Elder Agapit (1838-1905)

Elder Agapit

Elder Agapit, who lived on this earth from 1838 until 1905, was a native of the Yaroslavl region. Agapit came to "Va-laam" and was formed by the guidance of the great Abbot Damascene into a veritable bastion of spirituality, deeply saturated in the Jesus Prayer. His abundant correspondence with St. Theophan the Recluse shaped Elder Agapits' ascetic world view and made him a profound expert in the Jesus Prayer and a spiritual teacher for several generations. Having lost his natural sight, he gained spiritual sight, whereby he could recognize people at a distance by merely hearing the movement of their steps in the corridor as they walked to his cell for confession. It would not be wrong to call Fr. Agapit a Holy Father and instructor in the Prayer of Jesus and the spiritual life. There is much evidence that would support the canonization of this great elder. Elder Agapit's writings on sobriety, watchfulness and contemplation, although brief, breathe the true Philokalic spirit of the ancients, and deserve to be remembered among the many classics of Orthodox Christian spirituality. He also corresponded with many. Sadly most of this episto-logical treasure has apparently not survived, but perhaps under today's new, favorable conditions some portion of it may surface. Holy Father Agapit, pray to God for us!

Text from Valaam Patericon Book of Days
(St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina California)

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