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MOUNT ATHOS, Greece (LifeSiteNews) — Elder Parthenius, the orthodox abbot of St. Paul’s Monastery on Mount Athos, said that we are living in the end times and related the push for the experimental COVID-19 injections to the mark of the beast in the Book of Revelation.

“We live in the last times, and at any moment, we may be offered to accept the seal of anti-Christ, the one without which people will not be able to buy and sell anything,” said Fr. Parthenius in a homily on the Feast of the Nativity. “This is my deep conviction. I will not give anyone a blessing to be inoculated.”

The abbot joins a growing chorus of church leaders who have denounced the abortion-tainted jabs out of Christian principle and because of their potentially lethal side effects. Even though he claimed he did not possess “great scholarship,” Parthenius said that we may be living in the last days because of how the signs of the end times described in Scripture align with what is occurring in the world.

“[T]he dark forces are working tirelessly,” said the abbot. “We are told of some kind of inoculation that is obligatory for everyone — everyone will have to get this inoculation — and first you would need to sign a document stating that [you] are aware of possible side-affects and will bear responsibility for them [y]ourselves … and then if something happens, [you] will not be able to say a single word — not a single word.”

“The same is said in the Apocalypse — [the] anti-Christ will act by deception. By accepting his seal, we will not be slaves to the true God but to the devil. We will no longer have the name that we received in holy baptism … each will be assigned some number, some number, and all this will be done by deception.”

“These processes are directly related to the globalization process, with the introduction of a single world government, with the abolition of money, with the construction of the third temple of Solomon, for which the Jews are preparing.”

The monk noted that state-sponsored abortion, divorce, and same-sex “marriage” anger God and are additional markers of how far man has fallen from God’s design.

“There will be such a deviation from God, that even very strong people will fall into error,” he continued. “Calamities come when we refuse the grace of God and begin to do our will. Scripture says that in the end times, temptations of the kind will come that even the elect will be tempted. You need to pray to the Lord: ‘Lord, I ask you, deliver me from the spirit of delusion, so that I can do your holy will.’”

Parthenius added: “What can you do if some rulers, some bishops, in a high theological education, urge people to be inoculated? If they support inoculations, then let them do them for themselves. Everyone one has free will. I expressed my own opinion. I expressed my faith.”

The Elder said the only sure response to these events is to pray incessantly, seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and trust in God’s mercy.

The abbot also told stories of two Orthodox saints who witnessed great suffering and death in their times, yet were blessed by God with holiness and a desire to suffer with and minister to those around them. He identified this as the type of approach we should take as Christians in response to the fear surrounding COVID-19.

“I consider illness to be a kind of blessing of God, and I tell you this with love,” said Parthenius. “If God allows me to get infected with this disease, get sick for 4–5 days and then die, then I will only be glad, because I believe that by this God is leading me to salvation. I do not believe in these inoculations and will never bless anyone to be inoculated.”

“As for the events taking place now, we, as Christians, must see the providence of God in everything, even if something remains incomprehensible to us. I think that whatever it may be, the Lord arranges everything for our benefit and allows for the sake of our salvation.”