But where human efforts failed, the grace of God was successful, by the prayers of Saint Theodore the Byzantine, the Neomartyr.
In these critical days, on the Friday night of the first week of Great Lent, the Saint appeared to the then Chancellor Fr. Kallinikos, (who later became the Metropolitan of Mytilene and Patriarch of Constantinople) and urged him to tell the Metropolitan to gather the Christians from the surrounding areas where they had fled, to have a vigil in the Metropolis church and to remove his relic from the church’s crypt. The Chancellor gave no importance to the dream, but after a week, and again on Friday night, he saw the same dream but more lifelike, and the Saint more austere. This time he immediately ran to inform the Metropolitan of the Saint’s will. The Metropolitan immediately met with the Turkish Governor and requested the permission to call the Christians to come to the church by any means and for everyone to ask God to save them from the disease. The Turkish doctors, who came from Constantinople, objected. They did not want such a gathering to take place for fear of transmitting the disease further. But the Governor, seeing that everyone was dying despite all the measures that were taken by doctors, even when the inhabitants fled from their homes, gave permission to gather and hold vigil.
All the Christians, with faith and hope ran to the temple, which was filled within, outside and around the streets. They cried, beseeched God, and sought the help of the Saint, whom they learned had appeared in a dream to the Chancellor. They rose early and they prayed. In the morning hours, the Metropolitan and the Chancellor descended into the church’s crypt, and removed the Holy Body of St. Theodore with reverence, and had a short procession around the church.
Since that time, no one else, neither Christian nor Turk, died from that plague. The city named St. Theodore their «patron», i.e. the protector of the city and of our island [Lesvos]. Turks and Greeks in every way confessed the miracle and showed their gratitude to God and their guardian Saint.
As the patron saint, St. Theodore protected the island during the last war in 1940, and while the Italians bombed several targets, including the antenna (ασύρματο?) of the city, the factories of Sourlagka in the Gulf of Gera, the ship “Arntena” in the port, no bomb had achieved its objective and many of them hit the ground without exploding.
In remembrance of the miracle of rescuing the population of the city from the plague, since the year 1936, on the initiative of Metropolitan Iakovos of Mytilene from Durrachiou, a new feast day was established in Mytilene on the Fourth Sunday of Pascha [the Sunday of the Paralytic], on which with great splendor and the participation of thousands of the faithful, the procession with the venerable relics of the Saint takes place."
(translated and summarized from: http://www.pigizois.net/agiologio/lesviako_agiologio/20.htm)
See an earlier post for the life and martyrdon of St. Theodore the Byzantine: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/02/holy-neomartyr-st-theodore-byzantine.html . May St. Theodore intercede for all of us and help us!
Το πάντιμον λείψανον του Θεοδώρου, πιστοί, ενδόξως τιμήσωμεν ως θησαυρών τιμαλφή, και πάντες βοήσωμεν: Σώσον εκ των κινδύνων τους πιστώς σε υμνούντας, ως πότε σύ ερρύσω εκ πανώλους την πόλιν και πάντας περιφρούρησον ταις ικεσίαις σου.
The all-precious Relics of St. Theodore, O faithful, let us gloriously honor as a precious treasure, and let all cry out: Save us from the dangers, those who faithfully hymn you, as when you delivered the city from the plague, and preserve all of us through your intercessions.
Truly the Lord is risen!