Elder Avgustin’s Gift of the Sight and the Monk on the Holy Mountain who Saw the Slaughter of the Tsar’s Family

4 October 2020

I met the Elder for the first time in 1950. [Father Avgustin, a Russian monk, 1882-1965], though I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know him well personally at that time. But everybody talked about his sanctity.

In 1955, when I went back to Filotheou, I went to see him in his kelli on the second day, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t there.

I left a few things outside his door and returned to the monastery, being careful not to be seen by anyone, because I didn’t want the fathers to think I went round the kellia taking things and so on.

The next day, in the afternoon, Elder Avgustin came to the monastery and asked for me:
‘Where’s Father Païsios?’

The fathers were surprised and said: ‘We haven’t really got to know him ourselves yet. How do you know him?’ They showed him to my cell.

As soon as I opened the door, he made a full-length prostration and said: ‘Bless’ [The monastic greeting in Greek]. Then he said: ‘May God forgive for the blessings [that is ‘Thank you for the gifts’]’. Out of his bag he took seven little peaches the size of plums. They were wrapped in a handkerchief and came from a half-dead peach-tree he had at his kelli.

I wanted to hide from the Elder the fact that I’d taken some things to him as gifts, but he said to me: ‘I saw you from Prophet Elijah’. Now, [the Skete of] Prophet Elijah is about four hours’ walk away from Elder Avgustin’s kelli. The elder had the gift of the sight. Naturally, for God there aren’t any long or short distances.

Since I’ve been given the opportunity, I’d like to mention another instance of the same gift. His neighbour, Deacon Veniamin, saw the slaughter of the Tsar’s family while he was in his kelli on the Holy Mountain, as if he were watching television. After a while news reached them that on that very day, the royal family had been slaughtered by the communists.