Spill of good fragrance for three days

The young monk N. was under the guidance of the Elder. All monks must have devotion and complete trust in their Elder. Indeed all the monks in the monastery had this trust in Father Jacob, their Elder. A little comfort always strengthens even the most perfect. However, monk N. was worthy to have it in abundance for three uninterrupted days.

It was on a Sunday afternoon, on June 17, 1990, and he had to arrange the food storage. While he was working there the Elder unexpectedly entered. Father N. made a prostration to him and received his blessing, but at that moment an indescribable fragrance filled the entire storage room. The astonished monk turned to see where it was coming from, but in the meantime, the Elder had disappeared. It was the first time that the monk experienced such a state, and therefore his mind was filled with questions.

In the evening of the same day, both the monk N. and the Elder went to the refectory. At one point, monk N. was once again enveloped in a good fragrance that was becoming stronger and stronger. He then asked:

-Fathers, do you happen to smell a good fragrance?

They all looked at him in astonishment and replied, “No.” Without realizing it, he gave the Elder a questioning look, and the Elder lowered his head as if guilty.

On Monday, the next day as they usually did they read the evening prayers in the Elder’s cell. At the end, when Father N. made a prostration to receive the blessing, a strong fragrance emerged from the Elder’s hand once again. He then asked the others if they also smelled it, but they replied that they did not.

At this third occurrence of the fragrance, monk N. became frightened. He was considering asking the Elder about it as he feared it might be the work of Satan, but he didn’t know how to approach the subject. The next day, he asked the Elder for permission to wash a small piece of cloth that the Elder used for his bruised feet for massage or for the doctor to examine. However, the cloth was clean, and the Elder did not grant him permission. But the monk insisted, and the Elder relented. Father N. then took the cloth and went to the well to wash it. As he walked, he humbly contemplated that on that cloth lay “the pained and tormented feet of my Holy Elder”. Before he could finish his thought and reach the well, he once again felt a strong fragrance, hitting him like a powerful winter wind. This stirred him so much that he was on the verge of tears. He quickly returned to the Elder’s cell and explained what he had felt for three consecutive days:

-Is it from God, Elder? Elder, are you a saint!

He did not get to finish, as the Elder interrupted him and told him with great seriousness, lowering his gaze:

-My son let us make the sign of the cross… And what will God say, my son.

Excerpt from the book “Blessed Jacob Tsalikis” – Evanghelismos Publishing House.

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