Kiev, November 22, 2016
On November 19 in Kiev, an elderly woman living in a high-rise apartment building decided to commit suicide. She stepped out of her apartment and onto the ledge of the balcony but hesitated to jump.
The locals who spotted the incident called the police and rescuers. The police were the first to arrive at the scene. However, the young policemen and medics were not sure what to do and were just confusedly watched the development of events from a window of the neighboring apartment. But the situation required resolute and quick action, reports the website Druzhina.kiev.ua.
Suddenly an Orthodox priest, the rector of the church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, located across from the apartment building, came to the aid of the police officers. Archpriest Nikolai Zagorodniy noticed what was happening nearby and went up to the apartment where the police were.
He began to speak to the old woman and she finally made contact with him and even gave him her hand. Archpriest Nikolai continued to speak with the woman, trying to convince her not to commit such a rash act, as the rescuers were breaking open the door of her apartment. Finally the emergency officers entered the apartment and ultimately prevented the tragedy.
“My first thought when I learned what was happening was: ‘Lord have mercy! If only I could get there in time!’ I told this woman that God loved her and all people as His creations and advised her to consider everything carefully again. I reminded her of her children and grandchildren and told her that life was wonderful in spite of everything. Even if something happens, we need to live on in order to improve the situation. I also told her it’s necessary to confess our sins,” Fr. Nikolai related.
It is noteworthy that the Eucharistic canon, the most important part of the Divine Liturgy, was being celebrated in the church at very moment.
“This terrible bloody tragedy did not happen for the sake of the bloodless sacrifice (the Eucharist),” the rector believes.