Fr. Vitaly baptizes and integrates children into Church life, and Ekaterina teaches and comforts them. And the adolescents who once lived in an atmosphere of debauchery, brawls and rowdiness now sing with shining faces in the church choir, and never forget to pray before eating.
“Don’t worry,” his confessor comforted him. “Do this: at your ordination, when the bishop places his hand on your head with the prayer invoking the Holy Spirit—at that moment ask God for everything you want that is spiritual and beneficial; and believe that it will all come true. Don’t doubt it".
This interview was recorded in 2003 by brothers of Sretensky Monastery who had visited Metropolitan Cornelius at his Estonian residence at Pukhtitsa Monastery, asking the now-reposed archpastor about the USSR and the years of persecution, independent Estonia, the schism in Estonian Orthodoxy, and the daily lives of Estonians.
I am sure that such feelings and experiences are shared by a great many believers. Year after year, spiritually accompanying the Myrrh-bearing Women, we successively experience fear, astonishment, and awe at the view of the stone miraculously rolled away from the entrance to the Savior’s tomb by an invisible power.
Why do we celebrate this for 40 days? Because the Church is showing us that this is our reality. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ changed the whole world and it was an answer to the tragedy and suffering of the innocent One who went to the cross for our sakes.
Despite the centuries-old ban on women being on the Holy Mountain, this saint was directly related to the laying of the first stone on the Holy Mountain in 1881 in the foundation of the cathedral of St. Elijah Skete, founded in 1757 by St. Paisius Velichkovsky.