Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
Once the monk B went in a village for some affairs of the monastery. When he got there the villagers came to him and asked him insistently to help them defend the right faith against an evangelic preacher.
That one with quotes from the Holy Scripture disturbed them, defaming the saints and the Holy Mother of God.
The monk was a simple man, almost illiterate and felt quite embarrassed but after thinking a little he remembered what he had read about the saints and their lives and invited the Protestant preacher to meet with him and proposed this thing:
“Let us light a fire in the middle of the village.” “Everyone will pass through it and in this way God will prove who has the Truth.”
The next morning the villagers brought wood and built a fire in the middle of the village. The monk came, but the preacher didn’t. He had run with the first ship from that day.
The whole village rejoiced for the glorious victory against that mendacious preacher. When the monk went back to his monastery, the other monks asked him:
“Were you ready to pass through fire?”
“I was a bit worried, but I didn’t have any doubts about our faith and I thought: On earth I don’t deserve anything else only to go to hell. It would be better to be burnt here on earth than burning for eternity.”
Thus this humble and simple monk defended faith as it had been defended by the first martyrs and the former spiritual fathers.
The Athonite Patericon