Demonic Visions of Elder Basiliscus

Lives of Russian ascetics of 18th -19th centuries. March. The ascetic Elder Basiliscus.

At this time, a god-loving noble man saw the ascetic Basiliscus and asked him to live in the bathhouse, which was in his garden. Referring to his three-year stay with this hospitable man, Basiliscus said that the devil had never been more armed against him than he was at that time. One night, while he was praying and reading with tears the psalm, suddenly he saw a demon in the form of a big, ferocious horse, with a wide opened mouth, ready to swallow him. With a firm belief in God, he shielded himself with the sign of the cross, and the vision faded. The other night a basket came down from the ceiling, and many flies flew out of it with noise; the ascetic did not hesitate, but intensified his prayer to God, and the vision disappeared. For the third time, also at night, a seducer appeared in the form of the ascetic as an elegant woman, and when the hermit, ignoring her, continued to pray, she attacked the ascetic, pulled the chain on which his body cross hung, and so squeezed his throat that his breath stopped, and only in his mind could he read: ‘Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered!’ The vision faded; but the Basiliscus, after such a strong attack by the enemy, long felt the tremors and cold in the body and, encouraged, plunged before the icon of the Savior, gently begging not to put him in the hands of the foes.


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