Priest and colonel

Priest Ioan Istrati

My grandfather,  Ioan, was a priest and a colonel. He had had hundreds of soldiers under his command, hundreds of military priests. He had graduated Theology and The Military Academy from Cernăuți, with father Stăniloae and saint Iustin Pârvu.

When he was old, he was about 80 years old was very afraid for us of having a car accident. When we were on the way he put on the table about 20 wooden crosses he kissed piously and he prayed.

I asked him:

`Why are you so afraid of traffic, grandpa?`

He told me:

`At all crossroads the devils stand with pitchforks to make the people fall from the carrigeable and kill them. That is why crosses and crucifixes must be put at all crossroads to make the devils go away.

From the war he suffered a bit of the Vietnam syndrome. He had stayed in the tranches on the front for 5 years in mud and snow giving the Holy Eucharist to the dying and now when he came out with the Holy Gospel he said like a military man: `Let stand wisely straight! He told me: with the King before you, you must stand straight or fall at His feet.`

He used to tell me : little foal you should become a priest to take the holiness of our family higher. This is what I did.

May God give him rest in His Liturgy!

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