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The BaptistThe vision of the lawyer

A lawyer from Athens by the name of Dallas revered him as a saint. At one period his family was in Germany. He received a distressing letter of some kind, and because he was very worried, the lawyer thought of going to Saint John’s, since, because of his worry, there was no prospect of sleep and he was sure Papa-Nicholas would be keeping vigil. He went and lifted himself up to look through the window of the church, and there he saw Papa-Nicholas standing at the candle-rack, and on his right a man with a leather tunic, thin, ascetical, exactly like Saint John the Forerunner. Astonished, he went straight to the caretaker, Kyra-Semina, and said to her, “Wake up, and open up for me to go in and see the Elder.”

She said to him, “The Elder isn’t here tonight.” “What are you saying, my woman? I just saw him inside the church, and I want you to let me in to see him.”

She opened up for him, he went in—and stood there thunderstruck, because there was no one there. The lawyer later told this with amazement.

The punishment of the caretaker

At the Church of Saint John there used to be a caretaker named Kyra-Maria, who was tempted by the evil one and was hostile to the Elder for a long time. One day, as the priest was coming into the church, she made an insulting gesture at him. He did not even notice. That night, the caretaker saw Saint John, and he said to her, “What did my servant ever do to you for you to do that to him?” At the same time he gave her a slap, from which, when she woke up, her cheek was black and blue. The next day, when the priest again went to the church as usual, the caretaker came out in front of him, fell down at his feet, asked his forgiveness, and at the same time begged him to tread on her hands. The meek and gentle Papa-Nicholas stepped to one side. She cried out, “Step on them, my Father!”

And again the simple Papa-Nicholas: “But why should I step on them for you?” This kept up for some time— he declining to step on them, and she insisting. He forgave her the incident, which he had not even noticed. After this vision, the caretaker went off and became a nun, and was named Matrona.

—Excerpt from the Life of Saint Papa-Nicholas Planas