The mother of Monk Arsenie
Father Arsenie used to tell us: When I was a child, in the house of my mother, there was an icon of the Mother of God that I liked very much. One time, I asked my mother:
- Why do I like that icon so much?
And she told me:
- Well, my dear, while I bared you in my womb, very many times I looked and prayed at this icon.
Another time he told us: My mother, when she got pregnant with me, she looked at the icon of the Mother of God and she painted it in her heart. She painted it praying at the Mother of God, as the saints Joachim and Anne were praying: “Mother of God, I pray for a child, either male, or female, that will serve you, Mother of God and Lord Jesus Christ. I do not ask him for myself.” I had already been painted in the womb of my mother. When my mother was going to work on the field, before her appeared the icon of the mother of God, because of her prayers. After we finished our studies, my mother thought that I was going to settle down as any man, in his house. When she found out what my intentions were (editor’s note: to become a monk), she took my head in her hands, kissed me and blessed me, saying: “Oh, my sweet darling one, since when I have been praying for this!”
That is why father Arsenie was the man of God, because he was requested through prayer, raised with prayer. And father Arsenie used to say: “Why don’t you do the same?! But which one of you prays when they are pregnant: “God, give me a good child, a wise child, that will serve Thou, for Thou God?” Which one of you read the Akathist (Orthodox prayer) of the Mother of God and other church books? You say you have no time to pray. Ask from the Mother of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and they will give you. If you don’t do evil, the child will be born as you wish him to be.
Then, to a woman whose child died, hit by the train, he said: Do you know why the train hit him? Because you loved him more than you loved the Mother of God. First you must love God and then the child. To another woman he said: You come and you complain that your child is a drunk, but when you conceived the child, your husband was drunk. And to another, who was complaining that her child was a thief, he told her that she stole during the time she was pregnant with that child. (Vionela Miloșan, 71– Recea)
His mother Cristina married and her husband left when she got pregnant, having in her womb the future father Arsenie. Her man did not return and she had to raise him alone. She was watching over the sheep of the village and father Arsenie was drawing (he was a painter even as a child!) flowers on her sleeves and elbow, on the clothes, and afterwards she sew them.
“In my life I danced once – said father Arsenie’s mother – I spinned a dance, that was my only dance in a lifetime.” His mother raised him and he learned, he strived on.
Father Arsenie taught the world how to live, so that the man doesn’t sin with the woman, on holy days and on Sunday not to copulate, so that they have pure children, for that is how father Arsenie was conceived. (Elena Mailat, 87– Dejani)
The grandfather of my husband was very well acquainted with father Arsenie and he was telling that, at one point, father Arsenie asked him to bring from home a certain photo that he took once with a man. Bringing the photo to him, Arsenie told him: This is my father. The father of Arsenie left for America when he wasn’t even born. (Mariana P. – Făgăraș)
The mother of his holiness used to say, that when she was pregnant with father Arsenie, she felt as she had something very lightful in her womb and she had a great joy. And father Arsenie said that, by departing to America, his father let him clean in the womb. (Pr. Petru Vanvulescu)
The mother of father Arsenie, who knew nothing of him, hearing that at Sâmbăta Monastery there is a priest that is from Brad village, from Hunedoara, she told herself: This is certainly my son! and she took the train, to come to Sâmbăta. Father Arsenie, having the gift of clairvoyance, sensed she was coming and sent someone with the chariot at the train station, telling this person the exact hour when she will be arriving and the place where to stay on the platform when the train will come. When the train arrived, the door of the car where the mother of Arsenie was stopped exactly in front of the man. Descending, the mother of father Arsenie asked this man how she can get to the monastery. And the man told her: “Come with me, as the father sent me after you!” (Ierod. Dometie – Brâncoveanu Monastery)
Father Arsenie was at Sâmbăta and he sent someone, who had a carriage with horses, to wait at the Voila train station for his mother, who wanted to see him. He told the man: Go and wait for my mother, as the train is on the way. The man replied, “Father, but I don’t know her.” – You don’t need to, she will come to you; the train will stop and from the door in front of you a woman will climb down and will ask about the monastery. And so it happened. The man took her with the carriage to Sâmbăta. (Gheorghe Silea, 45 – Sâmbăta de Sus)
The mother of father Arsenie was resembling him very much. One time she came to the monastery. She was missing the father. And the father left her in the church, he did not come out of the Altar. And she waited, and waited, and when she saw that the father is not coming out, she started to cry. And the father came out joyful and said: I wanted to see you cry. He kissed and caressed her and said: Don’t cry, look, I came out. (Elena Mailat, 87 – Dejani)
When meeting father Arsenie, his mother reproached him this: “Were you ashamed with me, not telling the crowd that I was your mother?” and the father replied: No, mom, but if I said it the crowd would have torn your clothes while you were coming here.
Then his mother told father Arsenie, with the occasion of this visit at the monastery, that when she was pregnant with the father she saw the Sun and Moon in her womb, and did not know what the child will be. And she saw a landscape. When she came to Sâmbăta, she said she saw exactly the landscape from there, with the mountains and the monastery. (Gheorghe Silea, 45 – Sâmbăta de Sus)
A lot has the father struggled. All his life and writing were about sanctifying the family. How many women were at him and decided not to have abortions! How many children remained in the wombs of their mothers! Nobody is at this moment more appropriate to call the return of mothers to the sanctity of the Mother of God. (Pr. Ioan Sabău)