Now I am going in a bright house, in a shining palace

The elder had a cousin, Ekaterina, who scoffed the priests and psalters when she lived, mocking the way they read, chanted or walked. She laughed of them. Although she did not live a life which to please God, the elder loved her very much.

It had not been long since father Haralambios had come to us, when the elder found out that his cousin, although young, had died and of course not peacefully.

In the last moments of her days God allowed to be an example for her relatives and to let them understand that Ekaterina’s behaviour had not been good. In the moment of her death she started to cry out and make grimaces and strange movements.

In this state she died. When the elder found out he started crying. Father Haralambios was surprised by the elder`s sensitivity. But he understood his thought and told him:

`My son, I don`t cry because she died, but because she was damned.

From that day on the elder started to fast without cease and pray for his cousin. But he saw her in the darkness for a long time.

Once while praying in his hut he saw her ascending from hell to heavens full of joy and keeping in her hand a key and saying loudly:

`Great is this day for me! I am going to a bright house, to a shining palace.`

`Ekaterina, what happened to you?` the elder asked her.

`Great is the day of today for me! She cried again.

This shows that through the many prayers and fasting of elder Joseph, Ekaterina was freed from the chains of hell. The prayer of the righteous who works can do a lot, indeed

Excerpt from My elder Joseph the hesychast– Pious Ephrem Philotheos, Evanghelismos Publishing.

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