Back in the 80s, St Paisios said that the USSR reminded him of a seiner ship, which has captured plenty of fish in rotten nets.
Venerable Paisios once said, “I read the newspaper once in my life. I did that to find out when I would be drafted into the army. If something important happens in the world, I learn about it either from people or through prayer. “
Through prayer, Father Paisios was able to not only learn about some of the late eighties’ global geopolitical events, but also see them coming on his “spiritual television” long before they took place.
He prophesied about the fall of communism in Russia and other socialist countries ten years before it happened. In 1979 he said, “Communism will fall. The Soviet Union will fall into many small states. Churches will be opened in Albania, and Orthodoxy will flourish.” The venerable repeated these prophecies several times.
In 1988, he said in a conversation with pilgrims: “The Old Testament says that for the sake of the people’s sins, God allowed three generations to be in Babylonian slavery, and then arranged so that they were freed. Each generation is twenty-five years. Twenty-five times three equals how much? Seventy-five. The Russian revolution took place in 1917. Now what is seventeen plus seventy-five? Ninety-two”. After that, he changed the subject. As we know, all the Eastern European totalitarian regimes fell after 1992.
In May 1989, the venerable asked one military doctor at an officers’ club in Xanthi (a town in northern Greece),
“Do you understand anything about fishing? What happens if you catch too much fish in rotten nets and then get caught in a storm?”
“The nets will break and the fish will swim away,” the doctor replied.
“The Soviet Union reminds me of a seiner ship, which has cast its nets and caught plenty of fish. But its nets are rotten and will break soon. Ceausescu will be killed, and the whole world will see it. “In six months all these nations will be liberated.” the venerable said prophetically.
In July 1989, Father Paisios said addressing the pilgrims, “As you know, Christ was a carpenter by profession. In his hand is a huge screwdriver. He loosens some screws and then tightens them. Russia will begin to weaken now that its screws are slowly unwinding…”
The events that followed proved that the elder saw “the future as the present” and “that in the distance, as it were near.”
In August 1989, events began in the Soviet Union that led to its collapse. Four months later, in December, the revolution in Romania overthrew the communist regime.
Two monks once went to the patronal feast celebration held in the cell of Saint Spyridon on the eve of his name day.
On their way, they looked in Panagouda. Despite it being a very snowy day, there was not a single footstep on the path. No one had visited the elder. The venerable went out to the gate with a flushed face showing strong excitement. He was breathing heavily. “Are you going to the celebration in the cell of Saint Spyridon?” he asked. “Ask the fathers there to pray fervently. A terrible massacre began in Romania, a real civil war”. When the monks came to the cell of St. Spyridon, it turned out that none of the brethren had heard anything about the events in Romania.
Soon, news came of the bloody clashes taking place in Romania on those days. On December 25, Ceausescu was executed, and the whole world saw it on TV.
In October 1989, Elder Paisios’s “spiritual radar” sensed the collapse of a bridge in America. On that day, talking with a pilgrim in his Panagouda, he suddenly began to cross himself and exclaim, “Mother of God! Earthquake! ” Then he began to beat himself on the knees with his hands and exclaim, “Oh Lord, the bridge is gone! My God, save these people!” The pilgrim looked at the venerable in amazement. Soon the elder calmed down and continued the conversation. The pilgrim left puzzled, but on the next day he read in the newspaper about the earthquake in San Francisco destroying the bridges and causing many victims there.
In August of the following year, 1990, a military conflict began to flare up in the Persian Gulf region. As one might expect, it caused great alarm around the world. Father Paisios prayed fervently that a peaceful solution would be found, but received word from God that the war could not be avoided.
The monk said to the pilgrims, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but when I prayed, I felt that the evil would not stop and there would be a war. It will be the kind of war that will make the sea blaze with oil.” And so it happened.
One sister from Souroti said to the venerable,
“Do you know, Geronda, what the technology can do now? There are systems that will broadcast on TV everything happening in the war in real time anywhere in the world…”
“People see the whole world, but they don’t see themselves,” replied the venerable. “It is not God who destroys people, but people destroying themselves, doing it with the help of their own minds. We have to pray a lot. Divine intervention is what we need.”
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds