Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Akathist To the Archangel Michael


Recite the Prayers of Introduction.

Chosen captain of the heavenly hosts and defender of mankind, we - delivered by you from afflictions -offer this hymn of thanksgiving, and do you standing before the throne of the King of Glory set us free from all distress that we may cry to you with faith and love:

Hail, Michael great captain, with the hosts of heaven!
First Chant
As leader of the fiery choirs of angels, it is right to praise you with angelic tongue, 0 Michael, but until -taught by you - we have become used to the speech of the bodiless powers, hear the praises from thankful lips though they be those of mortal beings:

Hail, first-formed star of the world!
Hail, candle of truth and justice, shining like gold!
Hail, first receiver, in the choir of angels of the rays of the uncreated light!
Hail, head of angels and archangels!
Hail, you in whom the creative glory of the Right Hand shines!
Hail, you by whom the assembly of all bodiless creatures is made beautiful!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!

Beholding the splendor of your spiritual beauty and the strength of your right hand that is like a flash of lightning, we - wrapped as we are in the mortal flesh of this earth - but, filled with joy and thankfulness toward the Creator, cry aloud: 0 Archangel of God, with all the hosts of heaven: Alleluia!
Second Chant
0 most wonderful Michael, leader of the heavenly hosts, ask for us a clear understanding, free from passions, that, lifted in thought from earthly to heavenly things, we may sing a hymn of praise to you:
Hail, nearest beholder of the ineffable beauty and goodness of God!
Hail, close participator in the mysteries of the all-good counsels of the most Holy + Trinity!
Hail, faithful fulfiller of the pre-eternal judgments of the + Trinity!
Hail, you at whom the heavenly hosts, with love, stand amazed!
Hail, you to whom those born on earth give glory!
Hail, you before whom the hosts of heaven tremble!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
Archangel Michael, you show in yourself the strength of an unconquerable zeal for the glory of God. At the head of the choirs of angels, you have withstood the arrogant daystar Satan, exceedingly proud and breathing out evil when he and his dark fellow-servants had been cast down into the nethermost parts of the world, while the heavenly hosts led by you in your glory shouted as with one voice for joy before the throne of God: Alleluia!

Third Chant
All Christian people have you, 0 Archangel Michael, as a mighty defender and helper in battle against the adversary. Therefore, we, wishing to be granted your marvelous protection, call upon you on the day of your solemn feast in this way:

Hail, you by whom Satan was cast down like lightning from heaven!
Hail, you by whom humanity preserved goes up to heaven!
Hail, splendid adornment of the most radiant world on high!
Hail, most glorious defender of the fallen world here below!
Hail, never-defeated by the forces of evil!
Hail, you, established forever by divine grace in truth and righteousness with all God?s angels!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!


O chief ruler of the angels, deliver us who keep your radiant feast with joy from the storm of temptations and troubles, for you are a mighty helper in afflictions and the preserver and defender in the hour of death of all those crying aloud to
Our Lord and Our Lady: Alleluia!

Fourth Chant
Seeing your boldness against the regiments of Satan, all the ranks of angels followed after you with joy into the fight for the name and the glory of their Master, crying aloud: "Who is like unto God!" And we, seeing Satan cast down beneath your feet cry to you as victor:

Hail, you by whom peace and quiet returned to heaven!
Hail, you whom the spirit of evil was laid low even unto hell!
Hail, you who direct the angelic armies and the hosts of the invisible world to the destruction of evil!
Hail, you who, unseen, calm the agitation and fighting of the elements of the unseen world!
Hail, wonderful defender of those waging war with the spirits of evil!
Hail, strong helper of those on earth grown weak through the temptations and assaults of the world!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!

You have appeared in the Church of Khony as a divinely flowing fountain of great miracles. For, not only was a large and fearful serpent dwelling there destroyed by your strength, but a stream of water was revealed there healing all bodily ailments, that all might glorify you, 0 Lord God of the angels, and all might cry out to You with Faith: Alleluia!

Fifth Chant
Hearing you and knowing you as a great light shining among the choirs of angels, after God and His Holy Mother, we run to you, wonderful Michael. With the rays of your light illuminate all of us who sing to you in the following manner:

Hail, mediator of the law given by the hand of Moses on Mount Sinai!
Hail, you by whom the judges and leaders of Israel found strength and protection!
Hail, you, through whom the prophets and high priests of the Jews received the gift of knowledge from the all-knowing God!
Hail, you who provide with secret wisdom the God-fearing givers of the law!
Hail, you who put kindness and mercy into the hearts of those who administer justice and truth!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
You have announced beforehand the judgments of God when, in former times - at the sight of you -Mannah was filled with fear and perplexity, thinking that he would no longer live, but taught by his wife of the goodness of the vision, and the gentleness of your words, from joy at having a son, Samson, who was about to be born, he cried out to God in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Sixth Chant
You have shone forth wonderfully, 0 Michael, when in the form of a man you have stood before Joshua, son of Nun, saying: "Take off your shoes, for I am the chief captain of the hosts of the Lord." And we, marveling, sing to you:

Hail, untiring guardian of leaders, rulers, and governments!
Hail, you, swift to overthrow those withstanding authority as they oppose the command of God!
Hail, you who appease the mighty wave of popular tumult!
Hail, invisible destroyer of vile customs!
Hail, you who enlighten those in doubt in the hour of great perplexity!
Hail, you who save all those tried by soul-destroying and false attacks!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
Wanting to show that the fortunes of men are not dependent on themselves, but are always held in His Divine Hand, the Maker of all has given you to the kingdoms of the earth as a defender and keeper, that you may prepare all the tribes and peoples for the Kingdom of God that is eternal. Therefore, all of us knowing your great service for the salvation of mankind, cry to God in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Seventh Chant
The Creator and Master of all miracles has shown us a new miracle on earth through you, chief angel, when you miraculously saved the church built in honor of your name from being flooded with the waters of the river. You commanded the rising stream to turn back into the bosom of the earth, at the sight of which the blessed Archipus together with his spiritual children cried to you in thanksgiving:

Hail, indestructible rampart of the holy Church of God!
Hail, you at whose behest the elements are subdued!
Hail, you by whom all evil intents are brought to naught!
Hail, you who bring joy to all the faithful from the throne of the Almighty God!
Hail, you who lead unbelievers on the path of justice and truth!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!

Habakkuk, the prophet, saw in his very self a strange wonder of your power, 0 chief captain of God?s armies, when carried off at the Divine Command, he was quickly taken from Judah to Babylon to give food to Daniel, a prisoner in the den of the lions. Therefore, amazed at the mighty effect of your strength, he cried out with faith: Alleluia!

Eighth Chant
Standing before the throne of God, Michael, you are entirely in the heights yet you are not far from men and women below upon the earth. You ever fight against the enemies of mankind?s salvation. Therefore, all who wish to reach the long-desired homeland of heaven call to you with one accord:

Hail, leader of the thrice-holy hymn of the angels!
Hail, ever-ready advocate and guardian of those on earth!
Hail, who, in strange fashion, struck down Pharaoh with his faithless Egyptians in their ponderous pride!
Hail, who gloriously led the Jews in their wandering through the wilderness!
Hail, you who quenched the flame of the fiery furnace of Babylon for the three youths!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!

Joyful trembling seized the monks of the Holy Mount of Athos when they saw how you saved the Godfearing child who was thrown into the depths of the sea with a stone around his neck by money-grubbing men. The monastery that received him was adorned by your name, 0 Michael, and cries to God in thanksgiving: Alleluia!

Ninth Chant
Speakers, eloquent in words and who love clever thoughts, have not sufficient strength to declare your might, 0 Michael, and how in one night you destroyed the one hundred and eighty-five thousand warriors of Sennacherih, the king of Assyria, as a warning to him not to blaspheme the Name of the Lord in the future. We, honoring your zeal for the glory of the truth of God, cry out to you with gladness:

Hail, unconquerable leader of the armies of Orthodoxy!
Hail, very fear and defeat of armies whose beliefs are evil!
Hail, planter of the Orthodox faith and worship!
Hail, uprooter of heresies and schisms that harm the soul!
Hail, you who strengthened the pious Maccabees on the field of battle!
Hail, you who struck down in the temple itself Heliodorus, the captain of the evil king, Antiochus!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
0 chief captain of God, be for us who wish to be saved, a firm helper, to deliver and preserve us from distress and mishap, and even more so from our own evil habits and sins so that, progressing in faith, hope and love of Christ, we may thankfully cry out with joy to the Master of angels and mankind for your strong defense: Alleluia!

Tenth Chant
0 chief captain of God, you are a wall for all who believe and a strong pillar in the struggles with visible and invisible enemies. With thankful hearts and voices we cry:

Hail, unconquerable opponent of the enemies of the Faith and the adversaries of the Holy Church!
Hail, untiring helper of those who humbly announce the Good News!
Hail, you who enlighten with the light of faith those sitting in the land of darkness!
Hail, you who direct along the path of truth and repentance those made foolish through false wisdom!
Hail, terrible avenger of those who call in vain upon the Name of the Lord!
Hail, chastiser-bearing lightning for those who foolishly mock the Mysteries of the Holy Faith!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!

0 angel of God, every song of praise falls short because of the multitude of miracles performed by you not only in heaven and on earth, but also in the dark shades of the depths of the netherworld, where you have chained the serpent with the bonds of power of the Lord, that those delivered from the evil one?s wickedness might bless the Master of heaven and earth, crying: Alleluia!

Eleventh Chant
0 chief captain, you appeared as a light-bearing servant of truth and the purity of divine worship when, foreseeing the snares of the spirit of darkness, you have forbidden him in the Name of the Lord, that he dare not show the hidden body of the prophet Moses, leader of the Jews, to the sensual children of Israel lest they deify him. Therefore, while we now honor your divinely bright feast, we cry to you:

Hail, you who kept the purity of knowledge of God among the Jews in the days of the Old Testament!
Hail, who by grace have many times uprooted the weeds of error in the days of the New Testament!
Hail, destroyer of heathen prophets and idols!
Hail, fortifier of Christians who struggle and suffer!
Hail, you who fill the weak in spirit with the strength of the grace of God!
Hail, you who clothe in the armor of faith those who fail in the flesh!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
Beg grace for us from God in heaven as we sing to the glory of your honorable name, 0 Michael, that in the shadow of your protection we may live in all piety and purity until, set loose from the bonds of flesh and death, we may be granted to stand before the flaming throne of the King of Glory and sing with all the choirs of angels: Alleluia!

Twelfth Chant
Singing the praises of your many different miracles performed for our salvation, we pray the Lord and Master of all, 0 Michael, that the spirit of zeal for the glory of God that is within you fail not in us who sing to you with these hymns of praise:

Hail, you who divinely set up in the heights of power the servants of God in time of need!
Hail, you who invisibly bring down from the heights of strength and glory those who are unworthy and insolent!
Hail, you, who on the last day, shall gather the chosen from the four ends of the earth!
Hail, you by whom at the voice of God sinners shall be committed like bares to the eternal fire!
Hail, you by whom Satan and his angels shall be cast into the lake of fire!
Hail, you by whom the righteous shall gloriously be made to settle in the mansion of our heavenly Father!

Hail, Michael, great chief captain with all the hosts of heaven!
0 most wonderful leader of archangels and angels, because of your most marvelous service for the salvation of mankind, accept from us the sound of praise and thanksgiving now offered to you, and as you are filled with the strength of God, protect us with your immaterial wings from all visible and invisible enemies, that we may cry without ceasing to the Lord glorified by you and who glorified you: Alleluia!

0 most wonderful leader of archangels and angels, because of your most marvelous service for the salvation of mankind, accept from us the sound of praise and thanksgiving now offered to you, and as you are filled with the strength of God, protect us with your immaterial wings from all visible and invisible enemies, that we may cry without ceasing to the Lord glorified by you and who glorified you: Alleluia!

0 most wonderful leader of archangels and angels, because of your most marvelous service for the salvation of mankind, accept from us the sound of praise and thanksgiving now offered to you, and as you are filled with the strength of God, protect us with your immaterial wings from all visible and invisible enemies, that we may cry without ceasing to the Lord glorified by you and who glorified you: Alleluia!


Prayer of Entrustment
0 great and holy Michael, Archangel of God, standing at the head of the angels before the everlasting + Trinity, 0 advocate and preserver of mankind, who - with your hosts - has broken in heaven the head of the daystar, Satan, the exceedingly proud one, and who always puts to shame his evil and cunning servants on earth, we run to you with faith and pray to you with love: be an unbreakable shield and firm bastion for the Holy Church and for our nation, protecting them with your lightning sword. Be for us a guardian angel, a wise counselor and helper of our land bringing to it from the throne of the Eternal Ruling King and Lord our God enlightenment and strength, joy, peace and comfort. Be for us the chief captain and fellow-fighter of our honorable country, crowning it with glory and victory over unjust adversaries, that all who oppose us may know that God and His holy angels stand ready to defend us. Be the physician and healer of those wounded. Be the pillar and defender of those children of the Church of God that are in captivity. And forsake not, 0 Archangel of God, with your help and protection, those of us who today glorify your holy name. For, behold, though we are great sinners, yet we desire not to perish in our iniquities but to turn to the Lord and be made by Him to live for good works. Illuminate our minds with the light of the Countenance of God that shines without ceasing on the lightning-like forehead, that we may understand that the will of God concerning us is good and perfect and knows all that is right for us to do, and even that which is right to omit and overlook. Strengthen by the grace of the Lord, our weak and feeble purpose, that made firm in the commandments of the Lord we may cease to wallow in earthly thoughts drawn by the lusts of the flesh as senseless children through the perishable beauties of the world. Above all these things, ask from on high for us the true spirit of repentance, true sorrow and contrition for our sins before God, that we may spend the remaining number of our days in this temporal life, not in the satisfying of our feelings and in the bondage to our passions, but in the blotting out of the evil we have done by tears of faith and heartfelt compunction, by works of charity, chastity, and holy acts of loving mercy.

When the hour of our end and of our liberation from the earthly bonds of our own bodies draws near, 0 Archangel of God, leave us not without defense against the earthly spirits of evil who try to hinder the entry of man into the heavenly places. Preserved by you, may we, without hindrance, reach those all-glorious dwelling-places of Paradise where there is neither sorrow nor sighing but only life without end. May we be made worthy to behold the Face of our all-gracious Lord and Master, and falling at His feet with tears may we cry out in joy and tender feeling: Glory to You, our most tender, dear Redeemer, who, because of Your great love for us, your unworthy servants and handmaidens, have been pleased to send Your angels in the service of our salvation! For all the powers of heaven praise You, and we give glory, honor and thanksgiving to You, Father +, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.

0 chosen captain of the heavenly hosts and defender of mankind, we, delivered by you from all afflictions, offer this hymn of thanksgiving, and do you, standing before the throne of the King of Glory, set us free from all distress that we may cry to you with faith and love:

Hail, Michael, great captain, with all the hosts of heaven!


Hail, Michael, great captain, with all the hosts of heaven

Hail, Michael, great captain, with all the hosts of heaven

Recite the Concluding Prayers.

A Miracle that took place in Russia

Through the will of God, the account of this miracle, which took place 51 years ago [1965], has reached America. It's authenticity is verified by the fact that it records the year, day, hour, city, address, names... etc. Reading it, we behold the great care which God has for the salvation of our sinful souls. Read it with attention, and compare it to the other miracles which are occurring today throughout the world. [Various weeping icons and Apparitions] You will observe that the same message is repeated: We must repent, for the Son of Man will come soon, and then it will be too late for us to be saved even if we wanted to be. Work, while it is light...!

—Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God, Rives Junction, Michigan

I used to be an atheist mocking God and persecuting the Holy Church. I lived my life in sin, and spiritually I was completely dead. But suddenly, in His great mercy, God called me, His creation, to repentance so that I would not perish.

This is what happened: In 1962 I became ill with cancer and suffered from the disease for three years. The doctors treated me in vain, for my health deteriorated more and more each day; it reached the point where I couldn't even drink water without vomiting. I was transferred to another hospital where two doctors were called in from Moscow to operate on me. That was on February 19, 1965, at 11:00 a.m. They discovered during the operation that my intestines had decomposed. That was when I died.

While they were making their incisions on my body, my soul was standing with the two doctors. I looked on in horror at the disease which affected my body, seeing my stomach full of cancer. As I watched, I thought to myself. "How am I in two places; how am I standing here and lying down at the same time?"

The doctors removed the intestines and placed them on the table, saying that instead of being fleshy and pliable, they were nothing but liquid—in other words, they had already decayed. Then they put all of the rotted tissue in a pile and said: "She couldn't have lived any longer; there was nothing healthy inside of her, everything was decomposed." This operation was performed by Doctor Izdrael Igaevici Newman, a professor, who was assisted by ten other doctors.

The doctors decided to give my body to the young interns to practice on, and thus, it was taken to the morgue where I was laid down naked, covered only with a sheet up to my chest.

Just then my brother came in with my son, Andrusha. My little boy came up to me, kissed me on the forehead, and broke out in tears, saying: "Mommy, why did you die? I'm still little, how will I live without you?"

I hugged him and kissed him, but he paid me no attention at all. I saw that everyone in the room was crying.

After that, I found myself in my own house. My mother-in-law from my first marriage came in, followed shortly by my sister and her husband. (I didn't live with my first husband—he believed in God.) They began dividing up my belongings. I was well-to-do, but everything which I had was gained by sin, not by honest work. My sister began to take everything which was of any value, and my mother-in-law asked for something for my little boy. My sister then began ranting at her, saying: "The child is not your sons. You aren't even related to him."

While my sister was yelling these accusations, I saw demons, smiling with delight and writing down every word which she said! After that, my sister and mother-in-law left, locking the door, and going home with sacks full of my things.

Just then I, Claudia the sinner, flew very high. I was amazed at the fact that I was flying. I flew over Barnal, then everything became dark. The darkness lasted for a long time during my journey. Someone showed me the places I had lived while I was young. I didn't know what I was flying on: through the air? on a cloud? I couldn't tell; but when I reached the first place below heaven, at first it was overcast, like a gloomy day, then the light became so strong that it was impossible to see.

Someone sat me down on a place which was very high, although during the entire time I was flying, I was lying down—I don't know on what, it seemed like some sort of platform, but whatever it was, it was flexible and black. I started going down a long pathway; on the sides of the path were bushes, not very tall, but they had leaves which were very thin and sharp. In the distance I saw tall trees with beautiful leaves of all colors. Between the trees were small new houses, but I didn't see anyone in them. There was beautiful green grass running along this valley, and I wondered where I was: was it a village, a city? There was no one to be seen. But who lived here? I looked about and saw that a short distance away a woman, tall and very beautiful, was approaching. She was wearing a long garment covered by a cape. A young man was following her, weeping uncontrollably. It seemed like he was saying something, asking for something, but she ignored him. I wondered to myself, What kind of mother can this be; her child begs for something and she doesn't even look at him!

When the woman came closer to me, she said: "Lord, where should I take her?" She was standing with her hands lifted to her breast, her eyes raised to heaven.

It was then that I realized with a terrible shock that I had died; my soul was in heaven, but my body was on earth. At that same time I realized that I had so many sins which I had to answer for. I began to cry bitterly. I looked about to see the Lord, but couldn't see anyone; yet, I heard the voice of the Lord. He said: "Send her back to earth; it's too soon for her to be here. Her father is compassionate and has been praying to me constantly, and I have decided to have mercy on her."

Then I knew that this woman was the Mother of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, the Queen of heaven and earth; and the young man who was crying was my guardian angel.

The Lord went on to say: "I'm tired of her mockery against God, and her foul life. I wanted to wipe her off the face of the earth without any sign of repentance, but her father has prayed so much. Show how her all the places she deserves to be sent to."

Suddenly I was in some water, with the most horrific snakes climbing all over me. They had long tongues with flames of fire coming out of their mouths. There were many other forms of reptiles which all gave off an insufferable stench. These dragons climbed all over me, attaching themselves to me. There were also all kinds of worms wrapping themselves around my neck. They were as thick as a finger, a quarter of a yard long, with spikes on their tails. These worms found their way into my body through every orifice: genitals, eyes, nose, mouth, piercing my insides and fastening themselves to me. They were absolutely revolting and unbearable! I cried out with all my strength, but it was not my voice which I heard. But, there was no mercy to be found in that place, no help from anyone.

While I was there, a woman who died while having an abortion came in. She began to cry out and ask God to have mercy on her. But He answered: "Why didn't you ask me for help while you were alive on earth? You killed an infant in your womb and advised people not to have children, saying that it only made poverty worse. In my eyes, there is not an over-abundance of children. I give children to everyone. In my house, there are many rooms."

The Lord God said to me: "I sent you sickness so that you would repent, but you lived right up to your last moment blaspheming against me. You didn't acknowledge Me until you came here. Now I don't recognize you either."

I felt like the ground was spinning. I flew away from there toward the noisy earth. Then I saw my village church, the very church which I used to ridicule. When the doors of the church opened, a Priest dressed in white, with bright rays emanating from him, came out. He stood with his head bowed. Then the voice of God asked me: "Who is this?" I answered that it is our Priest.

The Lord said to me: "You used to always say that he is a lazy bum. He is not a bum, not a hired-hand. Whatever he may be personally, above all, he is a servant of the Lord among the little ones. If the Priest does not read the prayer of absolution over you, neither will I forgive you."

The Priest is living even to this day, serving his office of the Priesthood. What I saw there was his soul. That was when I began to beseech the Lord: "Lord, set me free and let me go back to earth. I have a little boy there; have mercy on him!"

"Look, you have compassion for one single person, but I have innumerable souls to consider. I have compassion for all of you, three thousand times more! But, what path did you choose in life? A wrong path! You work to accumulate riches which you use for all sorts of iniquity. Did you see now how I took away all your possessions? Everything is gone. They took your son to an orphanage, and your sinful soul has come here. You served Satan, an idol, offering him sacrifice, and now you ask me to release you from the punishment which you deserve. All you ever did was amuse yourself, going out to movies, theaters, dances; you gave money to Satan, but didn't so much as want to go into the Church of God. I waited and waited for you to wake up from this sinful state and repent."

After that, the Savior said: "Look after your souls, for there is a short time left. Very soon I will come to judge the world"

Then I asked the Lord: "Lord, how should I pray?"

He answered: "The most precious prayers are not theories which you learned by heart, but rather the prayer which you offer from a pure heart, from the depth of your soul. Say to the Lord, 'Lord, forgive me! Lord, help me!' offering these words with tears." That is what the Lord told me.

Then the Mother of God was near me and I found myself again on that small platform, but now, instead of lying down, I was standing up. The Queen of heaven said: "Lord, how can I release her, she has short hair!?"

The Lord said: "Put a braid, the same color as her own hair, in her right hand."

When the Queen of heaven went off to get the braid, I saw that she drew near to some large gates, constructed and sculpted along curved lines, like the Royal Doors of the Altar. They were indescribably beautiful, with a light coming out of them which was so bright that it was not possible to look at it or even explain. As the Mother of God approached, these gates opened on their own, and she went into a palace surrounded by a courtyard. I remained standing in my own place, with my guardian angel, who would not let me see his face, standing next to me. I decided to ask the Lord if I could see paradise. He said nothing when I asked.

When the Queen of heaven returned, the Lord said: "Show her heaven!"

The Queen of heaven gestured with her hand over me and said: "Earth was your heaven; this is the place for sinners; look and see what it is like."

She lifted up something like a sheet and then I saw men far off: black, as though they were burned, and they looked like skeletons. There were so many of them, and they gave off an intolerable stench I was terrified that I would be left there. Then all of them, -at once, stood up and with parched throats, begged that someone give them at least a drop of water to drink. I was horrified when they said: "This soul has come to us from the earthly paradise! There is a sweet smell coming from her. Man, while on earth, has the ability and the time to gain for himself the heavenly paradise. He has to put forth spiritual effort on earth for the Lord, otherwise he will not escape this place of tortures.'"

The King of heaven said: "For those of you on the earthly paradise mercy is something so very precious: offer charity to others, giving them water to drink, as much as you possibly can. Do this with a pure heart, as I said in the Gospel: 'if someone offers at least a cup of cool water in My Name, he will have recompense from the Lord!' You not only have an abundance of water, but you also have all kinds of other good things which you much share with those who are in need, offering them water above all. Give water, so that the innumerable people who are suffering here can be relieved! This is the very reason why your rivers and seas are so full and never dry up."

Then I found that I was in the very depths of hell. This was not just hell, it was worse. There I saw people and fire, and demons came running toward me with documents on which were written all of my sins and evil deeds. They said to me:" Look, we wrote down here that you served us on earth."

I read all of my sins myself, which were written with large letters, and I was terrified by them. There was fire burning all around the demons, the flames shooting upwards; then suddenly they began beating me on the head and sparks from the fire pierced right into me.

Then, Oh! I heard feeble moans, like the crying of a tiny bird. They were asking for something to drink, and when the fire gave off some light, I saw all of them. They were weak and tortured. They said to me: "See, friend. you came here where we live. Come here to us! From now on you will live here. While we all lived on earth, we had no love for anyone; not for those who served God's churches, not for the poor, we were just filled with pride. We mocked God, serving only that which was godless, and laughed at the shepherds of the Orthodox Church. We never confessed our sins. We never par-took of Holy Communion. The sinners who repented for their sins with their whole hearts, went to church, received strangers, had mercy on the poor, helped those in need, and did other good deeds, all those souls are to be found there, up above."

I was terrified, trembling with fright. It seemed like I was in this place for a hundred years. I felt completely crushed, but still they went on saying to me: "You will be here with us, you'll be tormented for all eternity and will live like we do!"

Then the Mother of God appeared. Light shone all around. The demons fell one by one, and all the souls turned toward her with their weeping and began to pray to her:' 'O Mother of God, Queen of heaven, don't abandon us here alone where we are so terribly tormented. We don't have even a drop of water, and the fire is unbearable." All of them were weeping bitterly.

The Mother of God also wept and said to them: "When you were living on earth, you didn't call to me for help; you didn't pray to my Son and your God. Now I cannot help you; I cannot go against the will of my Son. and He cannot go against the will of the heavenly Father. This is why I can't intercede for you. I can show mercy to only those suffering souls in hell who are prayed for in the Church, and for those pilgrims who prayed, who performed deeds of virtue and who were worthy of mercy while they lived on earth."

While I was in hell I was given all kinds of worms to eat: alive, dead, rotten, putrid. I cried out and said: "How can I eat them? It turns my stomach!"

The demons said: "You didn't observe fasting periods while you were on earth. You ate meat, not worms. Now, eat worms. "Instead of milk, they gave me all sorts of foul things to drink.

Then, we began going upwards, but they were left in hell and began yelling: "Don't leave us, 0 Mother of God.!"

We left the darkness behind, and I again found myself on that same platform. After the Queen of heaven had shown me all of these dreadful places, she lifted her hands to her breast, raised her eyes toward heaven and asked what she should do with me, where should she take me?

The Lord said: "Let her go back to earth. Take hold of her hair and set her free."

Immediately twelve wheelbarrows appeared, but they had no wheels. In order for me to move, the Mother of God told me to lean on them with my right foot and push with my left. I did as the Queen of heaven told me, with her coming along beside me. But when I reached the last wheelbarrow I saw a bottomless abyss. She told me to step down first with my right foot and then with my left, but I told her that I was afraid and feared that I would fall I. She answered that it was essential that I not fall, and she put the thick end of the braid of hair in my right hand. When she let go of it I flew toward earth.

While I was flying, I saw cars moving about on earth and people going to work. I was lying down on the platform in the middle of a new outdoor market-place. I flew gently toward the morgue where my body had been taken. Then, all of a sudden, I was standing on solid ground. It was noon, the third day after I had died.

After the strong light up above, I didn't like being on earth, but there was nothing I could do about it. I went to the hospital, toward the morgue, but it was locked. I went in and looked around. My body was laying on a table, dead, the head turned a bit to one side, one arm dangling down, part of the torso touching another corpse. I don't know how my soul entered into the body, but I immediately felt. cold and pulled away from the other cadaver. I drew my knees together, and just then a dead man whose legs had been severed from his body by a train, was brought in on a bier. I opened my eyes and moved. Those carrying the bier ran off in all directions. Then the orderlies came in with two doctors. They gave orders to have me gave taken quickly into the hospital. There, all the doctors gathered quickly and said that my brain had to be warmed beneath the lights.

This took place at 9:00 a.m. on February 23, 1965. There were eight different incisions with stitches on my body; all the doctors had used it for research and study. After two hours, I was warm, I opened my eyes and began to talk. I was fed artificially for twenty days. Then they brought me something to eat: bread with sour cream, and coffee, but I told them that I would not eat. The nurse tried to convince me to eat, and everyone in the room turned their eyes toward me. Just then the doctor came in and asked me why I did not want to eat. I told him: "Today is Friday and I will not eat non-lenten food. If you sit down here next tome, I will tell you what I saw and where I was during the time I was dead."

The doctor sat down and listened attentively. I began by saying that whoever refuses to respect fast. days: Wednesdays, Fridays, and the prescribed fasting periods throughout the year, in the afterlife will be given worms, snakes and reptiles to eat instead of meat. and instead of milk, he will have to drink the foulest things imaginable. This is the nourishment which is given to everyone who died without repenting before the Holy Altar, before a priest. and without Holy Communion. This was the reason I refused to eat cheese and sour cream.

The doctor listened to me, his face turning red, then white, then red again. Other doctors and nurses had gathered there too and listened to what I was saying about what I had seen and heard on the other side of the grave.

After this many people began coming to me and I told them all which had been commanded me from the other side. Later, the secret police started chasing the people away from the hospital, and I was moved to another hospital in the city where I regained complete health.

The doctors were curious to find out how I came back to life, especially since they knew that my intestines were putrid and that other organs were not only diseased. but decomposed. More so, after my operation, all my intestines had been removed, falling where they may.

In order to discover what had happened, they decided to operate on me again. When the doctor in charge made this announcement, Valentina Vasilievna said: "Why should we operate on her again? All of her organs are healthy."

I asked them not to give me anesthesia since I felt no pain. The doctors operated and removed the intestines. I was awake, watching in the mirror on the ceiling. I asked the doctors what was wrong with me, and they answered that I was fine, with no disease at all. Just then the doctor who had performed the first operation together with the other doctors came in. They all looked at me, at my intestines and said: "But where is the disease" Everything in you was rotten before, but now it is all healthy.''

All of the medical personnel were amazed and afraid. They ran through the room in all directions, holding their heads, wringing their hands, and all were as pale and colorless as a corpse.

I told them: "God had mercy on me so that I would go and tell others and so that you would also learn something, that you might believe that heaven and the Power of the Most High are above us.

They themselves were saying these very same things.

I said to a Jewish doctor: "If you believe all of this, then go, be baptized and have your marriage blessed in the Church." He flushed with confusion.

Valentina Vasilievna, who had operated on me, went out into the hall, collapsed on a sofa, and broke down crying. I asked her why she was crying: did someone die? Did Claudia die? She answered: "No, she did not die, but I am completely stupefied by this miracle which is here before us."

God then helped her to tell me that Professor Newman had tried to convince her to kill me, but she refused completely and was caring for me herself because she was afraid that someone would kill me. She personally prepared my food. The director of the hospital was also amazed, saying that this incident was unique in the history of medicine throughout the world.

When I left the hospital, I called the priest whom I had mocked and accused of being a lazy bum when, quite to the contrary, he was a truly great man. The servant of the Altar of God came, heard my confession in which I laid forth all my sins which I had committed during my entire life; then he administered the Sacrament of Holy Communion to me and blessed my house. Up to that time my home was nothing but a place of filth and indecency, drunkenness, beatings, and things for which were are no words to describe.

The next day I went to the office of the Party and handed over my membership card, since the old Claudia, the atheist and activist, no longer existed. She had died!

I am forty years old. With the help of the Queen of heaven, and through the mercy of God, I go to Church and live a Christian life. I go to various institutes and tell everyone there about what I saw and heard in the life on the other side of the grave. Many people come to me at my home and I also tell them all about what had happened. Now I advise everyone to repent so that they will not have to experience the tortures which I told them about. Repent for your evil sins and behavior so that you can receive remission from the priest for all your sins, and thus obtain eternal life.

I live at 99 Crupskaia Street, Banial, Altaiul County - 1, Claudia Vasilievna Ustignia