Yet, if only people knew they can ask not only for healing of their bodies, but, what’s more important, for salvation of their souls, especially during the days when the Holy Spirit abides in Agapit’s relics, beginning every year on the 25th of February and lasting for the whole week, that would bring incomparably more benefit for their souls.”
“For as long as you are alive, human, you have a chance to beg the eternity of God’s love for your soul. And while you have this CHANCE, go to Agapit on the holy week and pray to the Holy Spirit for your soul only. For your body is perishable, it is mere dust. And all earthly concerns are void. But remember, human, that everything you promise in your petition before God, do fulfil! For He, like every parent, brooks no lies. He forgives, but does not trust thereafter.”
“It doesn't befit to disturb God with anything except for salvation of your own soul. Ask neither for your body nor for health, and don’t care for the belly of yours, since these are mere dust, insatiable in desires. For there is no petition more appropriate than petition for salvation of your own soul.
My True Father,
I set my hopes upon You, the One,
And I only ask You, God,
For my soul salvation.
Let Your Holy will
Be my strengthening on this path,
For my life without You is a mere empty moment.
And only service to You leads to the Eternal life. Amen.
From Sensei of Shambala (Book II) by Anastasia Novykh
AGAPIT OF PECHERSK, THE UNMERCENARY PHYSICIAN
Agapit of Pechersk, the Unmercenary Physician. Interest to this historical personality is growing as the years go by, and his image is accumulating secrets and miracles, tidings about which are spreading all over the globe. Who was he? A doctor? There have been many doctors at all times, including nowadays and the times of Reverend Agapit’s life. A saint? There have been plenty of saints in all parts of the world. A monk? Monks have never been a rarity in our land. At that, a crowd of pilgrims comes exactly to the shrine with Reverend Agapit’s relics, and there are millions of people in that crowd every year. It’s difficult not to notice this. Thus, our desire to get at the heart of the matter is totally logical.
According to the official church version, Reverend Agapit, Father Superior of Pechersk, famous physician of Kievan Rus times, came to the monastery one of the first and took monastic vows in the times of Antony of Pechersk, the founder of Kiev Pechersk Lavra. He was one of the first! Probably, this indicates he knew Antony and belonged to those from whom everything started and who started everything there.
Extract from the Hagiography of Our Reverend Father Agapit, the Unmercenary Physician:
When our Reverend Father Antony of Pechersk became renowned for his gift of healings, blessed Agapit came to his cave from Kiev, looking for spiritual recovery, took monastic vows and became a monk. And he followed with his entire soul the angelic life of Reverend Antony whose feats he witnessed; just like that great man he served patients and healed them with his prayers. Concealing the gift of his prayers, Antony gave patients a potion from his own meals, as if it was medicinal. Saint Agapit saw that and worked for many years, competing with the feats of the saint monastic elder. (source)
This extract provokes a number of questions, just like the entire Hagiography text in principle. Where was Agapit and how did he live before coming to Antony? Why did he come? To “look for spiritual recovery through taking monastic vows”? Strange… Why would he come for what he already possessed? And this: “Saint Agapit saw that and worked for many years, competing with the feats of the saint monastic elder.” Is it really possible to compete in such “feats”? Moreover, the idea itself that Agapit came to Antony and learned to cure people from him is absurd, given that he continued curing people after his death and is still doing this through his relics, hors concours with other saints. Another one: “imitating the feats of Reverend Antony, blessed Agapit became involved in the same bliss”. How could this be logically trusted? Is it possible to learn gaining bliss by “imitating the feats of Reverend Antony”? For me, there are still a number of open questions: where Agapit was and what he did prior to his arrival to the caves; who taught whom, and did such teaching take place at all?
Well, there are even more interesting points. Among patients of Agapit of Pechersk there were many well-known historical personalities, e.g. prince Vladimir Monomakh. Hence, how should a person learn to “imitate” in order to become famous in the entire Kievan Rus? And another question arises: why would Agapit need all that, i.e. caves, monks, service, given he was one of the first ones who came there? Apparently, the entire officially adopted life story of the ordinary doctor, his glory among people which does not fade over centuries, begets more questions than answers. The story is quite discrete, holding back and, perhaps, concealing lots of details. Why? For whose benefit is this done? What is the origin of Agapit’s sanctity, his relics imperishableness, and the incessant stream of pilgrims to this ordinary monk and doctor who was “looking for spiritual recovery” and learned to heal, “imitating” and “competing” with the other saint?
Questions become even more topical, when we refer to nowadays. It’s an open secret that an enormous number of people queuing up at the Near Caves in Kiev Pechersk Lavra, first and foremost, head for the Church of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God in the Temple. Sometimes this fact provokes unexplainable fits of “impatience” in those who serve at the Near Caves, alternating with irritation and even anger, which I personally fail to understand. Let’s think logically: they should be happy when people believe and come to the caves instead of going to a pub for a drink. However, their attitude is quite contrary. And I personally witnessed such attitude to people who came to honour Agapit’s relics. Exactly those who endeavoured to attend Agapit of Pechersk right after entering or asked where his relics were kept fell under indignation. Local “God slaves” got as if substituted, started loudly talking in that silent place, and sent people for a detour, confusing them. What does such attitude mean? Why do they do that? Another riddle…
Furthermore, it is officially asserted that Agapit’s of Pechersk relics are no different from relics of the rest of reverend fathers and bear the same power as relics of other healers, although Kiev Pechersk Lavra Vicar, Metropolitan Bishop of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, Paul in his interview to UNIAN-Religions told “about the secret of Agapit’s of Pechersk great spiritual power and the miracles taking place nowadays as a result of prayers to the saint doctor and all other Pechersk fathers. We worship Reverend Agapit equally with great martyr and healer Panteleymon and a number of other healers, to whose prayerful and blissful help we resort. Reverend Agapit of Pechersk is known all over the word today. Superior fathers of many churches ask for fractions of his relics, but there have always been so many of such requests that at a certain point Kiev Pechersk Lavra Spiritual Council adopted a resolution not to distribute fractions of Agapit’s relics anymore.”
It turns out they pray to all saints equally, while Agapit of Pechersk is known all over the world, and many priests ask for fractions of his relics. And there are already more people interested in his relics than the relics themselves. Why? According to Metropolitan Bishop Paul, “today people even in Alaska know about the miracles taking place after prayers to Reverend Agapit and other Pechersk fathers. Nowadays, numerous uncountable miracles of that kind happen, witnessed by the fraternity and myself. All of us get ill, and in such case we come to the Reverend, pray and ask for recovery. People never go to an empty well. Millions of people come to Reverend Fathers of Kiev Pechersk Lavra caves.” (source)
What does this mean: “People never go to an empty well”?
In view of the aforesaid, it becomes obvious that after Agapit’s body death his healing power did not vanish, quite the contrary… But what about the statement in his Hagiography: “imitating the feats of Reverend Antony, blessed Agapit became involved in the same bliss”? In such case, what is currently happening near the shrine with Agapit’s of Pechersk relics? Who or what is working miracles of healing? Why is the place near the shrine with Agapit’s relics never empty? Why do millions of people in the world know exactly Agapit of Pechersk, and why are miracles happening near his relics so numerous and even uncountable that they have ceased to be miracles? Why is the shrine with the relics always buried in flower bouquets brought by the grateful and healed? What is taking place in fact?
Note that Metropolitan Bishop Paul says: “Today people even in Alaska know about the miracles taking place after prayers to Reverend Agapit and other Pechersk fathers.” Once again, he does not single out Agapit, but emphasizes: “to Reverend Agapit and other Pechersk fathers”. But then he says miracles are “witnessed by the fraternity and myself. All of us get ill, and in such case we come to the Reverend, pray and ask for recovery. People never go to an empty well.”
Probably, the Church knows more about what “the well” is filled with, but this is not disclosed to us. There is another interesting point. If we trust the words that Agapit’s of Pechersk popularity does not differ from that of other Pechersk fathers, the following fact becomes strange. Extract from the same interview:
Reporter: “Prince Monomakh visited Agapit of Pechersk, and the latter cured his fatal disease. Which famous people of our times prayed near the Saint’s shrine? They say Bill Clinton resorted to the prayerful help of Reverend Agapit and other Pechersk fathers, walked down to Kiev Pechersk Lavra caves and prayed there for a long time. Is this true?”
The reporter emphasizes in her question: “They say Bill Clinton resorted to the prayerful help of Reverend Agapit and other Pechersk fathers”. How did Metropolitan Bishop Paul respond?
“Reverend Agapit of Pechersk heals everyone who comes to him, regardless of titles, positions, family or nobility. Bill Clinton visited Lavra three times and came to Reverend Agapit’s shrine. He was standing near it long, getting late for important meetings, but he didn’t want to leave. He told he had been cured on the first visit. Other famous personalities came to us as well: Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Ilham Aliyev, heads of European governments... It’s difficult to remember all, because very many people came.”
Do the powers that be worship relics of all saints? Is Bill Clinton Orthodox? Perhaps, the powers that be also know more than we, ordinary citizens, are entitled to know. What is the secret all about? We can only guess or… observe attentively and draw conclusions. Having surfed the internet, one can easily find photographs of famous personalities standing near the shrine of Reverend Agapit of Pechersk.
The fact that these photos were made exactly near the shrine of Agapit of Pechersk is surprising by itself.
Now, let’s dig deeper. In the same interview timed to the day of Agapit of Pechersk remembrance, Metropolitan Bishop Paul said: “Those who put themselves to the Reverend in the open shrine told they felt heat coming from the relics, which was sensed like a touch to a living person.”
In the days of Agapit of Pechersk remembrance, the shrine with his relics is placed in the Refectory Church.
Now, attention, please!!! Having examined celebrity photographs, we see they all were taken in the Church of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God in the Temple, so this surely wasn’t the day of Agapit of Pechersk remembrance, as adopted by the Orthodox Church. This fact makes one fall deep in thought, just like other facts indicated above.
Investigating the phenomenon of Agapit of Pechersk for several years, I have come to understand one major point. The official information provided by the Orthodox Church about Agapit of Pechersk, the Unmercenary Physician represents a story in which more facts have been deleted than the truth left. The official story contradicts and sometimes clearly holds back or distorts actual facts. Yet, facts are stubborn things and speak for themselves.
The popularity of Agapit of Pechersk among people is so outstanding that it is simply impossible to disregard it. However, it’s quite possible to pretend such popularity does not exist. Otherwise it would be necessary to provide answers and make the secret ajar. Why do people come exactly to Agapit? Why does the Church remain silent? Who lies hidden behind the shrine glass in the Near Caves church? As Metropolitan Bishop Paul said, “people never go to an empty well”.
The relics of Agapit of Pechersk are kept in the Near Caves of Kiev Pechersk Lavra, in the Church of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God in the Temple.
Prepared by Oleg Veritas (Latvia).