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St SilouanosThe Lord granted the Holy Spirit to the Saints, and they love us with the Holy Spirit. The souls of the Saints know the Lord and His compassion for man, and this is why their souls burn with love for the people. When they lived on the earth, it was not possible for them to hear of a sinful person without feeling pain in their heart, and they would shed many tears when they prayed for such people. The Holy Spirit selected them to pray for the entire world, and He granted them streams of tears. The Holy Spirit pours upon His chosen ones such great love, that their souls are aflame with the desire for all people to be saved and to see the glory of the Lord.

Through the Holy Spirit, the Saints envelop the entire world with love. They see and know that we grow weary from sorrows, that our hearts have become dry, and that despondency has paralyzed our souls; for this reason, they intercede ceaselessly to God for us. The Saints rejoice when we repent, and they are sad when people abandon God and, in this manner, become similar to irrational animals.

Pray with faith to the Mother of God and to the Saints. They hear our prayers, and they are even aware of our thoughts. Don’t let this surprise you. All the Saints in heaven live with the Holy Spirit, and nothing in the entire creation is unknown to the Holy Spirit. Previously, I could not understand how the Saints who dwell in heaven can see us. When, however, the holy Mother of God censured me for my sins, I realized that the Saints see us through the Holy Spirit, and that they are aware of our entire life.

The Saints hear our prayers, and they have received the power from God to help us. This is known to the entire generation of Christians.

Fr. Romanos told me that when he was a boy he had to cross the Don River in winter. Unexpectedly, his horse fell through the ice and was just about to go under, dragging the sled with it. He was a little boy at the time, and he cried at the top of his voice: “St. Nicholas, help me pull the horse out!” And he tugged at the bridle and pulled the horse and sled out from under the ice.

And when Fr. Matthew, who came from my village, was a little boy he used to graze his father’s sheep. At the time, he was no bigger than a sheep himself. His older brother was working on the other side of a large field, when suddenly he saw a pack of wolves rushing at Misha (Fr. Matthew’s name in the world). Then, little Misha cried out, “St. Nicholas, help!” No sooner had the words left his

lips than the wolves turned back and did no harm either to him or his flock. And for a long time after that, the villagers would smile and say, “Our Misha was terribly frightened by a pack of wolves, but St. Nicholas rescued him!”

All of us know a multitude of such instances where the Saints come immediately to the aid of people. From all this, it is clearly evident that our prayers are heard in heaven.

—St. Silouan the Athonite