Then she turned to Zosima and said: “Why did you wish, Abba Zosima, to see a sinful woman? What do you wish to hear or learn from me, you who have not shrunk from such great struggles?” Zosima threw himself on the ground and asked for her blessing. She likewise bowed down before him. And thus they lay on the ground prostrate asking for each other’s blessing. And one word alone could be heard from both: “Bless me!”


After a long while the woman said to Zosima: “Abba Zosima, it is you who must give blessing and Pray. You are dignified by the order of Priesthood and for may years you have been standing before the Holy Altar and offering the sacrifice of the Divine Mysteries.” This flung Zosima into even greater terror. At length with tears he said to her: “O mother, filled with he spirit, by your mode of life it is evident that you live with God and have died to the world. The Grace granted to you is apparent — for you have called me by name and recognized that I am a Priest, though you have never seen me before. Grace is recognized not by one’s orders, but by Gifts of the Spirit, so give me your blessing for God’s sake, for I need your Prayers.” Then giving way before the wish of the elder the woman said: “Blessed is God Who cares for the Salvation of men and their Souls.” Zosima answered: “Amen.” And both rose to their feet.