Fr. Peter Gillquist’s angelic welcome

Fr. Peter Gillquist

Fr. Peter Gillquist

It’s appropriate to contemplate angels rejoicing at our homecoming. After all, if we are the heirs of salvation, and angels are ministers to the heirs of salvation as Paul says in Hebrews, then our final success is their success too.

My mind turns to this subject after hearing about the passing of the beloved Fr. Peter Gillquist.

Upon the passing of Acholius the bishop of Thessalonica, Ambrose of Milan said something that applies here too. He expressed regret that this “veteran . . . of Christ” had departed life on this earth. But now that Acholius was “freed from the bands of the body,” he was “carried by the ministry of Angels to the intimate presence of Christ.”

While Acholius left grievers here on earth, the angels met him with “jubilation,” rejoicing “that such a man had come among them.”

I think that term “veteran of Christ” fits Fr. Peter too. Surely now angelic jubilation welcomes this veteran of ours.

While praying, the fourth-century ascetic bishop Nephon experienced a vision in which he saw angels from heaven “ascend[ing] and descend[ing] like bees, transporting the souls of people who had died.” At one point Nephon saw a godly woman welcomed by angels “embracing and kissing her tenderly.”

As they gathered around her they sang, “Glory to God Who delivered this soul from the dreadful dragon!” I like to think that’s the song meeting Fr. Peter.

Memory eternal.

About Joel J. Miller

I'm the author of Lifted by Angels, a look at angels through the eyes of the early church. Click here for more about me or subscribe to my RSS here.

  • Dan Johnson

    Good thoughts Joel. Interesting idea of what song shall each of us hear and experience as we enter the presence of God! Back in the mid-sixties, Peter came into the intersection of an expanding evangelicalism…..and sought deeper purposes and meaning…and who can forget “LOVE IS NOW”

  • Dan Johnson

    Good thoughts Joel. Interesting idea of what song shall each of us hear and experience as we enter the presence of God! Back in the mid-sixties, Peter came into the intersection of an expanding evangelicalism…..and sought deeper purposes and meaning…and who can forget “LOVE IS NOW”

  • http://joeljmiller.com Joel J. Miller

    Love is really (fully) now for Fr. Peter.

  • http://versaponis.com Photios Brian Phillips

    Our little Mission Church in Cape Girardeau, Mo was founded by Father Peter Gilquist in 2008 at my home, I have the honor of saying. He contacted Father Joseph of the Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis and then Fr. Joseph contacted me since I lived in Cape and had known Fr. Joseph for many years thru my wife Amalia. He asked if I would be willing to meet with “Jim McCool” (now Fr. James) and aid him in finding a location suitable for the Mission.
    I told Fr. Joseph I have had a home for sale sometime now and that it can be used until it’s sold or the bank takes it. I had it for sale almost 2 years from 2006-2008.
       My wife was born in Greece and I had not yet become Orthodox. We had used the excuse of the Church being too far from us to attend regular, but we had been searching for something closer to no avail. Long story short, I opened my home to the Church and was a bit afraid to become too involved for fear that it might change me! Well it has and it’s all thanks to Father Peter who initiated it in the first place. Over the course of a few months, I began attending Services and after about 6 months the house was sold to a Evangelical Pastor who had saw the Holy Orthodox Bible on the Altar in our basement.
    My family and I, months prior, had purchased tickets to Greece and when we returned I became a  Catichuman. I dove head first into the Church and have not looked back. Now we are becoming established and are Blessed with Fr. Daniel Morton as our Parish Priest and Fr. James as one who serves regularly while enroute to another Mission in Jackson, TN.  We are all so Thankful for Father Peter and his determination. Words cannot express the personal gratitude I feel for him and his aiding in the Salvation of my Eternal Soul and that of my wife and 2 girls Alexia and Nefeli. I look forward to seeing him again. Thank You Father, May Your Memory Be Eternal.

    • http://joeljmiller.com Joel J. Miller

      What a great testimony. Fr. Peter has helped so many.

  • http://versaponis.com Photios Brian Phillips

    Our little Mission Church in Cape Girardeau, Mo was founded by Father Peter Gilquist in 2008 at my home, I have the honor of saying. He contacted Father Joseph of the Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis and then Fr. Joseph contacted me since I lived in Cape and had known Fr. Joseph for many years thru my wife Amalia. He asked if I would be willing to meet with “Jim McCool” (now Fr. James) and aid him in finding a location suitable for the Mission.
    I told Fr. Joseph I have had a home for sale sometime now and that it can be used until it’s sold or the bank takes it. I had it for sale almost 2 years from 2006-2008.
       My wife was born in Greece and I had not yet become Orthodox. We had used the excuse of the Church being too far from us to attend regular, but we had been searching for something closer to no avail. Long story short, I opened my home to the Church and was a bit afraid to become too involved for fear that it might change me! Well it has and it’s all thanks to Father Peter who initiated it in the first place. Over the course of a few months, I began attending Services and after about 6 months the house was sold to a Evangelical Pastor who had saw the Holy Orthodox Bible on the Altar in our basement.
    My family and I, months prior, had purchased tickets to Greece and when we returned I became a  Catichuman. I dove head first into the Church and have not looked back. Now we are becoming established and are Blessed with Fr. Daniel Morton as our Parish Priest and Fr. James as one who serves regularly while enroute to another Mission in Jackson, TN.  We are all so Thankful for Father Peter and his determination. Words cannot express the personal gratitude I feel for him and his aiding in the Salvation of my Eternal Soul and that of my wife and 2 girls Alexia and Nefeli. I look forward to seeing him again. Thank You Father, May Your Memory Be Eternal.

    • http://joeljmiller.com Joel J. Miller

      What a great testimony. Fr. Peter has helped so many.


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