Elder Alexis (1834-1900)
Beginning on Valaam, as a devoted disciple
of Abbot Damascene, saw that Elder Alexis ended his stern but humble life in sober
prayer and asceticism. He rapidly grew strong in prayer because he "took care
to converse peacefully with God," as he used to say. Much was demanded of the
Elders time, espcially when he became a confessor to the brethren, yet he always
prayed zealously. He never abandoned his prayer, and fulfilled his dream to live
a secluded life in a skete. By the end of his life he radiated the beauty of an angel.
When serving in the altar, this great elder would try to hide this trait by pretending
to be vain and distracted. Elder Alexis ended his life, as one of the pillars of
Valaam asceticism, in a state of full preparation for the other world. Elder Alexis
discovered the relics of Elder Cleopas, a disciple of St. Paisius Velichkovsky, who
himself was buried in All Saints' Skete. The relics were found to be fragrant,
like those of a saint of God. Elder Alexis requested that he to be buried at the
skete, beside Elder Cleopas which was granted when he reposed in the fragrance of
sanctity. The great mystic, Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, testified to Fr. Alexis'
great gift of clairvoyance, which he witnessed when he visited Valaam for spiritual
guidance and consolation.
Text from Valaam Patericon Book of Days
of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina California)