A Remarkable Story of God’s Faithfulness

A monk went to the city to sell his handiwork, and on the way he happened to meet a beautiful young woman, the daughter of a pagan priest; he left himself unprotected, and was so dominated by evil desire that he forgot the promises which he had made to Christ about virginity and chastity, and asked her father to give her to him as his wife.  I cannot promise her to you,’ he replied, ‘without first asking my god.’

So he went to the oracle to obtain a response.

‘Ask him to deny his God, his Baptism, and his monastic Schema,’ answered the oracle or, rather, the Devil. ‘I deny them,’ the hapless monk dared to utter, darkened by his irrational desire; he then saw a white dove go out of his mouth and vanish into the immensity of the sky…. But the father of the young woman was not immediately satisfied; he sought a second oracle. ‘Do not give him your daughter,’ said the oracle; ‘his God has not abandoned him, but is still helping him.’ When the denier heard this, he was shocked and his heart was crushed. ‘I, wretch that I am,’ he cried, ‘have denied a God Who never rejects the work of His hands….’ Bitterly lamenting his terrible sin, like Peter, he returned to the desert, where he confessed his sin and regained the Grace of the Holy Spirit with the guidance of a Holy Elder. (Monk Paul Evergetinos, Synagoge ton Theophthongon Rematon kai Didaskalion ton Theophoron kai Hagion Pateron, Bk. I, Hypothesis 1.j.4 [from the Gerontikon] [Athens: A. S. Georgiou, 1901], p. 15)