Sunday, February 10, 2013

Never Converse with Demons

In 1986 I spent fourteen days in retreat at Saint Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. Staying in the monastic quarters, I had two weeks of wonderful fellowship with fellow monastics, worshiping in their temple, eating with them in trapeza, walking the trails through their forest, praying in their large Orthodox cemetery, and visiting the seminary bookstore.

One night I was awakened around two in the morning with a knock at the door, with someone calling my name. Startled out of a sound sleep, I realized my name was being called in unison by three voices, in a mocking tone, and that the knocking was not on the door to my cell, but on the outside wall. Frightened, I reached out in total darkness, grabbing my prayer rope from the night stand. The voices called out, "Father Tryphon, Father Tryphon, Father Tryphon", from the other side of the door, then moving to a wall opposite my bed. The knocking continued from the outside wall. 

I said nothing, for I immediately realized the voices were demonic, and mocking me by calling with three voices, since Tryphon means, "three voices". I was too frightened to get up, but continued praying the Jesus Prayer for about an hour. Once the voices stopped, I managed to reach for the light which was next to the door, got up to light a lampada before the icons, and returned to bed, where I continued the Jesus Prayer.

Following the morning service, I went outside to see if there was a tree branch that had been tapping against the outside of my room. There were not only no trees, but there were no footprints in the snow which had fallen the day before.

During trapeza that next afternoon, I told the assembled monks what had happened, and my recounting was met with silence. I spent the rest of the day thinking they all were thinking poor Father Tryphon must be mentally ill.

Later that evening while sitting with one of the monks in the kitchen, eating a microwaved potato, he brought up the subject. He said the silent response from the monks was the result of shock, for it had happened to the last monk who had stayed in that cell. He went on to tell me that the cell next to mine had been used as a storage room for years, following an exorcism service that their bishop had performed a number of years earlier. When the second need for an exorcism arose, the room was abandoned.

I share this experience in order to remind my readers that demons do exist, and they are the enemies of God, and the enemies of human kind. They use trickery and deception to bring us down, and they serve the devil, who is the great deceiver. It is important that we never enter into conversation with them, and never answer them, whether they speak to us directly as happened to me, or tempt us through evil thoughts. They can have no power over us unless we give it to them. Our God is more powerful than the devil and all the fallen angels, and they can be dispersed by calling upon the Holy Name of Jesus.

When those demons called out to me, had I responded, they would have gained power over me. By remaining silent, and calling upon the name of Jesus, they left me. We blessed my room with holy water that evening, lit the lampada before the icons, and they were gone.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Sunday February 10, 2013 / January 28, 2013
36th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone three.

Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia (movable holiday on the Sunday, after January 25th, Russian Orthodox Church - the Moscow Patriarchate).
Venerable Ephraim the Syrian (373).
Venerable Theodosius, abbot, of Totma (Vologda) (1568).
St. Theodore confessor, priest (1933).
New Hieromartyrs Ignatius bishop of Skopinsk, Vladimir priest and Hieromartyr Bartholomeus, Virgin-martyr Olga (1938).
Venerable Leontius, confessor (1972).
Venerable Ephraim, abbot, wonderworker of Novotorzhok (1053).
Venerable Ephraim, bishop of Pereyaslavl (Kiev Caves) (1098).
Venerable Palladius the Hermit of Antioch (4th c.).
Venerable Isaac the Syrian, bishop of Nineveh (ascetic writer) (7th c.).
"Sumorin Totma" Icon of the Mother of God (16th c.).
Venerable John of Reomans (544) (Gaul).
Venerable James the Ascetic of Porphyreon in Palestine (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Matthew 15:21-28

A Gentile Shows Her Faith

21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


  1. Wow. Wise words indeed - give 'em the COLD shoulder!

  2. I appreciate your willingness to share your experience with the evil one, the advice to avoid engagement is well taken.

    Citizens of earth need to be educated and given tools of defense in the event they are approached as you were.

    The reminder that God is the most powerful who will protect us when we call upon Him cannot be brought before us often enough.

  3. Thank you abbot Tryphon for your courage and humility in sharing that event with us. Like you, while in Athens, I was attacked one night by a huge
    brown bear, the stink of which almost suffocated me. I was paralized, could neither move nor speak.
    As this foul stench bent over me, in my mind I cried out "Jesus Mary!, Jesus Mary!" and suddenly it was gone. I am your Catholic sister, Philomena.

  4. I am refreshed and strengthened by great websites like this

  5. I have been talking to our Priest and Bishop about some sermons on this subject but to no avail. There is a lot more that can be said. One thing is too wear a Saint Benedict medal. They will not be able to speak to you or show themselves to you or scare you or hit you. I know from experience that the good Lord taught me. Dogs can also see them and they do not like them.

  6. Thank you Abbot Tryphon! as much as its scares me. Thank you for reassuring me the name of the LORD is most powerful. God Bless you.


  7. I have a question: What of the afore-mentioned St. Benedict medal with its Latin monogram for "Get thee behind me, Satan! Do not offer me that which is vain. The cup you offer is evil. Drink it yourself."

    Is this not an address aimed at Satan? If so, does the speaking of it offer him power? In my experience, it does quite the opposite, but perhaps I am fooling myself?

    What do you think?


  8. Thank You for sharing this with us!

  9. Abbot Tryphon - thank you so much for sharing this experience with us. A Catholic, I too had a similar experience several years ago while in bed: a man whose face I could not see but wearing a shirt with short sleeves approached me as I lay in bed and utter terror overcame me. He tried to smother me with a pillow and I lay there calling on the names of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, Mary and after a while, the man simply disappeared. I did not speak to him at all and knew in a second that it was an evil presence. The whole room was permeated with evil for the time he was there. A priest subsequently blessed the house and Holy Mass has been offered up here and since then, nothing like that has happened again. Thank you for your website. It is exactly what we need in the world today when so much pure evil is passed-off by such as the entertainment industry (movies with subject matter of vampires etc) - is considered entertainment! Some entertainement - entertaining demons! Thank you and God bless you Abbot Tryphon. Praise be Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  10. Abbot Tryphon, thank you for your most interseting experience
    you have used for a teaching tool. I am a Orthodox Christian
    but in God's will and some pre-christian brushes with the
    demonic unfortunately I know the darkside is real. God save
    us. I will not let pride destroy the hedge of protection the
    Lord provides by telling my many spiritual war stories. I do
    feel it would be helpful to share a powerful prolonged encounter my wife and I with the Lord's enduring love lived
    through. Without shareing to much information I will tell you
    that my wife and family and I moved to a small town near my
    work. To our surprise we soon after this become Christians
    out of mormonism, Jesus using road to Damascus type experiences, All Glory to God. Our second surprise was that
    we had moved into a house sitting in the middle of a Indian
    burial ground of which a very old coven of druids lived in a
    group of houses behind us and adjacent to the burial ground.
    These druids were glomming off the very large and old oak trees that were actually part of the grave yard, druids find
    some demonic power from oak trees. The local Indian tribe was placeing the bodies of thier dead in the root flares
    of the oak trees, druid lotto. God save us! The experiences
    we had for the next 22 years could easily be made into a
    movie, the demonic powers our real, mean and angry. But what
    is more real is the name of Jesus, the cross of Jesus the
    blood of Jesus. In time God brought me to the Jesus prayer,
    Unseen warefare, the Orthodox prayers, baptism,charismation, confession, the Body and the Blood of Christ.Please believe
    me if you have faith expressed through love and if you are a
    true disciple of Christ, you have great hope and authority
    against the evil ones. Glory to God.

  11. I just want to thank you Abbot Tryphon with all my heart because I am a schizophrenic and you have helped me like no other with the voices I hear in my head. You said to NEVER converse with them and this has helped me a great deal! Thankyou so much again!! God bless you and may you help and bless other schizophrenics with this great advice.

    1. such truth right here--don't talk back to it and G_d willing eventually you will be able to ignore IT.