Saint Paisios the Athonite
edited by Stelios Koukos
A young man came to see me who’d had lots of problems, bodily and spiritual, for more than four years. He led a sinful life and had shut himself up at home. He didn’t want to see anyone.
Two friends of his used to come regularly to the Holy Mountain and, with the greatest difficulty, they persuaded him to go with them, with the aim of bringing him to see me.
On the boat trip from Ouranoupolis to Dafni, every time the ship called in at the landing-stage of one of the monasteries, the young man would writhe on the floor.
His friends and the monks who were on board tried to help him by saying the Jesus Prayer and they eventually managed to get him to where I was living.
The poor man opened his heart to me and talked about his life.
I could see he was being tormented by some sort of demonic influence. I told him to go and confess to a spiritual father, do whatever he was told to and he’d become well. So he went and confessed.
When they got on the boat to leave the Mountain, he mentioned to his friends that the confessor had told him to throw into the sea a charm some acquaintance had given him.
He was wearing it and couldn’t bring himself to get rid of it.
The more his friends asked him to get up and rid himself of it, the more he sat like a statue. He couldn’t get out of his seat. So they took hold of him and dragged him out onto the deck. With their help he was able to remove the charm and he let it drop into the sea, because he didn’t have the strength to throw it.
At once, he felt his hands were free and his tormented body became strong. He began to leap about in the gangway, full of life, and started testing the new-found strength of his hands on the railings and bulwarks of the ship.