Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When St. Parthenios of Lampsakos Invited a Demon to Possess Him

St. Parthenios the Wonderworker (Feast Day - February 7)

Once there came to Bishop Parthenios of Lampsakos a man who was possessed by a most malicious demon, and no one knew of it, not even the possessed one himself. The Saint, however, recognized the demonic possession, because he was inspired and enlightened by God. When that man greeted him, the holy one offered no response but kept silent as if he were mute. The demon was angered at the bishop's conduct. The demon then, with haughtiness and pride, addressed the meek Parthenios in a wrathful tone:

"We have a true desire to see you, and have journeyed a long way to greet you; but you do not even condescend to speak to us at all?"

The Saint replied: "Behold, you have seen me."

The demon retorted: "I have seen you and been constrained to speak the truth."

The blessed one answered: "If you know who I am, then depart from the creation of God."

The demon rejoined: "I have dwelt in this man for a long time, ever since his childhood, and no one has learned of it, save yourself. If you should cast me from this dwelling place, I know not where I shall go!"

The Saint replied: "I will give you a man. You may dwell in him - if you so wish it."

The demon then departed from the longtime sufferer, but he asked the Saint to keep his promise. The holy one suddenly opened his mouth and declared: "Behold, I am a man, enter into me and dwell!"

And the demon, as if he were consumed by fire, fled crying and shouting aloud: "Woe is me, wretch that I am! If the sight of you alone inflames me, how shall I dare enter into you?"

As the demon said this, he fled. As for the formerly possessed man, he became whole and gave thanks to Saint Parthenios.

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