As a monk, in disobedience to his abbot, St. Nikita went off and lived as a recluse in a solitary cell. For his disobedience, God sent great temptations upon him. Once when Nikita was at prayer, the devil appeared to him as an angel of light and said to him: "Do not pray any more, but rather read books, and I will pray in your place." Nikita obeyed, stopped praying, and began to read books. He read only the Old Testament and was totally unable to open the New, being prevented by some diabolical strength. He also prophesied with the help of the devil — about crimes, kidnappings, fires and other evil works which were known to the devil and thence made known to him. The holy fathers of the monastery finally realized that Nikita had fallen into demonic illusion and began to pray for him. Nikita returned to himself, realized the abyss into which he had fallen, repented bitterly of his disobedience and pride and directed himself onto the right path. After long penance and many tears, God forgave him and gave him the gift of wonder-working. He entered into rest in 1108.
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