Athonite elder speaks about prayer against COVID
Speaking at trapeza on the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Elder Parthenius, the abbot of St. Paul’s Monastery on Mt. Athos, spoke about a prayer against the coronavirus that he reads at the end of his prayer rule.
In the same talk, he also addressed the issue of coronavirus vaccines, which he advises against receiving.
Video of his talk was published by the Orthodox Vision YouTube channel.
Elder Parthenius, one of the most respected spiritual guides on the Holy Mountain today, notes that while the Athonites have the opportunity to serve the Divine Liturgy and partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, many others are not so fortunate, and are “groaning and suffering.”
“After all, the Lord has arranged things that we cannot understand everything that is happening to us,” he reflects. But it is important that we “ask the Lord and Our Lady the Theotokos to grant us to live well in this year.”
While we may not understand everything, God arranges everything for our salvation, Elder Parthenius teaches. We must pray that “this evil, this storm, this disease will pass us by.”
He also notes that he received a prayer written by a certain Bishop Joel, “a many of holy life,” against the virus. “I got my hands on it too and I made myself a copy,” the Elder says. “When I finish my prayer rule, I recite this prayer: ‘My Christ, Theotokos, cover us; help us!’ That’s where our hope is.”
“Who else can we, who transgress God’s commandments, hope in?” the Elder asks.
He also emphasizes that when he prays, he always entreats the Lord that he might never deny Him, until his last breath, and that he may attain Paradise. He condemns none but himself, trusting only in the mercy of the Lord, Abbot Parthenius says.
“Our hope is that whoever trusts in God will not be ashamed. We must rely not on our own strength, but on the mercy and love or God,” emphasizes Fr. Parthenius.
In the same talk, the respected Elder emphasizes that he does not bless anyone to receive the coronavirus vaccine, because it is too much in line with what is written in Revelation 13, which describes the seal that will be required for people to buy or sell, or live an ordinary life.
The Elder notes that this is not exactly the same thing, but the similarities are apparent. It is especially telling, the Elder believes, that the companies that produce the vaccine are exempt from any liability, which is a mockery of the people.
Others can do as they please, the Elder says, but he does not give his blessing to his spiritual children to receive the vaccine. We must not be afraid, but only trust in God, he emphasizes.
Given how much mankind flagrantly violates the commandments of God, it is no wonder that there are so many misfortunes and tragedies in the world, Elder Parthenius says.
In the spring, the Athonite abbot urged the government to open the churches, that the people might be able to pray more for deliverance from the pandemic.