It is impossible to describe the beauty of paradise. I could not understand a single thing of what I have seen. I was wondering: Why are some souls standing in groups? Why this, why the other. But again my angel-guide, replied to me without me voicing my questions:
“Dousan, if everything was being revealed to you, you could not take it”.
Then, he led me through the gate. The path from this gate to the next was exactly like an arrow and very constricted. To either side, beyond its bounds and throughout its length there was a vast, dreadful, vertical and yawning abyss. This is what the path was like in between all those stations which we passed through, except that after each one the path was getting narrower and narrower until it reached the width of a human foot!
After this brief journey, we reached the second station, which was even more spectacular and brighter than the previous one. Here, there were souls with their angel guides again and the angel guard at the gate! At the same time, the demons were trying even more forcefully to prevent the souls from entering the gate. They were trying with all their might to capture and drag them to some other place, but without success. The souls which had been given permission to enter through the Crossed gate, had now been forever absolved from the attacks of the demons.
My angel guide and me, passed through all the gates. Every gate-station was better than the previous one. The angels guarding the gates were dressed differently and the gates more magnificent from the first to the very last.
At the gate of the last station, there was an extremely handsome youth, similar to my angel- guide. He was holding a book in his left hand and a sword in his right. He welcomed us and we went through the last gate. This path was the narrowest. As soon as we passed through, we found ourselves in vast light. Up until the last gate, the light was the usual earthy one, but now the difference between this light and the usual earthy one, was as huge as the difference between the brightest day and the darkest night.
Astonished, I began looking around for the sun but my angel- guide explained that we had surpassed the Solar system and were now in the dome of the Kingdome of heaven. He told me that the skies are illuminated by the Face of the Lord and there is never any night here but continuous day.
The fear and terror which had accompanied me almost continuously up to this place had suddenly disappeared and at the same time I was filled with inexplicable peace and immense pleasure. From the top of the heavenly dome, I looked down towards the sight of a majestic, huge and vast city. There were houses, churches, parks and innumerable other divine, beautiful sights. They were scatted in this vast heavenly space. Everything was shining and reflecting an unusual radiance. My attention was also drawn towards two huge rivers which were slowly flowing through this city. In one of them, the waters were yellow and in the other white. My angel again felt my confusion and explained that the ‘waters’ were honey and milk. While I was looking at them, I realized that numerous smaller streams were flowing from them and watering all the plants.
Impressed with this sight, I felt my heart hobbling, overwhelming me with such an excitement that my arms instinctively reached towards them. Such was my desire to reach and touch them … However, my angel- guide dragged me and we quickly descended away from this wonderful place.
There was no end to my joy and my astonishment when I gazed at everything that was surrounding us. I didn’t know where to look at first. Near us and further away as far as the eye could reach, there was such a brimming of life, which no one can understand or see anywhere outside this paradise. The floor in paradise was like glass and clear like crystal, and those tiny streams were flowing underneath like small submarines. All around us there were beautiful houses of various sizes and builds. Each one was so beautifully decorated it looked like a delicate jewel. There was special emphasis placed on the roofs of those heavenly houses, which to some degree they reminded me of the domes on Russian churches. This wonderful architecture was made even more breathtaking by the light which was reflected from all the outside areas. Around those divine palaces there were huge parks lined with beautiful trees and flowers. Everything smelled an incredible fragrance, scattered everywhere by a mild breeze. I was watching in awe how each flower was constantly blooming and was temporarily changing color and overpowering fragrance. I also saw many different trees beautifully festooned with various fruits.
The fruits were huge and filled with juice, so that one could see it flowing inside the flesh. The angel- guide explained that the trees were bearing fruit twelve times a year. Apart from the fruit trees there were vines, especially near the rivers and the houses. With their especially green foliation and their red grapes, those grapevines left in me the impression of the deepest serenity. I could see numerous people of all ages in these and in the other places in Paradise where my guide had taken me. The sight of the elders was especially pleasing and astonishing. They had kept the features of the elderly only in their white hair and their wavy beards, but their faces had been transformed by youth.
From all those dear faces, I marveled most at the faces of the children, most of whom resembled those of the angels’. I was looking at them playing games and having fun in the parks and others places. A lot of them were weaving wreaths and making jewelry from flowers, while the birds were sitting on their shoulders, flapping their wings and singing, glorifying their games with their tranquil presence. I detected that the children and the elderly had been dressed differently. Their garments were shining and had some distinguishing features, divinely harmonized in accordance with the services they had been offering. Around their heads they had halos, smaller than those of the angels and the saints.
The Lord had granted them all the pleasures in paradise for their pure and godlike lives on earth. Living among the residents of paradise one could see numerous angels. The beauty and the perfection of the angelic faces are impossible to appreciate. Their faces were more dazzling than the sun and their garments were reflecting light like lightning. The angles were accompanying both the young and the elderly and they were jointly giving thanks to the Lord in several places and singing hymns. I was getting more and more paralyzed in awe as I was entering deeper into paradise. My angel-guide and me were walking like we were floating and sometimes very quickly.
At some point we reached a place of astounding beauty. This place was brighter and better adorned than any other place I had seen so far in paradise. At this place and to our right, one could see the higher angelic regiments positioned in long, straight rows. Later, I came to comprehend that the small space in between the rows served so that the various ranks and offices of the angels would be clearly recognized. The splendor of what my eyes have seen cannot be described in words. In front of this parade, my angel-guide slowed down a little and started pointing out with his hand and explaining to me: “These are the Angels, these Archangels”.
At that point, he stopped explaining since Saint Peter the Apostle came forward from the rank of the Apostles and stopped in front of us. Simultaneously on the left Saint Paraskevi appeared and approached Saint Peter. The two travelers, whom I had carried with my car earlier in the day from Kralievo to Zitsa were standing in front of me in their greatest glory and splendor. They had sparkling crowns on their heads and their garments were splendidly adorned with awesome sparkle. On top of their right shoulders and on their chest they had wreaths of immense brilliance, which looked like medals. While my angel was guiding me through paradise, it never occurred to me even once that I was going to see them again. Surprised by their presence and their acquaintance I was gazing at them proudly without taking my eyes off them.
Saint Peter’s words drew me out of my spiritual delight: “Do you know Dousan, whom did you carry today?”
Without hiding my joy, I replied with great spiritual elation: “I know!”
Saint Peter continued:
“From this day on, you must not be a nonbeliever, but a believer and must be reborn in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Then he made the sign of the Cross, showing me how to do it. In the past, while I was a child I would make the sign of the Cross from the forehead to the chin. But know having been taught by Saint Peter, I realized that I was not doing it right and learnt how to do it properly in the future. The saint, realizing that I was thinking about the sign of the Cross, waited a little and then continued his counsel:
“You must ask in your prayer for the help of all the Saints, the Prophets, the Apostles, the Angels, the Archangels, the Cherubs and the Seraphim, but most of all the Mother of God, the Most Holy Mother of God, Maria, because the glory and the honor she enjoys is greater than that of all the angels in Heaven. She is the quickest aide to those who ask for her help in prayer with faith! As from today, you must forget all the deeply rooted habits of yours and must continue your family’s feast in honor of Saint Paraskevi, who prays for all those who honor her”.
Then he pointed out with his hand.“ You will be blessed together with your family and all those who will believe in you because of all which you have witnessed and all that your angel will still show you. But this will not be enough, if despite all these you do not follow the path our Lord Jesus Christ has shown you. I also tell you, Dousan that you will be redeemed if you take advantage of the little life that’s left to you and spend it in prayer and fasting and uphold all of the Lord’s commandments”.
The seriousness of his words made a huge impression in me. Under this spell, I stood without moving in the same place where I was watching and listening to these ‘lamp posts’ of the Lord. The spell was broken by Saint Archangel Gabriel who continued his explanations: “Those are the Lord’s prophets, these are the great martyrs”. As he was presenting them, everyone smiled and bowed their heads a little. Immediately afterwards, my angel-guide led me deeper into paradise.
By the way, let me tell you that I could see far into the distance with my very own eyes. I could differentiate even in the greatest detail things which were far away, as if they had been near me. Here in paradise I could see far better and more clearly than I did when I was looking at the rising of the dead. The Lord had given me this ability as a gift while I was looking at all the wonders of paradise.
As I was moving further into paradise, I saw numerous stunning temples adorned with gold and precious gems. All the doors of the temples by which we had passed were wide open and one could hear the splendor of the liturgies accompanied by the hymns of the chorus of the angels, the Archangels and the saints. While guiding me further, my angel-guide was slowing down a little when he wanted me to pay special attention to something, but we never stopped anywhere.
I do not know how far we had gone, when my angel- guide slowed down so much as if we almost stopped. At this point a hill appeared very far away from us and on top of it a huge Cross. I saw the Crucified Lord on the Cross sparkling blinding beams to all directions. At the foot of the Cross many multi winged angels, Archangels, Apostles, Prophets and Saints were gathered, glorifying the Crucified Lord. Behind the Lord, I could see some huge churches and some more buildings. All these which I had witnessed were so bright, so cheerfully adorned that their divine might made me lose my tongue. My angel –guide stopped me and said: “This is Dousan, where the Throne of the Lord is situated. You are not worthy to move on further”. Then he turned backwards and we soon left paradise.
To be continued…
Source: John Stogia: “A huge, modern miracle: Alive in the other world”