For Neglect of Monastic Life, the Hierodeacon Was Punished with Paralysis

Hegumen Mark (Lozinsky). "The patericon of the preacher."

In the early 1870s, someone from the “white” deacons, father Joasaph entered the monastery of St. Sergius. His daughter was a nun in the Khotkovo convent. Once, father Joasaph served in the church of the Great Martyr Barbara by the Lavra Hospital. Having performed the litany before the Cherubic Hymn, he entered the altar and managed to take only a few steps to the holy table, when with indescribable anxiety on his face fell without feelings. He was transferred to the hospital, where he lay unconscious for three days. When he came to his senses, he told his spiritual father the following: “As soon as I entered the altar, I saw an angel standing by the holy table in a sticharion, girdled by an orarion under the breast, and with a sword in his hand. He quickly approached me, removed the sticharion and the orarion from me and, hitting my arms and legs with a fire sword, said: “I would quicker take your soul out of your body for your neglect of monastic life, but look who is interceding for you before God” - and pointed a finger to the altar. There I saw Venerable Sergius kneeling to the table of oblation and praying fervently. Hierodeacon Joasaph, paralyzed, lay motionless for about a year. Throughout this time, he shed tears of repentance to God, asking Him to forgive his sins. Father Joasaph, apparently, was forewarned about the day of his death. One morning, he asked his daughter, who kept vigil over him, to get him funeral clothes and put on him. Being in full memory, he received the Holy Mysteries and, addressing some invisible visitors, said with a sense of gladness: “You have come,” and he died immediately. (Trinity Lavra flowers from the spiritual meadow. P. 19.)