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August 16, 2017



A starets is defined as an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery whose role is to act as an adviser and teacher to others...elders or spiritual fathers are charismatic spiritual individuals whose holy wisdom comes from God as obtained from an ascetic is believed that through this difficult ascetic struggle, which includes prayer and often includes seclusion or withdrawal, the Holy Spirit as it is known bestows special gifts onto the elder…these gifts include the ability to heal, the ability to perform prophesy, and most importantly, to give spiritual guidance and direction to those who seek it...elders should be an inspiration to believers and an example of saintly virtue, a steadfast faith, and an example of spiritual peace…Grigori Rasputin claimed to be a starets…one who was a mere pilgrim from Siberia…he claimed to have visions and his powerful personality and charisma often overcame any doubt that a person might have had prior to speaking to him…in fact, the tsar Nicholas II wrote down the event in his personal diary, stating that he and his wife Alexandra had "made the acquaintance of a man of God, Grigory, from Tobolsk province”…later with the help of reports compiled by the police, Nicholas began to see through Rasputin’s fa├žade but his wife was steadfast in her belief in him to a fault…and all say that it contributed to the Tsar’s downfall…it is said by some that he did have the power to heal…others doubt this ability…Rasputin gave spiritual guidance but it was often done with Rasputin’s own benefit in mind…it has been documented that he was no man of saintly virtue or an example of someone with spiritual peace…his life, particularly in later years was one of turmoil.