By this time, in Fr. Nikolai’s Russian motherland, all monasteries had been raided; monks and nuns were shot and sent to gulag camps to die. His entire mother Church was liquidated at the hands of Godless atheists. Any signs of religiousness in the country were violently uprooted and all Church Hierarchs, Priests and lay people were silenced, usually by torture and death. The totalitarianism of the Godless government strived at any cost to cut the ground from under the centuries-old tree of Russian Orthodoxy. The preservation of all ancient monastic traditions and other traditions of the Church seemed doomed. While the blood of martyrs was being spilt all around him, Fr. Nikolai continued to serve as a Priest in the Baltic States. It seemed that the mind of Fr. Nikolai was being preserved by God for his Russian people. In a world when monastics were being murdered, Fr. Nikolai preserved strict monastic tradition without any proper training. He was a lover of truth and therefore a stranger to this world. The Lord was forming in him the radical characteristics of an Orthodox Elder, a tradition being suppressed by the authorities around him. He portrayed meekness, longsuffering, love, and purity, imitating his suffering Savior. All these characteristics were instilled in him by God, he had no great spiritual guidance, but developed these virtues through his extreme denial of this world.
The Elder didn’t talk with people in complicated parables like many false self-proclaiming gurus, but he talked with simplicity and in this God’s will was revealed to the listener. He spoke to the hearts of many from all corners of the earth. He knew what was in the hearts of all who came to him; he clearly saw the past, present, and future of his spiritual children and he would simply great all with what they needed. The Lord gave him the knowledge of man’s inner state. He would never say something that would affect a person’s feelings, but to those who were haughty he would give sound advice. To one man who was very severe to his wife, the Elder simply said to him, “Be softer.” With these words the man walked away with a new revelation about himself. It often happened this way, a man would coming seeking something and leave with a new understanding about himself and a lesson he didn’t expect to hear. Fr. Nikolai was gracious and lenient to the repentant people visiting him. One visitor, standing next to the fence of the Elder’s cottage and tormenting from so much shame, that not only could he not talk to the elder but also couldn’t lift his eyes up on him, suddenly heard the quiet voice of Fr, Nikolai say to a lay sister, “Go, call him.” She went over and invited the tormented man to the Elder. Fr. Nikolai then anointed him and kept repeating: “God’s mercy is with you, God’s mercy is with you…” The oppressive condition of the man thawed and disappeared in this ray of the Elder’s love. However the elder could meet differently those, who didn’t have any repentance: “Don’t visit me anymore.” He told to one pilgrim. These are frightful words to hear from such a great and righteous man.