Canadian Nuns Drive 10 Hours to Ohio to Purchase Armageddon Supplies

NOTE: The following article is taken from Lehman’s Country Life. The owner of Lehman Hardware and Appliances Inc., Galen, describes how a couple of nuns from Geronda Ephraim’s monastery in Quebec drove 10 hours to the village of Dalton, Ohio (pop. 1,843) to fill two vans with products “to help when the power leaves them in the dark.” Interestingly, many of these products can be purchased at various locations in Quebec. However, the nuns chose to drive 10 hours to a small village in a different country to pay a higher price (via the exchange rate).

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A Visit From The Sisters of Le Troupeau Benit by Galen Lehman

 

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The sisters often sell their foods and other wares at outdoor markets like this one. (L: Sr. Macrina, R: Sr. Theofano)

 

Last week our store was blessed with an interesting visit by a group of sisters from Quebec, Canada. These ladies live in a Greek Orthodox religious community and apparently use many of our products, as they came prepared with a LONG list of items they needed! The Sisters run a cheese factory called Le Troupeau Benit (The Blessed Flock) where they make and sell cheeses made from their very own sheep and goats.

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Our bright, reliable Aladdin lamps will light the way for the sisters when their power goes out ($235 each).

Beth Smith handled the order entry and had many of us running around gathering items for these ladies. They spent most of their day at the store with a short leave in the afternoon for lunch at Mrs Yoder’s Kitchen in nearby Mt. Hope, Ohio. The Customer Service counter was piled so high we finally had to find another place to gather their wares. The items ranged from milk bottles,Aladdin lamps and canned meat, to lamp partscast iron kettleshow-to books and many miscellaneous housewares items.

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Our 3-legged cast iron kettles are oil-cured and ready to cook delicious meals outdoors. 7 sizes available at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Our staff member Roger helped them load up, and in the conversation discovered they live the Lehman’s lifestyle of gardeningcheesemaking and many other self-sufficient skills. They have electricity, but it frequently goes out on them. This trip was to get items to help when the power leaves them in the dark. Hurray for the Aladdin lamp! They had two vans with seats down and loaded all the goods into them, then had a 10-hour drive back home to Quebec.

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The sisters live a simple lifestyle and practice self-sufficient skills such as gardening, cheesemaking and keeping livestock such as chickens, sheep and goats.

We were honored and blessed to serve this very special group of sisters, and we thank them for their visit. We hope the products they purchased will be beneficial in aiding their noble ventures!

For more on these intriguing and enterprising women, visit https://scottnevinssuicide.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/inauguration-of-new-cheesemaking-facilities-for-le-troupeau-benit-quebec-monastery/

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http://www.monasterevmc.org/

SOURCE: http://countrylife.lehmans.com/a-visit-from-the-sisters-of-le-troupeau-benit/#more-25113

The Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Monastery Tumblr page makes the following observation:

Are the nuns preparing for the last days?

One wonders: Why these nuns would drive 10 hours out of province and country to purchase items readily available in Quebec? Especially when the Canadian dollar is so low (1 CAD = 0.72453 USD, thus 1,000.00 USD = 1,380.21 CAD; 1,000.00 CAD = 724.53 USD). Not to mention all these items have to be declared at the border, though there are numerous ways to enter Quebec illegally without border checks. The cost of gas for a 20 hour round trip which include tolls, plus food and snack expenses, are also not cheap. Some of the American monasteries along the border have bank accounts in Canada (usually under a trusted pilgrim’s name, or a shell account) and they send up the Canadian dollars they receive in donations to be deposited there. It is unknown if the Canadian monasteries do the same down here for the US dollars they receive from pilgrims.

The few convenient routes from the monastery to the Lehman’s store are still a few hours out of the way from the MI, NY, and PA monasteries that the nuns sometimes visit for feast days, or privately on regular days.

Perhaps they did not want locals of Quebec to be scandalized with the thousands of dollars spent on things which may seem superfluous. Because why pay $30 for an oil lamp at their local hardware store (http://www.homehardware.ca/en/cat/index.htm/Indoor-Living/Housewares/Decor/Decorator-Lighting/Oil-Lamps/_/N-ntkmx) when they can drive 10 hours to buy $300 Aladdin Deluxe Brass oil lamps (https://www.lehmans.com/p-3182-aladdin-deluxe-brass-table-oil-lamp.aspx)? One wonders why such fancy, expensive lamps are needed for “when the power goes out?”

In September 1999, some of the heads of the monasteries stayed at St. Nektarios Monastery in New York as a stopover before Archbishop Demetrios’ enthronement (Saturday, September 18, 1999). Due to Hurricane Floyd, the monastery lost it’s power and some of the basements were flooded (this was before Geronda Joseph spent half a million dollars+ on a generator to power the main buildings). Hieromonk Chrysostomos and Father Kassianos went out and purchased regular oil lamps and lamp oil for each room/monastic. If Gerondissa Thekla followed this pattern, then that is around $6,900 (9,523.42 CAD) for the 23 nuns to have their own lamp (compared to the $690 it would have cost them at their local hardware store).  If the nuns purchased lamps for all the different buildings on their property …

The canned meat is also a curiosity since monastics are forbidden to eat meat by the orthodox canons (interestingly, bishops who are also tonsured monastics tend to ignore this canon here). In some cases, out of economia, monastics who are very ill will be given an obedience to eat meat for strength.

It wouldn’t be for the goats. Though goats will eat almost anything, farmers know that you never feed goats meat, meat byproducts, or food prepackaged for your carnivore pet such as dog food or cat food. For the most part it is illegal to feed animal byproducts to any ruminate animals (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/UCM052385.pdf).

Sometimes, out of economia, non-orthodox workers may be served or permitted to eat meat at monasteries during construction. In extreme cases of economia, pilgrims might be given a blessing to hunt on monastery property. In 1999, Geronda Joseph gave Gerasimos Kourkoumelis permission to hunt Canada Geese at St. Nektarios Monastery, NY. This was allowed for a two-fold purpose: 1) to create a bond with Gerasimos and soften him to the church 2) to eliminate the Geese that were destroying the grass and golf turfs of the property.

With the excahnge rate, the canned meat products are more expensive than those sold in Canada.

https://www.lehmans.com/c-89-canned-meat.aspx

Who knew the end of the world would be so expensive …

http://stnektariosmonastery.tumblr.com/

 

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The Marble-King John (Theologoumena of Geronda Ephraim)

Elder Ephraim says that when the Greeks take back Constantinople, 33 years of prosperity will pass and then full apostasy will start and the Antichrist will rule.

Elder Ephraim reveals that it is not yet the epoch of the Antichrist’s government and that there are still prophecies that have not happened, such as the 33 year reign of the sleeping marble King, John, after the 3rd world war and the capture of Constantinople.

Geronda Ephraim of Arizona.
Geronda Ephraim of Arizona.

Elder Ephraim speaks about this event on various cassettes:

“There is a sleeper General named John who the Archangel Michael will then indicate to Christians that he will reign now. He will indicate the place to them with his finger and they will call him to lead and reign over the Greek Orthodox people. And this will happen!
“Years ago there was an [Old Calendarist] Archpriest named Hierotheos on Mount Athos. He came from Asia Minor and the Ecumenical Patriarchate placed him on Mount Athos to perform ordinations, memorial services, liturgies, etc. He was a holy Archpriest in the type of St. Nicholas. I was counted worthy of the Priesthood by this holy Archpriest from Asia Minor. Blessed man of God! “One thing I will tell you. What vigils that we did! This 80 year old man did fifteen hour vigils without sitting at all in the seat. He descended from his throne in the stall again upright. And in the Liturgy which followed three hours after the long Orthros, standing! We placed a chair for him to sit down and he did not want it. He said, “Still our Panagia does not tire me” even when he was trembling from fatigue. This holy Archpriest told us he saw the sleeping General John, who will be resurrected when the great 3rd World War takes place! He saw him! Because the lips of an archpriest don’t lie.

“So, he told us the truth. And we asked him. For at that time my blessed and holy Elder was still alive (the famous Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-Dweller), and all our synodeia and had gotten him in our church and we sat there and asked him questions. And he said it. We heard with our ears. “He said, „There is this sleeping King and he will resurrect again!‟ We said, „When, Elder? When, holy Archpriest of God?‟ He said, „When the third World War takes place!‟ And he also told us that, „The right hand of the King is on the handle of the sword! Which sword is in the scabbard.‟ And he said, „when the sword is out of its sheath, then the third World War will start.‟ And we, out of our curiosity asked him: „Your Reverence, how far is the sword out of the sheath?‟ He replied, „Just a few centimeters remain to come out!‟”
There is a cassette where Elder Ephraim tells listeners that he has seen the marble King John himself [It is unsure if he meant in a vision or with his physical eyes].

2 Sources of Geronda Ephraim’s Teachings on the Marble King:

Saint Ioannis Vatatzis the Beneficent and Geronda Ephraim of Arizona.
Saint Ioannis
Vatatzis the Beneficent and Geronda Ephraim of Arizona.

Unfortunately, the original prophecies that Elder Ephraim is referring to are pseudepigraphs. The first one, attributed to St. Methodius of Patara [4th century] is from the 7th century and written by an anonymous Syrian Monophysite. Even if it was written by St Methodius, the text itself contains so many historical and theological errors that it’s already rendered heretical just by Scriptural and ecclesiastical teachings. There is a prophecy on St. Constantine’s Tomb that has never been recorded or mentioned by any ecclesiastical writer or historian, nor is it in his Synaxarion. The next prophetic text in succession which is attributed to St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ is rejected by St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain as follows:
“The Life of this Saint Andrew is preserved in a manuscript of much breadth, a book almost of great composition, in which are contained numerous prophecies concerning the future. I will never issue this here, since it is said it contains some things that are doubly unacceptable, and it is found at Iveron, as well as other places.” (Synaxaristes For the Twelve Months of the Year, vol. 3)

The prophetic text  attributed to St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ is rejected by St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.
The prophetic text attributed to St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ is rejected by St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.

Besides the fact that most of these prophecies strongly contradict the Scriptural and Patristic eschatology accepted by the Orthodox Church, their origins are dubious and obscure, they are not referenced as factual, nor incorporated into the eschatological writings of the Church Fathers (i.e. not found in St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John of Damascus, St. Photios the Great, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Ecumenios, St. Andrew of Caesarea, etc.), and they seem to relate more with Hellenic nationalism and xenophobia than orthodox spiritual teachings. It is worthy to note that these prophecies were also widely disseminated Apostolos Makrakis’ disciples. Even into the 1970’s there were monks on Mount Athos who followed Makrakis and wrote about the Constantinople prophecies (Such as Archim. Neilos Sotiropoulos, who wrote The Coming Double-Edged Sword in 1965: http://www.slideshare.net/stratilatis/ep-4676176 )
The sleeping king’s sword has been almost fully out of the sheath for almost 60 years now, and both Elder Ephraim and Elder Paisios of Arizona reference the sword to this day.

To this day, both Elder Ephraim and Elder Paisios of Arizona reference the sleeping king's sword coming out of its sheath.
To this day, both Elder Ephraim and Elder Paisios of Arizona reference the sleeping king’s sword coming out of its sheath.

Again, as a theologoumena, it’s not dogmatic nor is it a belief that one’s salvation depends upon. However if these prophecies are just mere ‘Greek superstitions of simple-minded people,’ as Fr. Athanasius Mitilinaios states, then the people who believe in these fables could be in a shock when it does not occur.
However, a good disciple says, “Whatever the elder believes, thinks, and decides, I also believe, think, and decide in exactly the same way” [Counsels of the Holy Mountain, Chapters on Obedience]. Thus, if one happens to be a disciple of Elder Ephraim, it’s better for them to believe these prophecies so they can be of one mind with their Elder.

The Apostle John Returns

In one of Elder Ephraim’s cassettes on the Antichrist, he speaks about the return of the two witnesses, Enoch and Elijah, and also mentions the Apostle John will be returning, too [‘according to some Fathers’]. The Patristic consensus is that only Elijah and Enoch will return.

Sermons by Elder Ephraim on Eschatological Subjects (In Greek):

When Will the Antichrist Appear?

The Yearning of Christ and the Last Days

The Second Coming of Christ

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In the homily, When Will the Antichrist Appear?, Geronda Ephraim states:
“According to the Revelation of John and the prophecy of the Saints we await the Antichrist! We expect him… The Antichrist will test people on how much they believe in Christ … Some say that the Antichrist was born and is a certain age now. Others say no. The “no” is the most prevalent and most true, because when the future Antichrist comes, humanity must be found in the worst condition! Then he will come as a “Savior” … As the “Messiah” … And will deceive people to follow him …
Has he been born now? The human condition itself does not foresee him … Because the people on Earth now have all the goods. They don’t have a need for the Antichrist’s offering! What could he give us to believe him? We have no need of him… Not all the prophecies of the Saints have occurred yet!
When we take Constantinople, 33 years of prosperity will pass and afterwards the complete apostasy of mankind will begin; the Antichrist will rule! This is not yet the government of the Antichrist, because there are still prophecies that have not occurred, such as the government of 33 year reign of the sleeping King John after the 3rd World War and the capture of Constantinople by the Greeks.”

St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY (pathway to the old bookstore).
St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY (pathway to the old bookstore).

The Brotherhood in New York Will Be the First to Martyr

Before St. Nektarios Monastery was established in New York, and before many of the monasteries were established, Geronda Ephraim use to give sermons in peoples’ houses. He’d travel from Montreal to Toronto, down through New York. He would stay at a spiritual child’s house, and from there word would get out and people would flock to this house to go to confession and hear Geronda’s teachings. On more than one occasion, he mentioned he wanted to start a monastery in New York State, and he also made prophecies that whichever brotherhood would be there would be the first of his monks to martyr.
In 1998, while the Brotherhood of St. John the Theologian was seeking shelter at St. Anthony’s Monastery (until they found a property to purchase in New York), Geronda Ephraim gave many homilies to the Fathers in the Gerondia. He mentioned how he had a feeling the Antichrist would make his first appearances in New York as it had the highest Jewish population in America and all the Headquarters of the “dark powers” were located there. He also stated that the monks in New York would be the first to martyr out of all his monasteries. He has prophesied this on more than one occasion.

St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY (looking up at the guest quarters from the first pond).
St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY (looking up at the guest quarters from the first pond).

NOTE:

If Geronda Ephraim makes an error, the monastics usually refer to the following teaching of St. Barsanuphius and John’s to justify his error:

Do not think that people, even if they are saints, can grasp the depths of the divinity…Saints, having been made teachers, or making themselves such, or compelling other people to succeed greatly, succeed their own teachers, and, having received support from above, exposited a new teaching, but simultaneously preserved what they took from their former teachers, i.e., the incorrect teaching. Having succeeded and afterwards been made spiritual teachers, they did not pray to God that He might reveal them to be the first of their teachers; whether it was the Holy Spirit who suggested what their teachers taught them but, considering them to wise and intellectual, did not examine their words; and therefore the opinions of their teachers got mixed up with their own teaching, and these saints sometimes said that which they learned from their teachers and sometimes the good which was suggested to them by their intellect; but subsequently these and other words were attributed to them. (Direction on the Spiritual Life 610)