“There will be war between Russia and Turkey. In the beginning the Turks will believe they are winning, but this will lead to their destruction. The Russians, eventually, will win and take over Constantinople. After that it will be ours. They will be forced to give it to us.”
There is no doubt we are living in dire times. We may even be living in apocalyptic times, foretold in the Scriptures and through prophecies of holy people of God. At the same time, looking for signs and fulfillment of prophecies in certain events should not be our main concern. When the Apostles asked the Risen Lord if He was now to restore the kingdom to Israel, He told them, "It is not for you to know..."
Rather, these words from Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina may be a trustworthy guide for us when "wars and rumors of wars" and other ominous "signs" begin to spread:
The time of the end, though it seems to be near, we do not know. However close, it is still future, and in the present we have only the same age-old fight against the unseen powers, against the world, and against our own passions, upon the outcome of which our eternal fate will be decided. Let us then struggle while it is still day, with the time and the weapons which our All-merciful God has given us!
Our times, above all, call for humble and quiet labors, with love and sympathy for other strugglers on the path of the Orthodox spiritual life and a deep resolve that does not become discouraged because the atmosphere is unfavorable. We Christians of the latter times are still called to work persistently on ourselves, to be obedient to spiritual fathers and authorities, to lead an orderly life with at least a minimum of spiritual discipline and with regular reading of the Orthodox spiritual literature... to watch over our own sins and failings and not judge others. If we do this, even in our terrible times, we may have hope—in God's mercy—of the salvation of our souls.
(Fr. Seraphim Rose, Blessed Paisius Velichovsky, St Herman of Alaska Press, Platina CA, 1976, pp 17, 20.)Perhaps Elder Paisios would tell us similarly, not to worry about times and signs, but to repent and pray, and to struggle with philotimo.
- The Antichrist and 666 was not the primary message of Elder Paisios
- Greeks Seek Strength in Predictions of Elder Paisios
- Caution Regarding the "Prophecies" of Elder Paisios
- Mischievous Designs and Problematic Personalities
Some Greeks turn to Elder Paisios' Prophecies on Russia-Turkey Conflict
Greek Reporter via Pravoslavie, November 25, 2015
The tension that was created after the shooting down of a Russian jet fighter by Turkish warplanes has led several Greeks to refer to Elder Paisios‘ prophecies about war between Russia and Turkey.
The ascetic monk Paisios, who became Saint Paisios by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church in January, was known for his prophecies and predictions. One of them was that Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine Empire Constantinople, will become Greek again.
Specifically, Paisios wrote:
“Events will start that will culminate with us taking back Constantinople. Constantinople will be given to us. There will be war between Russia and Turkey. In the beginning the Turks will believe they are winning, but this will lead to their destruction. The Russians, eventually, will win and take over Constantinople. After that it will be ours. They will be forced to give it to us.”
The text reads further, “(The Turks) will be destroyed. They will be eradicated because they are a nation that was built without God’s blessing. One third of the Turks will go back to where they came from, the depths of Turkey. One third will be saved because they will become Christians, and the other third will be killed in this war.” This is based on the Saint Kosmas prophecy.