Thursday, January 14, 2021

Saint Kuksha of Odessa and the Power of Holy Water

Saint Kuksha of Odessa (+ 1964) advised to bless all new things and products with Holy Water, and he sprinkled Holy Water in his monastic cell every evening. He learned what power Holy Water had from his spiritual father.

When Saint Kuksha was a ryassaphore monk on the Holy Mountain, he bore the name Constantine and had as an elder the Elder Melchizedek. One day as they were standing in prayer, the elder and his spiritual son heard what sounded like a wedding party coming toward the cell — horses trampling, accordions playing, and there was singing and laughter and whistling.

“Father, how could there be a wedding party here?” asked Monk Constantine. “Guests are coming, we have to go out and meet them,” answered the elder.

The elder took his Cross, Holy Water, Prayer Rope, and went out of the cell to sprinkle holy water all around. Singing the apolytikion for the Theophany he blessed the four directions with the Cross and Holy Water, and the riotous noise ceased.

Monk Constantine learned by this incident that the demons who came to disturb their prayers could be banished with the power of sanctified water.

Years later, a young novice could not understand why Saint Kuksha would sprinkle his cell with Holy Water every evening, so he asked him: "Father, why must this be done? What does it do?"

The Saint did not immediately respond, but allowed three days to pass. Father Kuksha then went to the cell of the novice, and began to sprinkle it all around before his eyes. The novice later recalled:

"And suddenly I saw what I saw! My cell was full of demons, and they all rushed to the door, but didn't have time, so they fell outside each one on top of the other."

When Elder Kuksha had finished the sprinkling, he asked the novice: "Well, did you see what it does?"