The Power Of Saint Anthony’s Clairvoyance

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The Philokalia volume four, pages 195-196

Once two brothers were on their way to visit St Anthony, but on the journey, their water gave out and one of them died and the other was near to dying. Unable to go any further, he too lay down on the ground and awaited death.

But Anthony, seated on the mountain, called two monks who happened to be with him and said to them urgently, “take a jar of water and go as fast as you can along the road leading to Egypt: two men were on their way here, but one has just died and the other will also die if you don’t hurry. This was revealed to me as I was praying.”

The monks set off; and finding the one man dead they buried him, while they revived the other with water and brought him to the elder. It was about a day’s journey off. Should you ask why Anthony did not speak before the first man died, I would say that the question is inapt: The decision about death rested not with Anthony but with God, and He allowed the first man to die and sent a revelation to St. Anthony about the second.

The miracle happened to St Anthony, and to him alone, because while seated on the mountain he kept his heart watchful, and so the Lord showed him what was happening a long way off.

Do you see how through watchfulness of heart St.Anthony was able to perceive God and to acquire the power of clairvoyance? For it is in the heart that God manifests Himself to the intellect, first – according to St John Klimakos – as fire that purifies the lover and then as light that illuminates the intellect and renders it godlike.”

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