Saintly Married Women
In recent times, there was a monk who asked his Spiritual Elder (or Geronda) to reveal to him two examples of living Saints. He directed him to a poor house were two women sat. One was kneading bread and the other was knitting.
‘Is there anyone else living here?’ the monk asked, hoping to see someone more remarkable and saintly.
They told him that their husbands were away, one in the fields, and the other at sea.
Then, the monk asked them what good they had done in their lives. They told him that they had married two brothers. When they got married, they did not have anywhere to live. The only place available to them was this house. So they agreed amongst themselves that they would share it and have it partitioned in the middle. They also made a solemn promise to themselves that they would be patient and not cause any problems so that the friendship between the two brothers would not be broken because of them. They had managed to live in harmony all those years and continued to be good friends even though they had lived so close to each other, and so humbly.
The monk then asked his Geronda if there was anyone else.
There was once a woman who lived with her husband for many years but they did not have a child. So one day the husband went away, and after a while returned with a new woman with whom he had had a child. His wife blamed herself for not being able to give him a child and so she accepted them all in her house; her unfaithful husband, his mistress, and the baby which she loved as her own. The mistress was a difficult person and short tempered, and treated the wife like a servant. When the wife died at the age of fifty, the whole house became illuminated with a saintly glow and fragrant myrrh exuded from it.
‘Search the simple people’, the Geronda told the monk. ‘They are the ones who accomplish miracles in our times.’
Source: «Χαρίζματα και Χαριζματικοί», Ιερά Μονή Παρακλύτου, 2000.
Source: August-September 2014 Lychnos Edition