VALAAM

Schema-monk Nicholas (1864-1947)


Schema-monk Nicholas.

Father Nicholas came to Valaam at the age of 20, in despair because of the premature death of his wife. Nicholas laid a good beginning for himself by waging a severe war with the prince of darkness. But his despair over the loss of his young, beautiful wife caused him to forget his monastic calling. One inclement night during his depression, he saw a vision of his own funeral procession. This frightened him to such an extent that he ran to his elder, Fr. Theodoritus, in the middle of the night, through the dark forest. This vision caused him to cease his unseemly mourning, and he sobered up for good. For many years he labored as a schema-monk in the Skete of the Konevits Icon of the Theotokos, where he was known for his childlikeness and lovingkindness towards visitors, who recalled him as a virtual saint. Being bedridden, he foresaw his own death, and went to the Lord while singing by heart his favorite akathist to the "Sweetest Lord Jesus." This simple monk was a great practitioner of the Jesus Prayer, and was sought out as an "expert" by various learned theologians who came to Valaam, even from abroad. One such visitor was Fr. Sergius Chetverikov, who co-authored some works with Abbot Chariton.

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


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