The Cross-Baptism

abbess thaisia

Excerpt from the Autobiography by Abbess Thaisia:

“… I fell asleep.

I saw myself entering a church or chapel (I do not know which) of modest size, from the south side. In the middle, as if facing the altar, there were standing three figures, all of the same size, clothed the sake, and alike in everything. I was at a loss to name them. They looked like human beings, but their heads were surrounded by something like a mist. I could not see them clearly. Besides me and them, nobody else was there. The church was empty. I became curious about these beings. Rather boldly, I began to approach them, first from one side, then from the other, trying to find out who they were. When I drew near to their right, the one standing there asked me, “What convent is this?” I replied, “The Convent of the Entrance into the Temple”. He asked me again, “How long have you lived here?” I answered, “Three years.” Then he said, “You have lived three years in this convent already, and still you do not know its name.” I began to argue, saying that I well knew the name of my convent. “It is the Convent of the Entrance into the Temple.” Then he beckoned me to come nearer, and went on, “If you do not know the name of your convent, I will tell you. It is the Convent of the Cross-Baptism.” At this moment I saw his head. It was like the head of our Saviour, as it is seen in the icons. With His left hand He was holding an enormous wooden Cross, as if He was leaning against it, and with His right Hand He lightly touched my shoulder. Tapping it gently, He said, “I tell you, it is the Convent of the Cross-Baptism. Do you not understand? Then I will explain it to you. Just as a Christian child is baptised through the water and the Spirit, and is not able to become a Christian otherwise, so a child-monk must be baptised through the Cross. Otherwise he cannot become a monk. Do you understand me now?” While He was speaking, I recognised Him as Christ, and full of joy and tender feeling, I exclaimed, “Truly, O my Lord, I do understand that I have to endure everything for the sake of Thy Cross.” I awoke with the same feeling of joy and tender feeling. My shoulder seemed to still feel the gentle tapping of His Hand. I was quite renewed  spiritually, and all my dark mood vanished as though it had never been there at all”


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