Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two Versions of Basil Fool-for-Christ's Novgorod Miracle

Version 1

"[Vassily] was a welcome gust wherever he went, be it a pauper’s hut or a royal palace. One day Vassily found himself at a feast in the Kremlin. Czar Ivan sent him a bowl of wine. Vassily took the bowl and emptied the contents onto the floor. The Czar sent out a second bowl, which was likewise emptied onto the ground, then another one… Seeing the third bowl being poured out, like the previous two, Ivan was infuriated… Vassily explained that the spilled wine was indeed the much-awaited rain that had put out a great fire devouring the city of Novgorod. To make sure, Czar Ivan dispatched a messenger to Novgorod. A few days later the messenger returned confirming that Novgorod Veliky (Novgorod the Great) had indeed caught fire the residents just could not put out no matter how hard they tried. Then, just as Ivan and his boyars were feasting in Moscow, there came a mighty downpour that quickly put out the raging flames… That’s how another of Vassily’s prophecies came true."

Version 2

"Tsar Ivan the Terrible loved and revered Vassily the Blessed. On one occasion, invited to a dinner to the Tsar's palace Vassily the Blessed thrice poured his wine out of the window saying that there was a fire in Novgorod - a city miles away from Moscow in the North of Russia. The story has it that later everybody learned that in reality there was a fire in Novgorod, however, it was stopped promptly. Many people said they had seen a strange man in ragged clothes, almost naked, who was the first to spot houses that caught fire and poured water on them. People from Novgorod who later came to Moscow identified that naked man as Vassily the Blessed."

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