Monday, October 20, 2014

Hieromonk Paisie Olaru - Sihla Monastery, Neamt County

Fr. Paisie Olaru was born on June 20, 1897, in Stroienesti, Lunca-Botosani, Romania. His parents had 5 children; he was the youngest of all. At age 24, he became a monk at the Cozancea Skete. In 1943 he was ordained hierodeacon, and in 1947, he was ordained a priestmonk. Here you can read a few little stories from his monastic life.

It happened one time that a Christian woman and her 4-year old daughter visited Fr. Paisie. They were from Humulesti, and at that time Fr. Paisie was in the Sihla Monastery. After he confessed her, he blessed her daughter and said to her: "May God and His Holy Mother bless you, because you'll be a nun!". After 12 years, the child enrolled in the monastic life, making herself Jesus' bride... [...]

A disciple of Fr. Paisie once asked him: "How many times do we have to pray with the Jesus Prayer and cross ourselves?". And the elder said to him: “I pray one hundred times with ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’, one hundred times with ‘Most-Holy Mother of God, have mercy on us’, one hundred times with ‘Holy Godbearing Father Paisios, pray to God for me, a sinner’, one hundred times with ‘Holy Hierarch Spiridon, pray to God for me, a sinner’, and then one hundred times with ‘Holy Saint Veronica, pray to Jesus the Saviour for me, a sinner’. And so I keep repeating them over and over from the beginning. Then it happens that someone comes in, or I say a little prayer for a sick, or I confess a monk, or I listen to the Holy Services, or I cry, or I fall asleep a bit, and so goes everything until the Lord comes to us...” [...]

In the last years of his life, when he was more than 90 years old, he was lying in bed with a broken leg, having lost sight because of cataracts in both his eyes, and almost deaf. Whenever he wasn't feeling well or he was in any pain, he would pray and cry, saying of himself: "I have once again upset God!". And then he used to yell softly: "Forgive me my Lord, because I have upset you terribly; Mother of God, help me because I have no power! Where would I go? I'm waiting for you, mercy Jesus, I'm crying and waiting for you".

His disciple, seeing the pain of his spiritual father, would also cry out of compassion for him. But the father didn't know he was in his cell with him. His face enlightened once again, and then he crossed himself three times, wiped out his tears with a towel, and continued to pray secretly with the prayer of the heart, gently shaking his head in between the pillows... [...]

Fr. Paisie had the Holy gift of healing people and the gift of bringing peace into the souls of the people hurt by sin. His teachings were simple and wise, evangelical and practical. He talked little, but with Holy wisdom.
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