Elder Daniel about the Visions

Elder Daniel of Katounakia. “The Angelic Life”. Letters.

(translated from Russian)

Elder Daniel of Katounakia

Answer of monk Daniel to Marcian, a monk of the Iveron skete [1], on rejection of dreams

Marcian, reverend brother in Christ, greetings!

Having received with great gratitude your precious letter dated the second day of this month with attached manuscript reporting on visions and revelations of the great simple [2] elder Euthymius, I have heartily thanked and praised the all-merciful God, for I have long desired to investigate thoroughly these supernatural visions, about which I have heard many perverse things from different persons. And now I am most thankful to you [3], my dearest brother, for getting acquainted with this work, where one can glean many hortatory and edifying things. Therefore, yielding to your request, I have thoroughly investigated the mentioned manuscript not only from the point of its content, but also from the point of the very root of the matter.

And, first of all, I should deservedly praise you. Since no sooner this simple [4] Christian had visions on this place [5], than you, fearing delusion from the right, informed spiritual fathers, which considered revelations made to him to be true, and it prompted you to write them down thoroughly for the use of those reading it.

Secondly, although I, in spite of your love towards me, do not deserve such honour, you, due to your infinite modesty, have requested my considerations as well, whether the described visions are true. And so be it, since you, the highest in friendship and worthy of the utmost praises, keep in your memory guidance of the Holy Fathers on discernment, in particular, of Abba Moses, who said: “It is impossible to fall into demonic delusion for one who coordinates his life with the judgment and will of the succeeded, nevertheless, one should reveal himself not to random people , but to spiritual elders having discernment, and not to those that have got old [only] due to the time, since many people, looking at their age and revealing [them] their thoughts, fell into despair instead of receiving cure because of immaturity  of the “elders”” [6].

Let me speak about gifts of the Holy Spirit: if the gifts, known since ancient times, are seen nowadays possessed not by the famous monks who have taken a vow of silence and confessors, but by the simple, the illiterate, and often by the laymen, we should not be indignant or envious. Indeed, God’s gifts can not be cancelled; they are not given randomly, in vain, but by ineffable means and for purposes known only to God, since He knows for certain good hearts of people, who are able to receive the grace. And a person, who tries to disprove it out of envy, resists God and blasphemes the Holy Spirit. Revelations [that they receive] are enough to acknowledge that it occurs by God’s grace, and not due to demoniac mockery.

There are innumerable examples that confirm truth of these words. And among the first let us remember St. Spyridon, great among the saints. This illiterate man was a shepherd of the sheep before becoming a bishop. But, being a sweet-sounding psaltery of the Holy Spirit at the same time, he excelled many learned fathers in boldness before God. He defeated not only Arius, but also the monstrous idol of the Alexandrians, many holy fathers could not shatter it, but he boldly overturned and destroyed it alone.

Let us remember also Saint Zachary, a simple shoemaker, who had a wife and lived not in mountains and caves, but in the sinful world. Let us remember, how doors of Hagia Sophia church opened before him on their own and miraculously closed after the end of his prayer. And what would we say about Euphrosynus the cook? Due to his lameness and illiteracy, he was an object of constant mockery and slaps from brethren of the monastery, but, already during his lifetime, he merited paradise pleasures, and, after his death, he became more glorious than many others. Looking at such examples, it doesn't befit us to doubt impartial judgments of God. However, we should not also have trust in all extraordinary phenomena indiscriminately without thorough investigation, since many monks — not only simple, but also famous for highest virtues, deeds, as well as signs and wonders,— were then mocked by fiends  and filled us with inconsolable woe. That’s why the holy fathers, ascetics skillful in deeds, decisively call us to be sober. It is well-known that all those, who dared to accept such visions and hearings without a true advisor, fell then into grievous delusion.

Thus, according to guidance of the holy fathers, let us have strict investigation and every carefulness with regard to the most true and even not false [seemingly] revelation, because it is the most difficult task to discern wickedness of cursed Satan. And since, in spite of my unworthiness, thanks to many years experience and attentive learning from incessantly striving fathers and spiritual elders, I am somewhat familiar with this subject, I dare to share my humble judgment with you.

I ask you to take into account that following humble words are not invented by my poor mind, let me not seem somewhat more clever or higher than my spiritual fathers, famous for their virtues and love towards God (let it not be so!), I only report dispassionately (for the sake of your great love and in fulfillment of God's will, commanding to please God, and not people) some small facts of many, that I came across in our  race, and compare true signs and those of  opposite character.

I had occasion to know elders who succeeded in the fight and avoided invisible demonic nets by denial of their own will and opinion, as well as the others, famous for their perfect life, but later severely wounded and defeated by fiends. Indeed, many merited generous gifts of God at first, but then, due to self-assurance and lack of attention, became well-known for their grievous end; you will read about it further.

And now I would tell about the simple Euthymius. I admit and share everything you write about his virtuous life and great simplicity. With his poor spiritual knowledge and non-acquaintance with the elements of the Christian faith, this man has shown immense adherence to God from his childhood, therefore everything which happened to him during finding of the church [7], occurred due to ineffable economy of omnibenevolent God. It is known that where the God’s church is found, God’s grace is shown on the people similar to elder Euthymius, and that grace helps to acquire everything else. Indeed, churches like this, as well as wonder-working icons, are discovered in many places in the East and in the West. And it occurs not only with the help of innocent creatures and small children, which is not so unusual, but sometimes with the help of sinners and evildoers that are honoured with night visions and receive commands from God to speak in a loud voice about what they have seen.

Indeed, words of Saint Basil the Great: “God performs His will also through those opposing Him” [8] came true in such appearances. I would not refer here to the opinion of many confessors and my brothers in Christ, nor would I call this man a deluded one, because opinions and denominations do not lessen sanctity and do not make delusion take root, the truth is revealed by the deed itself.

We acknowledge and the holy fathers teach us that wicked Satan, out of hatred towards people leading a holy life, uses all means to deceive them with different delusions. When he notices in somebody inclination to contemplation and visions, even true ones, he takes the shape of an Angel of light, and, cunningly imposing his fantasies and dreams, makes such ascetic a shame for Angles and men [9].

Thus, this unhappy simple man began to have visions, when he came here, which returned to him again and again. And confessors and his closest friends, let me remind you, did not oppose to such impudence and did not show the proper sobriety, but confirmed to him themselves,— I do not know for what reason,— that all this is true. Therefore, waking or sleeping, during the work and on his way, this unhappy man had numerous visions, i. e. “apparitions” [10] of Christ, Our Lady, innumerable hosts of Angels, crosses floating aloft, Constantine and Peter (constantly!) and other persons. Let me pronounce these visions, much to my regret, to be the fruits of delusion, and not of truth in any way.

I beseech you, investigate thoroughly Lives of all God-pleasing fathers, and you will assure yourself, that they are full of signs, miracles, and wonderful deeds, but there are very few visions and revelations there, and they occurred only when they were absolutely necessary. And the said holy fathers informed of them very few people, whereas diabolic lies spread as fast as an airplane, hurrying to reveal themselves to illiterates and, what is much more grievous, to delude God-loving spiritual men, famous for their virtue and devotion.

Compare the true visions of the holy fathers with the examined ones, and you will see how the first are beautiful and trustworthy, and how the second are bold, if not to say crazy.

Let us remember the great Maximus of Kavsokalivia, a heavenly man and an earthly Angel, who was strong in deeds and vision and defeated the ancient enemy. This man only once merited to see Our Lady [11] and often ascended on top of Mount Athos to bow to the place of Her visitation, although Our Lady did not retire from this place and can appear to him more often. But true visions are characterized by certain credibility, whereas false signs are superficial and obtrusive at the same time. The latter is even more obvious, since Euthymius, possessed by such dreams, constantly sees the same images of a “saint” (i. e. Constantine or Peter), “Angels”, “Archangels” etc. appearing before him. And they [appear to him] not only during the prayer, but also on the way and everywhere, sometimes in the likeness of  random people demanding icons and candles from their unhappy worshipper, to his greater delusion, sometimes in the likeness liturgizing priests and Angels in attendance. And, instead of pleasing God and praising Holy Trinity, the praise is given — oh, woe! — to wicked Satan. To give an example of true signs revealed to the men who have obtained grace, we can remember once again Zachary the shoemaker. This person, as we know, went to Hagia Sophia church by nights, and, when he begin to pray, the church doors opened on their own, and miraculously closed after the end of his prayer. But the holy man, avoiding human praise, concealed his highest virtues, and when they became known to reverend monk John, he left the city fearing to ruin his treasure by vain glory. Likewise, saint Euphrosynus, when he was despised by everybody, kept a good heart and did not leave the monastery; when his sanctity was revealed, he did not take long to leave. The deluded ones do not hesitate to reveal their visions, like their own weaknesses, not only to confessors, but to the first person they meet, as well as to spiritually unenlightened ones, considering it to be a God-pleasing deed, and in this way they deepen their grievous fall.

One of the main delusions of Euthymius, that gave origin to the others, is related to visitation of “saint Eudocimus”. The reason for this, as you write yourself, was a dispute with a carpenter concerning the native land of the saint. In opinion of the carpenter, he was originated from Halkidiki, whereas devout Euthymius wanted by all means to see him a native of Epirus, and in evidence he proposed to examine the skull of the saint and to make sure that the cavity on the back of the head is much bevelled. Having jumped at this excuse, the malicious serpent, as if a phonograph perfectly fit for temptation, set before him “reverend Eudocimus” in the likeness of a priest on the very next day, who commanded to call him Peter. Since that time, the devil incessantly shows him this “saint”, as if in the cinema, sometimes on a red horse, sometimes in some ancient headwear and coarse wool garment illuminated by glaring light. Sometimes, he appears as a liturgizing priest (explaining that due to unworthiness of other priests it is only he that liturgizes), and as a venerable elder commanding to call him Peter and not Eudocimus. “I am, — he repeats, — an Epirian [12] born in the ancient Stika. Many of you, Epirians, come here every day, but no one has come to bow to me, and I mourn over it greatly. Go to a priest and command him to paint my icon”. And he holds other speeches, similar to the above, which are not fit for a true saint. Some other time he commands Euthymius to order two icons of “Saint Peter” and silver sanctuary lamps for them, and to address for this purpose to the confessor of the Iveron monastery, whose soul (as was revealed in another vision by “archangels Gabriel and Raphael”) will shine as the sun.

It seems to me and appears from the very actions that all these are the fruits of delusion. And it grieves me deeply that they concern the honour of many virtuous men, if not the whole Orthodox Christian Church. So I consider it necessary to give to your reverence a brief account of some details of complete life story of Saint Eudocimus.

Your humble novitiate, as you know, lived in Vatopedi monastery till thirty-five years, where I thoroughly learnt the life story of the reverend father. I heard also the stories of respectable persons that chanced to witness translation of the relics of Saint Eudocimus in 1848. Among them, there were, in particular, Jacob Simitzis, Grigorakis-psalt [13] and Diaco-Daniel from Ierissos, who often remembered about this event in my presence. The discovery was also attended by three bishops: Joseph, former of Varna, [Gregory] [14] of Adrianopol and Chrysanthus of Smyrna, who addressed the people, gathering there in great number, with the following words: “Fathers and brothers, there should be no place for doubt about sanctity of this God’s man, because he, foreseeing his end and avoiding human glory, came here with the wish to give up his spirit to God, and incessant fragrance of the holy relics confirms that he is a saint. But since we do not know the name of this ascetic, let us call him Eudocimus [15], because holy relics that we see have been discovered by the grace of God”.

The service was composed on the same day, and miracles began already in the evening, during the All-night vigil. The first to receive alleviation, and complete healing by morning, was a monk from Kultush, who had been paralyzed for five years before that. Then father Gregory, a doctor of the Iveron monastery with sore eyes, called upon the saint: “If you heal me, I will make a silver shrine for your holy relics without delay!”. And the saint appeared in the same night and healed him; the silver shrine with engraved name of the contributor reminds us about it. After several days, the saint appeared to a brother dwelling in a cell, who was from Giftadik, and, having healed him, he said: “My name is not Eudocimus, but monk Sabbas. But tell to the monks of the monastery to call me Eudocimus [as before]”.

The real name of the saint was revealed due to economy of God to make known his position as well. The brothers, who examined the library of the monastery, have found a large old [manuscript] book with a detailed life story of Sabbas of Vatopedi [16]. This highly-learnt man flourished in the second third of 14th century, during the golden age of the Holy Mount, when its history was enriched by the names of great righteous men, including saints Gregory Palamas, Saint Gregory of Sinai, Maximus of Kavsokalivia, Ignatius and Callistus Xanthopoulos. Having come to Athos from Thessaloniki, he performed first obedience to the elder who was known for his utmost austerity, than he kept silence with two other novitiates in the places opposite to Kalamitsi of Vatopedi. The elder commanded to Sabbas not to pronounce a single word before his twenty-five-years silent obedience came to an end. But after a raid of Saracens monks drifted apart and the elder died, so the saint had to remain silent.

Undertaking the deed of foolishness for Christ, he went across many places and was honoured with gift of miracles for his immeasurable efforts connected with God-loving pilgrimage. But, when he made a miracle, the saint tried to lessen it every time, pretending to be mad and avoiding human glory. Adhering to such life for many years and having crossed Cyprus, Jerusalem and the region beyond Jordan (where he followed example of Mary of Egypt) in full silence, he showed the greatest and supernatural deeds. On expiration of twenty-five years, Sabbas came to Constantinople, where he interrupted his silence and foolishness for Christ, being called to protect Church against the Messalian heretics, fiercely standing up against this heresy [17]. Together with Saint Gregory Palamas, he showed himself a great devotee of Orthodoxy, therefore, the sacred council and righteous basileus Andronikos Palaiologos [18] resolved to ordain him a presbyter and to make him a patriarch immediately after that (it had been before Philotheos became the patriarch of Constantinople [19]). And since the saint did not want it, the ordination was ordered secretly on the nearest feast, where all the hierarchs were to be present. When this day came, in the presence of the basileus and most of the hierarchs, several priests and deacons spotted an opportunity, seized Sabbas by his arms, and  dragged to the church to perform the ordination. But, having reached the place of the basileus, he caught hold of the edge of the Andronikos’ purple mantle and, giving it a wrench, called: “Sovereign, let the friends help in adversity [20], and Sabbas will not be a priest!”. At these words, the sovereign startled, lost his forces, and, having obtained forgiveness from the reverend father, ordered to  unhand him immediately. Having returned to Athos, Sabbas settled himself again in the Vatopedi monastery. Later, he was sent as a protos [21] to Constantinople on business of the Great Church and the Holy Mount; he spent the last period of his life in obscurity. Being informed on the time of his departure and having gained everybody [22], the saint retired in the furthest part of the graveyard, where he gave up his spirit to God.

That was the true story of the saint, whose detailed life story is kept in the Vatopedi monastery, and its copy – in the book depository of Saint Anne’s Skete. The above-said reveals schemes and wicked lies of devil, who arranged the visions of this “Epirian” (feigned  countryman of the unhappy Euthymius), and, worse still, forced the simple man to order icons of the “newly-discovered” Peter. And if our Church, with visions of one and lies of the other, had credulously permitted  to introduce new “saints”,  arbitrarily change their names and paint their icons, how awful would have been this delusion! But no: the Orthodox Church do not only admit anything of this kind, but, on the contrary, assigns penance for this.

But, perhaps, somebody may ask me: “Can it be caused by delusion, when the appearing saint Constantine and others commanded Euthymius to make the sign of the cross, and made it themselves in his presence? And how could occur repeated visions of great crosses, brighter than the sun? And why did not such visions disappear, when he crossed himself many times?”.

I hasten to say, that the lie resorts straight to such kind of reasons, for the Angel of darkness takes the shape of an Angel of light. And when he sees a person prone to such dreams, he appears in the likeness of crucified Christ, Our Lady or Saints. When he makes sure that a Christian took this for true and worshiped it as made by God, he forces this person to make the sign of the cross endlessly, attend church, stay awake, and if a deluded person is a priest, then to liturgize daily. So, the force of the cross is not exhausted, it is not so, - but it ceases its action, because the deluded person has betrayed the Cross. When the unfortunate wretch realizes the deception, and confessors assure him, that it comes from delusion, the grace of the Cross starts to act again, and satanic visions disappear. 

The best confirmation of the foregoing may be the events, which took place [quite] recently. About forty years ago, as you know, the writer of these words was in Rusik, where a well-known hierodeacon Hierotheos, died as a priest in Koutloumousiou skete. Being a young man at that time, he willfully started to keep awake, passing nights in ceaseless prayer with numerous prostrations. Seeing that, the always ready devil began to present him (as to the wretched Euthymius) many visions: “Christ”, “Our Lady”, “Angels” and so on. And to convince Hierotheos of divine nature of the visions, he said: “I am Christ indeed and want to honour you with great gifts. Just be aware of the demon of pride and always make the sign of the cross to drive off the evil influences”. He often appeared before Hierotheos in the likeness of crucified Christ, before whom he fervently made the sign of the cross and committed a prayer rule. The devil showed him many other “visions” and “revelations”, including vices of the brethren.

By God's mercy, Hierotheos often told this at the confession. Confessors, hearing about the sign of the cross, looking at his submission and avoidance of idle talks, began to revere the hierodeacon as a “saint of our days”. And who were the confessors, approving of him?  Bartholomew from the Vatopedi monastery, Niphont from the Vatopedi skete, Hieronymus from the Panteleimon monastery, and at last the great father Sabbas. It was the father Sabbas, who invented the way to expose it: “When a so-called “Christ” appears before you, propose him to reveal, what I have thought of, that nobody knows, and if he tells it, all these visions were given by God, if not - from the devil”. He said what he secretly thought just to Hierotheos, and when Hierotheos told the agreed words to pretended Christ, the devil was exposed. The deluded monk blazed with anger: “Was it you, who appeared before me as Christ? But you are devil!” And devil presented himself to him: “I am Satan, whom you served so many years and whom you gave a pledge - your signature!” (for Hierotheos swore before him in his mind and [as if] witnessed it with his signature). Having growled it, he lunged at the monk. People nearby supported Hierotheos and hardly brought him to his senses, and Hierotheos, having come round, began to bemoan his grief bitterly. And though after reading many exorcism prayers, the visions eventually ceased, note, that having escaped from these delusions, he was to recant all the monastic vows, and draw your own conclusions, what a sad end he had!

I will propose for your consideration a different story, showing the strength of the devil flattery. Approximately twenty-five years ago I was visited, on the recommendation of one person, by a man succeeded in learning, who at first hesitated to open his heart. Judging from his appearance and talks, I recognized some kind of mental illness and plucking up courage, I said: “Glad to see you, for I expect to hear something edifying for my soul!” At these words, he jumped with delight: “Thank you, father! Finally, I found a person equal to my calling. And since I was endowed with abundant grace, I won’t conceal anything”.

“I”, he continued, “was born in Thessaly, near Olympus. Having a passion for learning, I graduated from a classical school in Thessaloniki, and then held an appointment[ as a teacher] at  German school, where took a great interest in the new system of teaching, and was well provided for, getting monthly (in addition to private lessons) ten Ottoman liras. At the same time studying the Holy Scripture of both Testaments for the benefit of society, I came to the conclusion that I must pursue the Christian life, consonant with my calling. And the prayer and fasting became a major concern for me.

One night, standing in front of the icon of the Mother of God and tearfully begging Her to bestow me the grace, I saw the flame. Having come from the icon right to my heart, it filled it with the immense joy, and since then the Jesus Prayer has not ceased. This joy forced me to reach higher heights, spend many hours in prayer, following which the purified mind began to contemplate various visions waking and sleeping.

A shining angel soon appeared to me and said: “I am sent by God to be your assistant at all times. So, you should fast a lot and pray to God”. Having spent all night in prayer with a book of the Old Testament in my hands, I begged the Lord to honour me with one of the visions of the prophet Ezekiel and having fallen into an ecstasy immediately after that, I saw the same things, as the prophet was allowed to see. The other night I was honoured with the revelations of Isaiah, Daniel and other prophets, as well as those described in the Apocalypse of the Saint John the Theologian, and later I was thinking about them daily. Note, that I overcame the sleep and gluttony: I slept only an hour a day and ate no more than a bit of dried crusts and water twice a week”.

When asked whether he had a spiritual guide and had recourse to confession, he answered: “No, you are the only person I feel the need to tell about it. Because Christ often appears before me and warns: “Don’t tell it anyone, because there are no true confessors now, and you will be blamed heavily”.

I, having noticed that his eyesight is severely affected and his left hand, burned and disfigured, missed two fingers, asked: “Explain me, I pray, why did your eyes and hand suffer, because I guess there is some sort of mystery”. He, having reckoned me a seer, said: “I will not conceal this also. My eyes hurt, when I for a long time daily from noon to two hours P.M., especially in the summer heat, when the disciples rested, continuously looked at the sun, not closing eyelids. This was the start of my visions of Heavenly Powers and the saints of all ranks, different saints on different days. Despite the severe pain and burning tears, I endured, for it was the command of the Angel. And whenever the visions were interrupted, I started to make the sign of the cross.

The same story was with the hand. The Angel commanded me to read the Old Testament with a lighted candle in hand at night, quenching it when it turns into a small candle-end, what I did. And then, on the day of St. Spyridon, standing, as usual, with a candle, I saw the room shiny like the sun and the Saint Spyridon, like on the icon, in the radiance of dazzling rays. “Rejoice, ascetic Nikolaos”, he said (for that is my name). “I thank you for the great zeal and wish you to attain the crown of martyrdom in this very night. As soon as the candle flame touches the palm of your hand, squeeze it hard, though it will seem that the hand burns. Be courageous and you will defeat the serpent, this parent of evil!”. With these words, he became invisible. I, when the flame burnt my hand, first felt the ineffable fragrance, and further did not feel even the slightest pain, as long as burn blisters did not burst. And later, much suffering, I heard a voice: “This day gather the blood with the tongue from your hand, for it is worth the same honour as the Blood of Christ!”.

Then the unfortunate wretch told how, unable to bear the pain, he was forced to see a doctor, whom he explained that he had been burned by negligence, having dozed off by the fire. The hand, fortunately, has been saved.

But listen further, what the sneaky devil attains with such people. Having compelled Nikolaos to his will, he again appeared in the likeness of Christ and said: “There is one more thing for you to do, and you will please me very much. The baptism, that your parents gave you, is not true, because the ancient Apostolic order of baptism service was changed by Ecumenical Councils. So, hurry up to Thessaloniki and take the genuine baptism from the German Protestants, who kept it from the apostolic age”. And, having arrived to the local German hospital, he announced his intention to be baptized according to the Lutheran rite and went through the “immersion”. Soon, however, he had a thought to go to Milopotamos and tell about his deeds to Patriarch Joachim III, who kept silence there. He did it, concealing, however, earlier delusions. After a sufficient reproof, the Patriarch sent him to the confessor, father Niphont, and then, on his advice, performed the rite of anointing of this deluded man. But soon the visions recommenced.

In order not to bore you, I will say that, after patient listening to the story of enormous delusions for six hours, I proved their heavy harmfulness to my guest on the basis of many passages of the Holy Scripture and reasons of conscience in the subsequent two-hour conversation, so that he, having heeded that, finally repudiated all past spiritual deceptions. Even though he benefited from the incident and later resisted such dreams, the traces of the delusion were noticed in him until the end of his life. Having fallen ill with phthisis after a while, he died on the Holy Mount as a layman.

This story is sufficient to learn the truth and expose the delusion. And if you read this letter attentively, please, pass it to the Iveron monastery to the confessor, father Parthenius, who, undoubtedly, will understand where the truth is, and, together with him, try to reclaim lost Euthymius from sinful dreams. And if it is possible, release him from delusion, for one who turned the tablet of the mind into the phonograph of the Angel of darkness, imprinting such dreams, cannot deny them completely with ease.

Take good care not to have icons of the false Eudocimus, I mean “Peter the Priest”, not to offend the Holy Spirit. Because such image will offend the true Saint Eudocimus, to the greater joy of the evil. If you will not follow my impartial advice, as time passes, you will see the end of this man, but it will be too late and very sorrowfully; for you and all who supported that delusion, would be condemned by your own priest’s conscience.

The most recent vision, which you described to me lately (when he saw a liturgizing “Saint”, meanwhile the other priests were declared unworthy to liturgize), is the bitterest lie, because a person believing it establishes a heresy in the Church of Christ. Is it possible that the Saints appear after their death liturgizing, because the present priests have no effective grace? This is a terribly wrong belief of the heresiarch Makrakis, who considered the religious rites of sinful priests to be graceless and taught his followers, having found a pious priest, to take a new baptism from him, for the former baptism may be performed by the sinner!

Deeply apologize, if I have vexed you, and remain in perfect love for you.

Entirely at your disposal, your friend,
monk Daniel, the icon painter

[1] The Skete of John the Baptist of the Iveron Monastery is meant here.
[2] In the Greek text: του απλοικωτάτου.
[3] Here, as in the following cases, one can see constant interchange of  second person pronouns in the singular and in the plural, which are related to the same person, we follow the original here.
[4] In the Greek text του απλουστάτου in the nominative case means “the simple” in the Old Church Slavonic language. Considering that “the Simple” is an epithet of some saints (in particular Saint Paul, commemorated on 7 March and 4 October O.S.), it can be applied to the deluded layman Euthymius in the ironical sense.
[5] Apparently, in Vatopedi (see footnote 166). The connection of the addressee elder Marcian, the monk of the Iveron skete, with these events is not clear.
[6] The authorship of the quotation is not established.
[7] The story of the simple Christian, deceived by the devil, is included in the book: “Archimandrite Cherubim (Karambelas). Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos, M., 2002. Translated from English (chapter “Elder Daniel of Katonakia [sic!]”. P. 208-209). In this book, he appears as a layman- Albanian, builder from Stika (Northern Epirus) named Demos (Dimos is more correct). Having seen in a dream a church, that was hidden in some place underground, he dug it out with the help of fellow countrymen and since that time became convinced of his selectness. Later, working on one of the construction projects in the Vatopedi monastery, Demos became a zealous worshipper of Saint Eudocimus. Archimandrite Cherubim specifies Bishop Alexander of Rodostolos among people, who believed in the verity of his visions. 
[8] The authorship of the quotation is not established.
[9] Cf. 1 Cor. 4, 9.
[10] In the Greek text: θεωρίας, ήτοι θεοφανείας.
[11] According to the life of St. Maximus of Kavsokalivia in the Athonite Paterikon, Our Lady appeared to him not once (Athonite Paterikon. Kiev, s.a. P. 29-30).
[12] Epirian is a native of Epirus, a historical region in the west part of Balkan Peninsula (the territory of Albania and northwestern Greece nowadays), populated mainly by Albanians to the XIX century. The term “Epirians”, meaning both Greek and Albanian population of Epirus, could be used by Greek writers specifically for Albanians as their deliberately archaic name.
[13] Psalt is a Church singer.
[14] Missing in the original, the name was restored on the basis of the Athonite Paterikon, containing a cut version of the life (Athonite Paterikon. Kiev, s.a. P. 624).
[15] The name “Eudocimus” (Greek “skilled in goodness”) is consonant with, but not related to the Greek ευδοκία  -  “goodwill”.
[16] Probably, it is meant here “Life and acts of the Venerable and God-bearing our father Sabbas the New, who dwelled on Mount Athos”, compiled in the second half of the XIV century by Philotheus Kokkinos, later Patriarch of Constantinople (there is a Russian translation, recently reissued: Patriarch Philotheus of Constantinople. Luminary of monastic virtues. Life of our venerable father Sabbas the New of Mount Athos. SPb., 2002). Preserved in three copies, including Vatopedi one (which was read, apparently, by the elder Daniel), it was first published in 1898. Some of its details differ from the following narration.
[17] The Messalians, or Euchites, are an ancient sect, which is considered to be founded by heretic Markion. They rejected the Church, accused it of betraying the most important commandment of Christ about continuous cleansing of the soul by prayer and fasting.
[18] Andronikos Palaiologos — Andronikos III (1328-1341). According to the life of the Venerable Sabbas, compiled by Patriarch Philotheus, it happened under his successor John VI Kantakouzenos (1341-1355).
[19] Philotheus Kokkinos was at the patriarchal see twice: in 1354-1355 and 1362-1376.
[20] See Proverbs 17, 17
[21] Protos (from πρωτος, — “the first”) is an elected chairman of the Council of hegumens, then the Holy Epistasia of the Holy Mountain (see note 34), where it was called as protepistates. The position of the protos has been known since the X century.
[22] Cf. Matt. 18, 15.

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