hatred and laughs at us. A man with blue eyes on a white horse appears among our people. A star shines on his forehead. The evil enemy will hunt him all over our country, in the woods, over rivers and upon the sea, but in vain. The man will gather a mighty army and free occupied Belgrade. He will chase away the enemy from our country, and our kingdom will be bigger than ever. Russia will make an alliance with other great kingdoms over the seas, and they will burn down the crooked anti-cross and free all the enslaved people of Europe.”

[NOTE: Zaharich did not always write down Tarabic’s predictions at the time they occurred. Sometimes, he would write about conversations that had taken place several weeks before… this may explain some of the repetition and out-of-sequence quotations that appear in his writing. For example, in the preceding paragraph it would seem that the first two sentences are better suited to be in the middle of the passage (after the introduction of the “man with blue eyes”), because it is his army that takes and holds Uzice for 73 days.]

Historical facts:

1941 – After being attacked by Nazi Germany, Russia enters the war. They are led by their Communist “red Czar”, Stalin. In Yugoslavia the communist party led by Josip Broz Tito, the man with blue eyes on a white horse, starts the resistance against the Germans and Italians, as well as against the Serbian and Croat national extremists who are butchering each other. The symbol of Tito`s partisans is a red star, which they proudly wear on their hats.

The first territory liberated by the partisans is the region around the city of Uzice. They hold it against a superior force for exactly 73 days… then the partisans are forced to flee over the river Drina to Bosnia. The guerilla war was fought all over Yugoslavia for 4 long years… in the woods, over rivers and upon the sea.

1945 – Yugoslavia is liberated. Tito enters Belgrade on a white horse and makes the Royal Palace his life-long residence. Communist Yugoslavia is formed, and gains more territory from the neighbouring state of Italy. The Allies free Europe. The Nazi swastika is crushed, and the the Second World War is over.

[This is Zarahic now, speaking directly:]

“Mitar told me that the man with blue eyes and the star upon his forehead, would break the long-lasting love with our Christian Orthodox brothers, the Russians. He would not be grateful to them for the fact that he was sitting on our throne because they had put him there in the first place. A great hatred would erupt between us and the Russians. Blood would be spilled among our people. These wounds would be quickly healed and we would again be friends with the Russians, but never sincerely, only formally, pretending for the sake of others not to understand how we cheat and lie to each other.”

Historical facts

1948 – Tito does not want Yugoslavia to become one of Russia’s “puppet states”. He abruptly severs all political ties with Stalin, the man who formed him politically in the early 1920`s and sent him back to Yugoslavia to organize an effective communist party. Tito purges his party of all members who oppose this decision, spilling a lot of blood in the process.

1954 – The year following Stalin`s death, political and economic relations with Russia are re-established, but “never sincerely”…


“After the Great War peace will reign all over the world. Many new states will appear… black, white, red and yellow. An international court is formed, which does not allow countries to fight each other. This Court will be above all kings. Where a war starts, the Court will judge justly, trying to transform hatred and butchery into love and peace. The lucky ones who live to see these times will be more than happy.

After a while some great kings, as well as some small ones, will start to fake their respect for the Court, while doing whatever they please… Many small wars will begin because of this… thousands upon thousands will die, but there will be no big wars.

Wars in Israel

There will be a few wars around the kingdom of Israel, but sooner or later the peace will come even there. In these wars brothers fight brothers; then they make peace and kiss each other, but their hatred remains… All these small wars are initiated by the great kingdoms, because of their wickedness and malice; those who fight and butcher each other do it because of their blind stupidity.”

Historical facts:

No comment

“In our country, the time of peace and prosperity will last for a long time. Many a generation will be born to live and die in peace, knowing about war only through wise books, words and different strange apparitions. [These “different strange apparations” might be TVs and radios.]

Our kingdom will be strong and well-loved and respected by everybody. People will eat only “white” bread, and whole wheat just when they want to. Everybody will ride around in carts with no oxen. People will travel in the sky, looking down upon our land as if they had climbed on the doubled Tara mountain.

Down in Uzice, and all around these mountains, many factories will be built, and people will leave the land and come to work in them. For a long time they will love it, but then they will remember their land and go back to it.

Serbia will prosper best while the man with blue eyes on a white horse governs, one who will come to Serbia bringing some kind of new religion. He will ascend our throne, and will be strong and healthy, living a long life close to one hundred years. He will very much like to hunt, and one time while hunting he will accidently fall from his white horse and thus lose his leg. From this wound he will die, not because of his great age.”

Historical facts:

Very simply and accurately, this vision of Tarabic’s describes life in post-WWII Yugoslavia up to Tito`s death in 1981. Tito “came” to Serbia from Croatia, and had really brought with him a “new religion”: Communism. He did not have the hunting accident described by Tarabic (although he was a passionate horseman and hunter), but nevertheless the real cause of his death was the amputation of his leg, caused by his aggravated diabetes. After his death a “commission”, called the Collective Presidency, ruled the country until its collapse in 1991.

“After him our land will be governed by some kind of commission, but it will never be as it was. Even though the people in our kingdom will forget about misery and hunger and will live in great wealth, brother will start to hate and think evil of brother.

On our borders and over them a new nation will appear. They will grow like grass after a deluge, they will be good and honest, and they will answer our hatred with reason. They will take care of each other like brothers. And we, because of our madness we shall think that we know everything and that we can do anything, and we shall baptise them with some new fate of ours, but all that will be in vain. Because they will believe only in themselves and in nobody else. Big trouble will become of it, because this nation will be brave.

Many summers this trouble will last, and nobody will be able to stop it, because that nation will grow like grass. One who will be born many summers after you [Note: he is speaking to the priest Zaharic here], will be honest and intelligent, he will deal with them in peace. We shall live in peace – they there, us here and there.”


“You see my god-father, when the world starts to live in peace and abundance after the Second Big War, all of that will be just a bitter illusion, because many will forget God, and they will worship only their own human intelligence… And do you know my god-father, what is human intelligence compared to God’s will and knowledge? Not even a single drop in the ocean.

Men will build a box and within will be some kind of gadget with images, but they will not be able to communicate with me already dead, even though this image gadget will be as close to this other world as hairs on the human scalp are close to each other.”

“With the help of this image-gadget man will be able to see everything that is happening all over the world.

People will drill wells deep in the ground and dig out gold [another name for crude oil is “black gold”], which will give them light, speed and power, and the earth will shed tears of sorrow, because there will be much more gold and light on its surface than in its interior. The earth will suffer because of these open wounds. Instead of working in the fields, people will dig everywhere, in right and wrong places, but the real power will be all around them, not being able to tell them: “Come on, take me, don’t you see that I am here, all around you.” Only after many a summer, people will remember this real power, and then they will realise how stupid it was to dig all those holes. This power will also be present in people but it will take a long time before they discover it and use it. Thus man will live for a long, long time, not being able to know himself. There will be many learned men who will think through their books that they know and can do everything. They will be the great obstacle for this realisation [self-knowledge], but once men get this knowledge, then people will see what kind of delusion it was when they listened to their learned men. When that happens, people will be so sorry that they didn’t discover it before, because this knowledge is so simple.

People will do many stupid things, thinking that they know and can do everything, not knowing anything. Wise men will appear in the Orient and their wisdom will cross all seas and frontiers, but people will not trust this wisdom for long time, and this real truth they will proclaim for a lie.

Their souls will not be possessed by the Devil, but by something much worse. They will believe that their illusion is the real truth, although there will be no truth in their heads. Here at home it will be the same as all over the world. People will start to hate clean air and this divine freshness and all divine beauty and will hide in rankness. Nobody will force them to do that, but they will do it of their own free will. Here in Kremna many a field will become a meadow, and many a home will be abandoned, but then those who have left will come back to heal themselves by breathing fresh air. In Serbia it will not be possible to distinguish a man from a woman. Everybody will dress the same. This calamity will come to us from abroad but it will stay with us the longest. A groom will take a bride, but nobody will know who is who. People will be lost and more and more senseless day by day. Men will be born not knowing who was their grand-father and great grand-father. People will think that they know everything, but not a thing they will know.


The Serbs will separate from each other, and they will say: “I am not a Serb, I am not a Serb.” The unholy one will infiltrate this nation and bed with Serbian sisters, mothers and wives. He will sire such children that among the Serbs, since the beginning of the world, these will be the worst of offspring. Only weaklings will be born, and nobody will be strong enough to give a birth to a real hero.”

[This last paragraph might also be a reference to the current situation in the Balkans. If you assume that Tarabic made no distinction between Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, etc., then it is quite possible that by saying “I am not a Serb, I am not a Serb”, he means to indicate all those that have distanced themselves from the former Yugoslavia. On the other hand, he might also be referring to a situation that has not happened yet.]

“At one time we shall disappear from this land of ours. We shall go to the north, and then realising our stupid deed we shall return. When we come back, we shall wise up and chase away the unholy one, not to see him, in God’s name, ever again.


The whole world will be plagued by a strange disease and nobody will be able to find a cure; everybody will say I know, I know, because I am learned and smart, but nobody will know anything. People will think and think, but they will not be able to find the right cure, which will be with God’s help, all around them and in themselves.

Man will travel to other worlds to find lifeless deserts there, and still, God forgive him, he will think that he knows better than God himself. There, except the eternal peace of God, he will see nothing, but he will sense with his heart and soul all of God’s beauty and power. People will drive in rigs upon the moon and stars. They will look for life, but life similar to ours they will not find. It will be there, but they will not be able to understand it and see that it is life.

One who goes there, God forgive him, not believing in God as it is proper for an honourable and decent person, when he comes back he will say: “Oh, you people, who mention God’s name with doubt, go there where I was, than you will see what is God’s mind and power.”

The more people will know, the less they will love and care for each other. Hatred will be so great between them that they will care more for their different gadgets than for their relatives. Man will trust his gadget more than his first neighbour…

Among people of a nation far in the north a little man will appear who will teach men about love and compassion, but there will be many Judas and hypocrites around him so that he will have many ups and downs. Not one of these hypocrites will want to know what is real human grace, but his wise books will remain, and all the words he will say [tape recordings?], and then then people will see how self-deceived they were.

Those who will read and write different books with numbers will think that they know the most. These learned men will let their lives be led by their calculations, and they will do and live exactly how these numbers tell them. Among these learned men there will be good and evil men. The evil ones will do evil deeds. They will poison air and water and spread pestilence over the seas, rivers and earth, and people will start to die suddenly of various ailments. Those good and wise will see that all this effort and hard work is not worth a penny and that it leads to the destruction of the world, and instead of looking for wisdom in numbers, they will start to seek it in meditation.


When they start to meditate more, they will be closer to God’s wisdom, but it will be too late, because the evil ones will already ravage the whole earth and men will start to die in great numbers. Then people will run away from cities to the country and look for the mountains with three crosses, and there, inside, they will be able to breathe and drink water. Those who will escape will save themselves and their families, but not for long, because a great famine will appear. There will be plenty of food in towns and villages, but it will be poisoned. Many will eat because of hunger and die immediately. Those who will fast to the end will survive, because the Holy Ghost will save them and they will be close to God.

[I think the “mountains with three crosses” could be referring to nuclear shelters. If you look at the door of one of these shelters, you might see three turn-handles, used for unlocking and opening it… Tarabic might well have interpreted these handles as “three crosses”.]

“People waging this war will have their scientists who will invent different and strange cannon-balls. When they explode, these cannon-balls, instead of killing, will cast a spell over all that lives; people, armies and live stock. This spell will make them sleep, and sleep they will instead of fighting, and after they will come back to their senses.

We [Serbia] will not fight in this war, but others will do battle over our heads. Burning people will fall from the sky over Pozega [a town in Serbia]. Only one country at the end of the world, surrounded by great seas, as big as our Europe, will live in peace, without any troubles… Upon it or over it not a single cannon-ball will explode! Those who will run and hide in the mountains with three crosses will find shelter and will be saved to live after in abundance, happiness and love, because there will be no more wars…”

March 11, 2011

Wonders of Saint Takla Haymonot of Ethiopia

The great saint, Abba Takla Haymanot has a very prominent position in the Coptic Orthodox Church. The church celebrates an annual feast to commemorate the greatness of this Ethiopian saint – August 31.

Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia

Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia

Life, ministry and miracles

His father was an Ethiopian priest who loved Archangel Michael and his mother was a rich and righteous woman who also loved Archangel Michael. Together, they always celebrated the archangel’s feast on the twelfth of each month. After many years of prayer and supplications a son, “Feseha Zion” (the joy of Zion) was born into this family, for St. Takla’s mother was barren until his birth.

The tidings of Archangel Michael were fulfilled when he said to Tsega Ze-Ab, Feseha Zion’s father, “You will be the father of a child who will be an apostle in Ethiopia.” His parents were overjoyed with his birth and celebrated by having a feast inviting the poor. Three days after his birth, the Holy Spirit descended upon Fesha Zion and the infant opened his mouth and said, “One is the Holy Father. One is the Holy Son. One is the Holy Spirit.”

Since childhood, Feseha Zion performed many miracles. One such famous miracle occurred at the age of eighteen months. A famine had spread throughout the land of his family. As a result of the famine, Tsega Ze-Ab and his wife had nothing to celebrate the feast of their beloved Archangel Michael.

One day while Fesha Zion was being nursed he pointed to the flour basket, which was completely empty. His devout mother brought it to him and immediately when he touched the basket it became filled with flour. Basket after basket was placed before him until twelve overflowed with flour. She then decided to bring the oil jar to him. Fesha Zion placed his hand inside the jar and made the sign of the cross. Oil began to fill the jar. From this jar the mother poured oil into other jars until there was plenty for their monthly agape for the needy in honor of Archangel Michael.

St. Takla Haymanot

When he was fifteen years old his reverent father took him to the Bishop of Amhara, Bishop Kyrillos, who saw a vision from God to ordain Feseha Zion a deacon. As a deacon he continued to perform miracles and began to heal the sick. Many confessed him to be a god, but he told them that only the One True God is worthy of honor, praise and worship.

One day while hunting with friends, Archangel Michael appeared unto deacon Feseha Zion and told him to dedicate the rest of his life to saving people’s souls. The Archangel further told him that God would bestow upon him the ability to cure many illnesses, raise the dead, and cast out evil spirits in His Holy Name. It was then that Archangel Michael changed his name to Takla Haymanot, which means, “Paradise of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

St. Takla returned home and distributed all his money among the poor. Soon thereafter, Bishop Cyril ordained him the priest of Shewa (Shoa). St. Takla focused his attention on the spiritual welfare of those around him. He preached the Holy Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins. He continually cured the sick and performed many miracles. As a result of the holiness of this man many were converted to Christianity.

He drove out evil spirits, cast our demons, he converted kings. St. Takla was bestowed with many gifts from the Lord. He raised the dead and could foretell events and quietly tell true prophecies. He labored among the hardest of tasks in the monasteries he dwelt with thanksgiving. He escaped from all praise. He continually led a life of devoutness-fasting, praying, chanting and kneeling before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why St. Takla’s icon depicts him with six wings

One of the most famous of stories related to this saint is of his abiding in the Monastery of Abba Aragawi at the top of a very high, steep mountain. After living some time at this remote monastery, an angel of the Lord appeared to St. Takla and told him to go down to the base of the mountain and dwell in a cave to be found there. He bid the abbot of the monastery and the monks’ farewell, requesting their prayers and began his descent from the top of the towering mountain. As was the custom, the monks tied the saint with a rope to aid in his descent from the peak of the mountaintop. The rope broke suddenly and the monks feared the worst. Instantly and miraculously, six wings appeared from the saint and flew him safely and swiftly to the base of the mountain. Due to this miracle St. Takla’s icon features him with six beautiful white wings like the Cherubim.

Frightening funeral of dr. Raymond Diocres

Raymond Diocres, a professor at the Sorbonne, and a man with a universal reputation for learning and apparent virtue, died in Paris. Three days later, his coffin, beautifully adorned with the symbols of his profession, was brought into the cathedral with solemnity, accompanied by his fellow professors, by a large group of students and many priests.

Hundreds attended the funeral service; innumerable candles were lit and prayers were offered for him by those who had admired the great knowledge and virtues of the illustrious deceased. But when the choir came to the passage in the Office of the Dead: ‘What are my faults and my sins? My misdeeds and my sins make known to me!’ which Holy Job asks in Scripture, suddenly the corpse, which was lying exposed on its bier, moved before their eyes, sat up, and cried out in accents of desperation which matched the despair in his eyes: ‘By the judgement of God, I have been accused, judged and condemned’.

Having said this, he fell back, never to move again. Thus the world- renowned professor had hidden vice under the appearance of virtue. But God, who scrutinizes hearts, knew his sins and punished him for them.

Dead Raymond Diocres speaks after death

It was because of this event that St. Bruno of Cologne (1030-1101) went to great extremes in rejecting the pleasures of this world by founding a monastery in the Chartreuse Mountains, a home for the Carthusian Order. The Carthusians are, to this day, renowned for being the most rigorous and ascetic of all the cloistered orders.

February 20, 2011

Apparitions of Archangel Michael

Various apparitions of this powerful Angel have proved the protection of Saint Michael over the Church. We may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath.

Mon Saint Michel, France

Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. May 8th, however, is destined to recall another no less marvelous apparition, occurring near Monte Gargano in the Kingdom of Naples.

Apparition of Archangel Miachel at Gargano, Italy

In the year 492 a man named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.

Accompanied by his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.

It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1)

Video about Archangels:

January 27, 2011

Saint Cuthbert’s body remained incorrupt for over 850 years!

The Miraculous Relics of Saint Cuthbert the Great of England

Saint Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, the miracle-working Saint of the Orthodox and Catholic English par excellence.

The relics of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne have a particularly colorful and well-documented history beginning with the story of the initial discovery of the saint’s incorrupt remains as related by the Venerable Bede:



Now Divine Providence, wishing to show to what glory this holy man was exalted after death, who even before death had been distinguished by so many signs and miracles, inspired the minds of the brethren with a wish to remove his bones, which they expected to find dry and free from his decayed flesh, and to put them in a small coffer, on the same spot, above the ground, as objects of veneration to the people. This wish they communicated to the holy Bishop Eadbert about the middle of Quadragesima; and he ordered them to execute this on the 20th of April, which was the anniversary of the day of his burial. They accordingly did so; and opening the tomb, found his body entire, as if he were still alive, and his joints were still flexible, as if he were not dead, but sleeping. His clothes, also, were still undecayed, and seemed to retain their original freshness and colour. When the brethren saw this, they were so astonished, that they could scarcely speak, or look on the miracle which lay before them, and they hardly knew what they were doing. As a proof of the uncorrupted state of the clothes, they took a portion of them from one of the extremities,-for they did not dare to take any from the body itself,-and hastened to tell what they had found to the bishop, who was then walking alone at a spot remote from the monastery, and closed in by the flowing waves of the sea. Here it was his custom to pass the Quadragesima; and here he occupied himself forty days before the birthday of our Lord in the utmost devotion, accompanied with abstinence, prayer, and tears. Here, also, his venerable predecessor, Cuthbert, before he went to Farne, as we have related, Spent a portion of his spiritual warfare in the service of the Lord. The brethren brought with them, also, the piece of cloth in which the body of the saint had been wrapped. The bishop thanked them for the gift, and heard their report with eagerness, and with great earnestness kissed the cloth as if it were still on the saint’s body. “Fold up the body,” said he, ” in new cloth instead of this, and place it in the chest which you have prepared. But I know of a certainty that the place which has been consecrated by the virtue of this heavenly miracle will not long remain empty; and happy is he to whom the Lord, who is the giver of true happiness, shall grant to rest therein.” To these words he added what I have elsewhere expressed in verse, and said,

” What man the wondrous gifts of God shall tell?
What ear the joys of paradise shall hear?
Triumphant o’er the gates of death and hell,
The just shall live amid the starry sphere,” &c.

When the bishop had said much more to this effect, with many tears and much contrition, the brethren did as he ordered them; and having folded up the body in some new cloth, and placed it in a chest, laid it on the pavement of the sanctuary.

Saint Cuthbert´s chapel on Inner Farne

In 875, after the second Viking raid on Lindisfarne, the monks fled, carrying with them the relics of St. Cuthbert. His body was carried to several places, including Melrose Abbey, until after seven years’ wandering, it came to rest at Chester-le-Street where it (and the seat of the itinerant Diocese of Lindisfarne) remained until 995, when another Danish invasion necessitated its evacuation to Ripon. According to local legend, the monks followed two milk maids who were searching for a dun cow and were led into a peninsula formed by a loop in the River Wear. At this point St. Cuthbert’s coffin became immovable and this was taken as sign that the new shrine should be built here. After being housed in a succession of ever-sturdier structures, a stone building — the so-called White Church — was built to contain the relics and they were enshrined there on September 4, 999. King Canute was an early pilgrim. King William the Conqueror also visited St. Cuthbert’s shrine in 1069. Ultimately, St. Cuthbert’s body was enshrined in Durham Cathedral, which was designed and built under William of Calais, who was appointed the first prince-bishop by William the Conqueror. In 1104, after St. Cuthbert had been dead for 418 years, his casket was opened and the body was found to be incorrupt and possessed of a sweet odor; it was translated to a new shrine positioned in the eastern apse of the new Cathedral, behind the High Altar. When the casket was opened, a small (3 1/2″ x 5″) pocket book of the Gospel of St. John, now known as the Stonyhurst Gospel, was found. St. Cuthbert’s vestment was crafted from fine Byzantine silk (pointing to Anglo-Saxon England’s connections to the wider world). An unknown monk wrote of this shrine in 1593:

[The shrine] was estimated to be one of the most sumptuous in all England, so great were the offerings and jewells bestowed upon it, and endless the miracles that were wrought at it, even in these last days. —Rites of Durham

At the Dissolution, the commissioners of King Henry VIII violated the relics of St. Cuthbert and despoiled his shrine. At this time (1537 according to Archdeacon Harpsfield), the saint’s body “was found whole, sound, sweet, odoriferous, and flexible.” From the Rites of Durham, from MS. Hunter, No. 44, copied about 1650 from the original of A.D. 1593, p. 85:

The sacred shrine of holy St. Cuthbert, before mentioned, was defaced in the visitation that Dr. Ley (Lee H. 45), Dr. Henley, and Mr. Blythman, held at Durham, for the subverting of such monuments, in the time of King Henry VIII., in his suppression of the abbeys, where they found many worthy and goodly jewels; but especially one precious stone (belonging to the said shrine, H. 45), which, by the estimate of those three visitors and other skilful lapidaries, was of value sufficient to redeem a prince.

” After the spoil of his ornaments and jewels, coming nearer to his sacred body, thinking to have found nothing but dust and bones, and finding the chest that he did lie in very strongly bound with iron, then the goldsmith did take a great fore-hammer of a smith, and did break the said chest; and when they had opened the chest, they found him lying whole, uncorrupt, with his face bare, and his beard as if it had been a fortnight’s growth, and all his vestments upon him, as he was accustomed to say Mass, and his met-wand of gold lying beside him. Then when the goldsmith did perceive that he had broken one of his legs, when he did break open the chest, he was very sorry for it, and did cry, ‘Alas, I have broken one of his legs!’ Then Dr. Henley, hearing him say so, did call upon him, and did bid him cast down his bones. Then he made him answer again, that he could not get it (them, H. 45) asunder, for the sinews and skin held it that it would not come asunder. Then Dr. Ley did step up, to see if it were so or not, and did turn himself about, and did speak Latin to Dr. Henley, that he was lying whole. Yet Dr. Henley would give no credit to his words, but still did cry, ‘Cast down his bones’. Then Dr. Ley made answer, ‘If you will not believe me, come up yourself and see him’. Then did Dr. Henley step up to him and did handle him, and did see that he laid whole (was whole and uncorrupt, H. 45). Then he did command them to take him down: and so it happened, contrary to their expectation, that not only his body was whole and incorrupted, but the vestments wherein his body lay, and in which he was accustomed to say Mass, were fresh, safe, and not consumed. Whereupon the visitors commanded that he should be carried into the vestry, where he was close and safely kept in the inner part of the vestry till such time as they did further know the king’s pleasure what to do with him; and upon notice of the king’s pleasure therein (and after, H. 45), the prior and the monks buried him in the ground, under the same place where his shrine was exalted (under a fair marble stone, which remains to this day, where his shrine was exalted, H. 45).

Cross of Saint Cuthbert

King Henry VIII allowed the monks to reinter St. Cuthbert’s remains under a plain stone slab, beneath the very spot over which the former shrine had been elevated. This was opened again on May 17, 1827 (though there is evidence that the grave was disturbed between 1542 and 1827), at which time, the body had been reduced to a skeleton swathed in decayed vestments. The designs of the robes matched those described in the accounts of his translation in 1104. A Saxon square cross of gold embellished with garnets was found with the body. This cross, with its characteristic splayed ends, has come to be used as an heraldic device representing St. Cuthbert. According to one tradition, however, the bones unearthed in 1827 were not those of St. Cuthbert, his actual remains having been hidden elsewhere in the Cathedral between 1542 and 1558.

It should be reminded that Elizabeth Barton “the Nun of Kent” claimed that the Virgin Mary spoke to her during her numerous trances; she predicted that Henry VIII would die a miserable death if he persisted in his attempts to divorce Katherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn (what he did and what resulted in the persecution of the Catholicism in England as for such a divorce he had to separate from Rome). Very soon Henry got tired of Anne and she was accused of adultery being executed. Henry himself died at the age of 55 in 1547 due to the breathing problems and an infected leg. His coffin, lying at Syon on its way to Windsor for burial, burst open during the night and in the morning dogs were found licking up the remains. This was regarded as a divine judgement.


January 1, 2011

Healing oil of Saint Walburga (in Bavaria, Germany)

Filed under: Catholic church,Miracles — ijov @ 10:15 pm

From the rock around her tomb medicinal oil flowed, to which miraculous cures were attributed. St. Walburga’s oil continues to flow every year from about October 12 to February 25, two of her feast days. It seeps from her relics through a thick slab of stone where it is collected and distributed by the nuns of the Abtei St. Walburg.

Who was this great woman?

Walburga (Walpurgis, Vaubourg) (d. 779), abbess of Heidenheim. The sister of Winnibald and Willibald, she was a notable example of the Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns who helped Boniface in his missionary work in Germany. She was trained under Tatta at the double monastery of Wimborne (Dorset) from which she was sent to Lioba, abbess of Bischofsheim. After two years there, now skilled in medicine, she became abbess of the double monastery of Heidenheim, established by Winnibald as the only known example of its kind in Germany: on his death she assumed full control. Owing to the lack of any contemporary biography practically nothing is known about her rule.

In 776 the relics of Winnibald were translated to Eichstatt; in 870 hers were laid to rest beside them. From the rock around her tomb medicinal oil flowed, to which miraculous cures were attributed. In 893 her relics were inspected and diffused, some to the Rhineland, others to Flanders, others to France. This spread her cult to these countries. One important centre was Attigny, where Charles the Simple established a shrine in his palace chapel and named her patron of his kingdom. Her feast of 1 May inappropriately coincided with a pagan feast for the beginning of summer and the revels of witches, whence the customs of Walpurgisnacht, which have no intrinsic connection with the saint. It is, however, not impossible that the protection of crops ascribed to her and represented by the three ears of corn in her images may have been transferred to her from Mother Earth (Walborg). Her more usual attributes are a crown and sceptre with a phial of oil. This still flows from her tomb. A fine collection of 16th–20th-century phials for its distribution survives at Eichstatt. Walburga has been depicted by artists from the 11th till the 19th centuries: specially notable is a 15th century tapestry cycle of her Life. A modern abbess of Eichstatt was sufficiently important to be chosen to negotiate the surrender of the town to the Americans at the end of World War II. Her main feast is 25 February, translation feasts are 1 May, 12 October (Eichstatt), and 24 September (Zutphen).

See also: ABBEY OF SAINT WALBURGA (distributes her Holy Oil): http://www.walburga.org/arch_walburga-new.htm

Miraculous Well of Saint Winefride

Filed under: Catholic church,Miracles,Society — ijov @ 10:00 pm

St Winefride’s Well (often spelt “Winifred’s”) is a holy well located in Holywell, in Flintshire in North Wales. It is the oldest continually visited pilgrimage site in Great Britain.

The well is believed to be connected to St Mary’s well and chapel in Cefn Meiriadog, Denbighshire. In that it is one of the few locations mentioned by name in the anonymous medieval alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it is interesting to compare the site’s beheading history with the beheading game in the poem.


The healing waters have been said to cause miraculous cures, The legend of St Winefride tells how in 660AD, Caradoc, the son of a local prince, severed the head of the young Winefride after she spurned his advances, and how a spring rose from the ground at the spot where her head fell and how she was later restored to life by her uncle, St. Beuno.

The holy well is known as “the Lourdes of Wales” and is mentioned in an old rhyme as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. It has been a pilgrimage site since the 7th century.

After a shrine was established in Shrewsbury around 1138, it and St Winefride’s Well became important pilgrimage destinations. Some of the structures at the well date from the reign of King Henry VII, or earlier. Later King Henry VIII caused the shrine and saintly relics to be destroyed, but some have been recovered to be housed at Shrewsbury and Holywell.

Richard I visited the site to pray for the success of his crusade, and Henry V was said by Adam of Usk to have travelled there on foot from Shrewsbury in 1416.

In the late 15th century, Lady Margaret Beaufort had built overlooking the well a chapel, which now opens on to a pool where visitors may bathe.

In the 17th century the well became known as a symbol of the survival of Catholic recusancy in Wales. From early in their mission to England, the Jesuits supported the holy well. In 1605, many of those involved with the Gunpowder plot visited it with Father Edward Oldcorne to give thanks for his deliverance from cancer, or as some said, to plan the plot.

James II is known to have visited the well with his wife Mary of Modena, after several failed attempts to produce an heir to the throne. Shortly after this visit, Mary became pregnant with a son, James.

December 25, 2009

Prophetic Vision of Saint John of Kronstadt


Saint John of Kronstadt

The Holy and Righteous John of Kronstadt recalled this vision which he had in January of 1901:

After evening prayers I laid down to rest a little in my dimly lit cell since I was fatigued. Hanging before the icon of the Mother of God was my lit lampada. Not more than a half hour had passed when I heard soft rustle. Someone touched my left shoulder, and in tender voice said to me, ‘Arise servant of God John and follow the will of God!’

I arose and saw near the window glorious starets (elder) with frosty grey hair, wearing a black mantia, and holding staff in his hand. He looked at me tenderly, and I could scarcely keep from falling because of my great fear. My hands and feet trembled, and I wanted to speak, but my tongue would not obey me. The starets made the sign of the cross over me, and calm and joy soon came over me. Then I made the sign of the cross myself. He then pointed to the western wall of my cell with his staff in order that I should notice certain spot. The starets had inscribed on the wall the following numbers: 1913, 1914, 1917, 1922, 1924, and 1934.

Suddenly the wall vanished, and I walked with the starets toward a green field and saw a mass of crosses-thousands standing as gravemarkers. They were wooden, clay, or gold. I asked the starets, ‘What are these crosses for’ He softly answered, “These crosses are for those who suffered and were murdered for their faith in Christ and for the Word of God and have become martyrs!

And so we continued to walk. Suddenly I saw an entire river of blood and asked the starets, ‘What is the meaning of this blood? How much has been spilled?’ The starets looked around and replied, This is the blood of true Christians!’ The starets then pointed to some clouds, and I saw mass of burning white lamps. They began to fall to the ground one after another by the tens and by the hundreds. During their descent they grew dim and turned to ashes. The starets then said to me, ‘Look!’ I saw on a cloud seven burning lamps. I asked, ‘What is the meaning of the burning lamps which fell to the ground’ He said, Those are the churches of God which have fallen into heresy, but these seven lamps on the clouds are the seven Catholic and Apostolic Churches which will remain until the end of the world!’

The starets then pointed high into the air and I saw and heard angels singing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabbaoth!’ Then a large crowd of people with candles in their hands rushed by with joy on their shining faces. They were archbishops, monks, nuns, groups of laymen, young adults, and even children and babies. I asked the wonderworking starets, ‘What is the meaning of these people’ He responded, These are all the people who suffered for the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church, for the holy icons at the hands of the wicked destroyers.’ I then asked the great starets if I could sit down next to them. The starets said, ‘It is too early for you to suffer, so joining them would not be blessed by God!’

Again I saw a large group of infants who had suffered for Christ under Herod and had received crowns from the Heavenly King. We walked further and went into large church. I wanted to make the sign of the cross, but the starets said, ‘It is not necessary to cross yourself because this is a place of abomination and desolation!’ The church was very gloomy. On the altar was a star and a Gospel book with stars. Candles made of tar were burning and crackling like firewood. The chalice was standing there covered by strong stench. There was prosphora with stars. A priest stood before the altar with face like pitch and woman was under the altar covered in red with a star on her lips and she screamed and laughed throughout the church saying, ‘I am free!’ I thought Oh, Lord, how awful! The people, like madmen, began to run around the altar, scream, whistle, and clap their hands. Then they began to sing lecherous songs. Suddenly lightning flashed, frightening thunderbolt resounded, the earth trembled, and the church collapsed, sending the woman, the people, the priest, and the rest into the abyss. I thought Oh Lord, how awful, save us!

The starets saw what had happened as did I. I asked, ‘Father, tell me, what is the meaning of this frightening church?’ He responded, These are the earthly people, heretics who have abandoned the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and recognized the newly innovated church which God has not blessed. In this church they do not fast, do not attend services, and do not receive Holy Communion!’ I was frightened and said, The Lord has pity on us, but curses those with death!’ The starets interrupted me and said, ‘Do not mourn, but just pray!’ Then I saw a throng of people, each of whom had a star on his lips and was. terribly exhausted from thirst, walking here and there. They saw us and yelled loudly, ‘Holy Fathers, pray for us. It is very hard for us because we ourselves cannot. Our Fathers and Mothers did not teach us the Law of God. ‘We do not even have the name of Christ, and we have received no peace. We rejected the Holy Spirit and the sign of the cross!’ They began to cry.

I followed after the starets. ‘Look!’ he said pointing with his hand. I saw a mountain of human corpses stained in blood. I was very frightened, and I asked the starets, ‘What is the meaning of these dead bodies?’ He replied, These are people who lived the monastic life, were rejected by the Antichrist, and did not receive his seal. They suffered for their faith in Christ and the Apostolic Church and received martyrs crowns dying for Christ. Pray for these servants of God!’

Without warning the starets turned to the north and pointed with his hand. I saw an imperial palace, around which dogs were running. Wild beasts and scorpions were roaring and charging and baring their teeth. And I saw the Tsar sitting on a throne. His face was pale and masculine. He was reciting the Jesus Prayer. Suddenly he fell like a dead man. His crown fell. The wild beasts, dogs, and scorpions trampled on the anointed Sovereign. I was frightened and cried bitterly. The starets took me by my right shoulder. I saw a figure shrouded in white – it was Nicholas II. On his head was a wreath of green leaves, and his face was white and somewhat bloodied. He wore a gold cross around his neck and was quietly whispering a prayer. And then he said to me with tears, ‘Pray for me, Fr. John. Tell all Orthodox Christians that I, the Tsar-martyr, died manfully for my faith in Christ and the Orthodox Church. Tell the Holy Fathers that they should serve a Panachida for me, a sinner, but there will be no grave for me!’

Soon everything became hidden in the fog. I cried bitterly praying for the Tsar-martyr. My hands and feet trembled from fear. The starets said, :Look! Then I saw a throng of people scattered about the land who had died from starvation while others were eating grass and vegetation. Dogs were devouring the bodies of the dead, and the stench was terrible. I thought, Oh Lord, these people had no faith. From their lips they expelled blasphemy, and for this they received God’s anger.

I also saw an entire mountain of books and among the books worms were crawling emitting ? terrible stench. I asked the starets, ‘What was the meaning of these books?’ ?? said, These books are the Godlessness and blasphemy which will infect all Christians with heretical teachings!’ Then the starets touched his staff to some of the books, and they ignited into flames. The wind scattered the ashes. Further on, I saw a church around which was a large pile of prayer intentions for the departed. I bent over and wanted to read them, but the starets said, These prayer requests for the dead have been lying here for many years, and the priests have forgotten about them. They are never going to read them, but the dead will ask someone to pray for them!’ I asked, ‘Who, will they get to pray for them?’ The starets answered: ‘The Angels will pray for them!’

We proceeded further, and the starets quickened the pace so that I could hardly keep up with him. ‘Look!’ he said. I saw a large crowd of people being persecuted by demons who were beating them with stakes, pitchforks, and hooks. I asked the starets, ‘What is the meaning of these people?’ He answered, These are the ones who renounced their faith and left the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and accepted the new innovative church. This group represents priests, monks, nuns, and laymen who renounced their vows or marriage, and engaged in drinking and all sorts of blasphemy and slander. All of these have terrible faces and a terrible stench comes from their mouths. The demons beat them, driving them into the terrible abyss, from where hell fire comes forth. ‘ I was terribly frightened. I made the sign of the cross while praying, Lord deliver us from such a fate!

I then saw a group of people, both old and young, all of whom were terribly dressed, and who were raising a large, five pointed star. On each corner were twelve demons and in the middle was Satan himself with terrifying horns and a straw head. He emitted a noxious foam onto the people while pronouncing these words, ‘Arise you accursed ones with the seal of …..’ Suddenly many demons appeared with branding irons and on all the people they placed the seal: on their lips, above the elbow and on their right hands. I asked the starets, ‘What is the meaning of this?’ He responded, This is the mark of the Antichrist!’ I made the sign of the cross and followed after the starets.

He suddenly stopped and pointed to the east with his hand. I saw a large gathering of people with joyous faces carrying crosses and candles in their hands. In their midst stood a large altar as white as snow. On the altar was the cross and the Holy Gospel and over the altar was the vosduch with golden imperial crown on which was written in golden letter, ‘For the short term.’ Patriarchs, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and laymen stood around the altar. They were all singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest and peace on Earth’ Out of great joy I made the sign of the cross and praised God. Suddenly the starets waved his cross upwards three times, and I saw mountain of corpses covered in human blood and above them Angels were flying. They were taking the souls of those murdered for the Word of God to heaven while they sang, Alleluia!’ I observed all this and cried loudly.

The starets took me by the hand and forbade me to cry. ‘What is pleasing to God is that Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered and shed His precious blood for us. Such ones will become martyrs who do not accept the seal of the antichrist, and all who shed their blood will receive heavenly crowns.’ The starets then prayed for these servants of God and pointed to the east as the words of the Prophet Daniel came true, ‘Abomination of desolation.’ Finally, I saw the cupola of Jerusalem. Above it was a star. Within the church millions of people thronged and still many more were trying to enter inside. I wanted to make the sign of the cross, but the starets grabbed my hand and said, ‘Here is the abomination of desolation!’

So we entered into the church, and it was full of people. I saw an altar on which tallow candles were burning. On the altar was a king in red, blazing, porphyry. On his head was a golden crown with a star. I asked the starets, ‘Who is this?’ He replied, ‘The Antichrist!’ He was very tall with eyes like fire, black eyebrows, a wedge-shaped beard, a ferocious, cunning, evil, and terrible face. He alone was on the altar and he reached his hands out to the people. He had claws as those of a tiger for hands and he shouted, ‘I am King. I am God. I am the Leader. He who does not have my seal will be put to death.’ All the people fell down and worshipped him, and he began to place his seal on their lips and on their hands in order that they should receive some bread and not die from hunger and thirst.

Around the Antichrist his servants were leading several people whose hands were bound as they had not bowed down to worship him. They said, “We are Christians, and we all believe in our Lord Jesus Christ!’ The Antichrist ripped off their heads in a flash and Christian blood began to flow A child was then led to the altar of the Antichrist to worship him, but he boldly proclaimed, ‘I am a Christian and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, but you are a minister, a servant of Satan!’ ‘Death to him!’ exclaimed the Antichrist. Others who accepted the seal of the Antichrist fell down and worshipped him. Suddenly roar of thunder resounded and thousand lightning flashes began to sparkle. Arrows began to strike the servants of the Antichrist. Then a large flaming arrow flashed by and hit the Antichrist himself on the head. As he waved his hand, his crown fell and was crushed into the ground. Then millions of birds flew in and perched on the servants of the Antichrist.

I felt the starets take me by the hand. We walked further on, and I again saw much Christian blood. It was here that I remembered the words of Saint John the Theologian in the book of Revelation that blood would ‘be up to the horse’s bridle.’ I thought, Oh my God, save us! At that time I saw Angels flying and singing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord of Sabbaoth!’ The starets looked back and went on to say, ‘Do not grieve, for soon, very soon, will come the end of the world! Pray to the Lord. God be merciful to His servants!’ Time was drawing near to close. He pointed to the east, fell to his knees and began to pray So I prayed with him. Then the starets began to quickly depart from the earth to the heights of heaven. As he did so I remembered that I did not know his name, so cried out loudly, ‘Father, what is your name?’ He tenderly replied, ‘Seraphim of Sarov!’

Image: Saint Seraphim of Sarov, the elder that appeared to Saint John in 1901

That is what ‘saw, and this is what ‘ have recorded for Orthodox Christians. A large bell rang above my head, and I heard the sound and arose from bed. ‘Lord, bless and help me through the prayers of the great starets! You have enlightened me, the sinful servant, the priest John of Kronstadt.”

(Translated by Priestmonk Orestes
Christ the Saviour Orthodox Seminary)

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