The first pilgrimage
From the first pilgrimage to the Verhotursky monastery in 1903 where Rasputin has stayed for three months, the new period of his life begins.
From a monastery Grigory has come back absolutely diffirent person: he has stopped to eat meat, began to avoid people, started assiduously to pray and seize the old-church-slavic readings and writings. He poetically explained the transformation by vision to it in the field of the Kazan Theotokos who has begun to cry real tears and has begun to yell: "Grigory! Go wander, clear people from sins and remove from them passions"
Here that, Julia Den, the closest friend of the Empress Aleksandra Feodorovna wrote in the book "Original Empress" about pilgrimage to Tobolsk in the summer of 1916 where she was sent by the Empress together with Anna Vyrubova and Rasputin:
"I sincerely was delighted, when we have reached the Verhotursky monastery... Night we have spent in the guest-house at a monastery, then Rasputin has suggested to go with it to a forest cell of the eremite which esteemed for the sacred... It has appeared that the eremite lives in the depth of a forest, and its cell can be easily accepted as a poultry yard. He has been surrounded by birds of all breeds and sizes. Probably, he considered poultry farming as something it is similar to mission sacred. He supplied a monastery with set of eggs, but we had supper rather modestly: to us he has offered cold water and black bread.
What is a bed, the eremite had no representation so we had to sleep on rigid clay of a floor. Should admit that I inexpressibly was delighted, when we have returned to Verkhoturie and could take a bath and lay down in soft bed ".
Source: Blessing of the aged man of Verkhoturie