From Monk Vsevolod Philipiev's book The Montreal Myrrh-streaming Icon and Brother Joseph

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From Monk Vsevolod Philipiev's book The Montreal Myrrh-streaming Icon and Brother Joseph:

Why did the hearts of the Russian Orthodox people so easily open up to brother Joseph? Because Joseph was the latest of that great multitude of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, and now Heaven has permitted him to speak.

Another reason is that he was one of the monastics (i.e. people schooled in the wisdom of Heaven), who, according to the prophecy of F. M. Dostoevsky, will bring about Russia's salvation.

In times past, such people included Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Seraphim of Sarov, while in our times they include Holy Hierarch St. John (Maximovitch) and Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose). Religious Russia reveres and loves them. The Russian people, awakening from its spiritual slumber, is learning from them, is takes for itself their faith as an example. Joseph was one such monastic, standing between the Heavenly Realm and the earthly world, receiving the light from on high and bringing it down to all people.

Joseph once said: "Russia needs the example of a real monk, one who has completely renounced the world and given himself over to God…" Without realizing it, he followed Holy Hierarch St. John and Fr. Seraphim in setting such an example for Russia and for the entire world.

* * *

Brother Joseph’s connection to the higher realm was realized primarily through his ceaseless work of prayer.  It is due to Joseph’s prayer that to us appeared the Myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon.  After all, on bringing the Icon from Mt. Athos to Montreal, he began to read an Akathist before it daily, and then it began to stream Myrrh.

By praying, Joseph brought out [the Myrrh-streaming] Icon, but having made a vow not to use it for self-enrichment, he did not leave it hidden; he brought the miracle to others.  Unfortunately, people sometimes accepted this miracle as something to which they were entitled.  Yet Joseph had said, “Many think that the Icon will always be Myrrh-streaming, but it can very easily cease to stream Myrrh.”

Few gave any thought to the fact that Joseph, who through his prayers had entreated and received the miracle from the Icon, continued his entreaties before the Icon, through his prayers continuing to bring forth the streaming of Myrrh, so that by means of the Icon, God’s grace might help the suffering people.

Joseph’s Abba, Archbishop Leonty of Chile, instilled in Joseph’s soul this Orthodox spiritual activity. (…)

The following vignette may serve as an example of how much of a beneficial influence Archbishop Leonty had had on brother Joseph.  Joseph once happened to give a certain close friend a strict religious instruction that greatly upset him.  Joseph noted, “So why are you offended? Vladyka Leonty was even more strict with me.”  This was true: Vladyka Leonty guided Joseph strictly, and made him a true monk, teaching him to ceaselessly do the Jesus Prayer and to reveal his thoughts [to his spiritual father].  These two component parts of prayer of the heart helped brother Joseph to carry on his difficult service.

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