9. The deadly plague is stopped
22 August 1827. Father Savvas writes: “At Enos, the deadly plague has stopped on the 15th of June with the grace of the Holy Belt”. From Enos, the Holy Belt was transported to Didimotichon. In another letter, dated 12th September, the same priest writes: “Here, the deadly plague has stopped as it did at Enos, with the grace of the Holy Belt”.
10. We have been freed from the onslaught of lucusts. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
5. Fr Daniel Katounakiotis is cured of an inflammation of the kidneys.
In his book, “Contemporary Figures of the Holy Mountain”, Vol. 4, the late Archimandrite Cherubim describes how Father Daniel Katounakiotis had been miraculously cured of an acute inflammation of the kidneys. We quote the account: “No sooner did he reach Vatopedi than he suffered an acute inflammation of the kidneys. This “thorn in the flesh” afflicted him very seriously this time and he had to stay in bed for weeks.
The fathers at the monastery have been nursing him with a lot of affection. But even more affection was shown by the great Doctor of the Mountain, the Mother of God. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
1. The ship stays montionless
Once, the inhabitants of Ainos invited the Holy Belt. The monks who were accompanying it were being offered hospitality at the house of a priest, whose wife secretly cut off a small piece. When the monks boarded the vessel, the ship stayed motionless, even though the sea was calm. When the woman saw this extraordinary event she realized her mistake and handed back the missing piece. The ship sailed off only after the piece was handed over. Since then a second casket was crafted to accommodate this piece to this day. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The history of the Holy Belt chapter
The Holy Belt of the Mother of God, divided these days in three parts, is the only relic or remains, which endures from her life on earth and is being safeguarded at the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi. According to the tradition, the belt was woven from camel hair from the Mother of God herself, and after her Repose, while she was ascending to heaven, she handed it over to Thomas the Apostle. The apolytikio of the feast for the deposition of the Holy Belt of the Mother of God says: “While you were ascending to the forthcoming glory, you have given your most venerable belt to Thomas the Apostle”. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The Holy Apostles became the vessels of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Miracles are events beyond nature, which use and are being energized by material things (handkerchiefs and aprons), which are full of Grace. Our Orthodox Church celebrates the worship of the “chains” of Saint Peter in January. When he had been imprisoned by Herod in Jerusalem, his hands were chained. An angel sent by the Lord, freed him. The Christians have preserved the chains and they have been honoring and worshiping them for the benefit of their souls. The chains have received “eternal grace” and became “the cure of ailments, the consolation of those afflicted, the harbor for those distressed”. In a troparion of the Canon of the feast it is written: “Peter, drive away demonic disturbances, pacify the tempest of sin and eradicate all sicknesses, dangers and afflictions as well as the assaults by barbarians from all those who revere your chains”. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
Our Church honors the holy and sacred relics, whether they are derived from the bodies of Saints, or are items belonging to them. One such relic, the only one which has been found to this day and belongs to the Most Holy Mother of God, is her Holy Belt. It constitutes a precious treasure and the most sacred relic which the Great, Holy Monastery of Vatopedi possesses. The Grace of the Holy Spirit continues to act through the holy relics. As Saint Chrysostomos says: “Jesus Christ, honoring the struggles, the blood they have shed and the martyrdom of the saints, has safeguarded their souls in heaven. But He left on earth their body and their holy relics to assist in our salvation”. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The works of God and His Saints, which cannot be rationally explained, are called miracles. God performs miracles ad infinitum. This is revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ who says: “My father is working until now” ( John 5, 17). By His uncreated energies, God provides, preserves and controls the whole universe, the whole creation. That is, God preserves the creation in the mint condition He had created it. He conserves and protects it by His divine consideration. Therefore, God’s uncreated energies are constantly and incessantly being revealed in the physical world and cause natural and physical results.Therefore, we are living a constant miracle. All of our abilities are being set in motion by God’s will. If God withdraws His energy from one of our abilities, we are going to lose it. Now I am able to see. I can see because God allows it. If God withdraws his energy I will become blind. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The awful experience of the tortures in hell
Another cloud was waiting for us there. We went inside and it transferred us somewhere to the west. I have the impression that we did not travel for a long time towards the west because the cloud suddenly changed direction and quickly descended towards a ravine. My angel guide ushered me into a dark place. From the very first steps we took, we descended into darkness so thick and so dark, that no other could be worse than this one. We were hit by a terrible stench from the depth of this darkness and I could barely breathe.
There was this couple, truly and utterly devoted to God;
People who have decided to abandon their lives to His hands. And He blesses them with both of His hands. They find themselves in the path of Elder Porfyrios, the well known enlightened, contemporary saint, who embraced every detail of their lives. He shields them from every danger and protects them from every threat, his prayer smoothes out every obstacle. The Lord gives them five children, two girls and three boys. The elder one is Eve. She is a talented wise little kid, prudent as an adult. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
The Serb, Dousan, who was far from the Christian faith, disabled by war, suddenly becomes devout after a vision. He distinctively describes Paradise and Hell and what he encountered in the heavens. He gives incredible details whish should make one wonder. There are unique experiences, teachings and instigations for everyone.
Two unusual passengers enter my car.
The Year 1972
Z. from Valjevo was very ill for six years. He had a certificate that he was a lunatic. He was brought to Fr. Justin, who read prayers for him. He departed with his health restored. Since that day he comes to the monastery two or three times a year, and performs voluntary labor.
The Year 1952
In 1952 there occurred a great miracle in the bakery of Chelije Monastery. In the monastery there were forty sisters, and Mother Nina was assigned to the kitchen. Having prepared bread for supper, she realized that there remained only one cup of flour. As she lamented this problem to the other sisters during dinner, Fr. Justin said: «Pray to Godthe Lord will take care of us!» Early the next morning, as Mother Nina entered the bakery, she found two large canisters of flour. Fr. Justin, Mother Sarah and all the other sisters witnessed this miracle, and all together gave thanks unto God.
The blind man
Metropolitan Antony of Sourozh
I should like to draw your attention to two aspects of today’s reading. The first one is that once again the Lord Jesus Christ has performed a miracle on the Sabbath, offending thereby those who kept to the law with strictness and fanaticism. But indeed, it is not to offend that Christ did act so.
God created the world in six days: and on the seventh He rested from His labours, but He committed the world to the charge of man. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
L’ histoire qui nous est contée aujourd’hui par l’ Evangile, à savoir le miracle de l’aveugle-né, est particulièrement d’actualité. Un jour le Seigneur, passant devant un aveugle-né connu de tout Jérusalem, sans rien lui demander au sujet de sa vie, ni de sa foi, le guérit. Ce fut d’un coté un grand miracle pour la population mais aussi une grande offense pour les Pharisiens. Il commencèrent à exercer des pressions sur le miraculé en cherchant à savoir qui avait bien pu faire un tel miracle, miracle qui leur était bien impossible de faire. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
“What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands—We proclaim now to you” (1 St. John 1:1). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
1. A miracle performed to a Turk forester.
This event was conveyed to me by elder Christodoulos, when I was at the Saint Onoufrios Seat and was helping father Ierotheos, who was a gardener, on June 12th, 1944. Father Christodoulos remembered this event, which took place during the Turkish occupation of Greece around 1910, and passed it on to honor the memory of Saint Onoufrios. read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
Why do atheists and skeptics want to destroy faith?
During the long history of Christianity, there has never been a single miracle that skeptics and atheists have not tried to disprove. They have used and still use every possible means in this battle. Even St. John Chrysostom talked about those [the chief priests and Pharisees] who denied the miracle of the Resurrection, saying, “But note, I pray thee, their plotting, how ridiculous it is. They [the chief priests and Pharisees] say, ‘Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, “After three days I will rise again”’ (Matthew 27:63). Yet if He were a deceiver, and boastfully spoke falsehood, why are ye afraid, and why do ye rush about, and make such a commotion? They reply, ‘We are afraid that the disciples might steal Him away, and deceive the multitude.’ And yet it has been proved [in the previous paragraph of his homily] that this could in no way happen. Malice, however, is a thing obstinate and shameless, and attempts to do what is foolish” (The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Homily LXXXIX 2).
Every once in a while we meet someone who leaves an indelible and transforming mark on us. They can be longtime friends, casual acquaintances, or people who cross our path one time only. They can leave us with good or bad memories, yet the effect they have on us is profound, often for reasons we don’t understand. In the rarest and most blessed moments of our life, encounters with such people can serve as signposts that point the way into the Kingdom of Heaven.
I recall a visit to a monastery long ago, and the face of an Orthodox monk who was seated by a window in a small library. He looked up from his book and greeted me with a warm and gracious smile. I don’t remember the few words he spoke, or even the specific subject. What I do remember is his face, what the French call the “regard.”
Honorable Monsieur Papanicolaou,
Quelques heures après l’ensevelissement de l’Ancien Joseph vous avez publié sur votre site internet un article ayant pour titre : « Les funérailles du bienheureux Ancien Joseph de Vatopaidi – Sourire de l’éternité » décrivant en peu de mots l’évènement illustré de quelques photographies. La photographie du défunt, souriant, non seulement des lèvres mais par toute l’expression de son visage, a fait grande impression dans le monde comme nous pouvons le constater d’après les articles et commentaires qui sont apparus sur de nombreux sites internet. Assurément, on rencontre des cas de défunts présentant un visage lumineux, avec une expression de profonde sérénité ; cependant où peut-on trouver un tel sourire ? D’une part, tous les Pères spirituels disent que l’heure de la mort est effrayante pour tout être humain, et d’autre part nous lisons dans les écrits patristiques que ceux qui sont les plus avancés dans la vie spirituelle, par humilité, ne se laissaient jamais gagner par une assurance présomptueuse de leur salut avant d’être passé dans l’autre vie, où il n’y a plus de danger. De plus, l’Ancien Joseph souffrait du cœur et était très accablé par la maladie. Pouvait-il donc mourir en souriant ? Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
I need to share a story that changed my life forever even though it did not involve me directly. You see, I grew up next door to the blind boy. I was just a few years older than he. As a young child, I overheard awful whisperings in the neighborhood when he was born. This was not only a terrible tragedy for the boy but, of course, also for his parents. They had a blind child to raise in a world that condemned his condition, and they were forced to endure the cruel glances and the accusatory stares of neighbors and even friends. It was a moral nightmare to be born with any sort of defect or illness.
You see, it was commonly believed that any “handicap” as you call it, any physical deformity in an infant, was a direct result of some sin committed by that infant’s parents. When this little boy was born without vision, everybody knew that his parents had done something awful to offend Almighty God. It was their fault. Of course it could have been his fault as well, the baby’s that is, because, sad to say, people used to believe that even unborn babies were capable of offending God. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
At the end of today’s reading, words stand that we pass by very often. The blind man says to Christ, «And who is the Son of God?» and Christ answers, «You have seen Him and He is speaking to you».
For us, the first words are so natural; the first event of our life, the first event of a meeting is that we see a person, but what was this wonder of this man who had never seen anything in the world and who, touched by the life-giving hand of Christ, of a sudden saw! And the first person he saw was his Lord and his God, Christ, the Son of Man.
I remember a Romanian writer telling us in his biography what definitive, what profound impression the face of the first man he remembers made. He remembers himself as a child, and over him – the inexpressibly beautiful face of his father who was a priest, looking at him, with all human love, with all the tenderness, and all the depth of a human gaze. And he says that this was a first vision for him in the icon which a human face can be when it is lit from inside by love and by understanding, by depth and by eternity, a vision of God. Here this man saw God in the features of Him who was God and who had become the Son of Man. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »
People condemned God to death; with His Resurrection He condemned them to immortality. For striking Him, God returned embraces; for insults, blessings; for death, immortality. Never did men show more hate towards God than when they crucified Him; and God never showed His love towards people more than when He was resurrected. Mankind wanted to make God dead, but God, with His Resurrection, made people alive, the crucified God resurrected on the third day and thereby killed death! There is no more death. Immortality is surrounding man and his entire world.
With the Resurrection of the God-Man, the nature of man is irreversibly led toward the road of immortality and man’s nature becomes destructive to death itself. For until the Resurrection of Christ, death was destructive for man; from the Resurrection of Christ, man’s nature becomes destructive in death. If man lives in the faith of the Resurrected God Man, he lives above death, he is unreachable for her; death is under man’s feet. Death where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory? And when a man who believes in Christ dies, he only leaves his body as his clothes, in which he will be dressed again on the Day of Last Judgment.
Before the Resurrection of the God-Man, death was the second nature of man; life was first and death was second. Man became accustomed to death as something natural. But after His Resurrection the Lord changed everything: and it was only natural until Christ’s Resurrection, that the people became mortal, so after Christ’s Resurrection it was natural that the people became immortal.
Through sin, man becomes mortal and temporal; with the Resurrection of the God-Man, he becomes immortal and eternal. In this lies the strength, in this lies the power, in this lies the might of Christ’s Resurrection. Without the Resurrection there is no Christianity. Among the miracles, this is the greatest one; all other miracles begin and end with it. From it sprouted the faith and the love and the hope and the prayer and the love toward God.
from «Philosophical Cliffs»