Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A miracle and the life of Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries of Rome, and Elder Joseph of Vatopedi

Icon of Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)
"The miracle which I experienced
Since 2003 I suffered a lot from my stomach. The doctors gave me various medicines but again the pain was the same. In 2004 they gave me a referral and I had a CAT scan. The scan showed that I had something in my stomach. Something like an orange. Again they loaded me with other medicines, but the pain continued. In June 2005 my condition worsened. The doctor gave me a referral to get a gastroscope examination. From June 20th of 2005, from Divine illumination, I said to myself: "From ancient times, all those treating wounds annointed with olive oil for healing, why don't I drink some myself every morning, one spoon of an olive oil soup?"

I began to drink too. July 1st arrived, a Saturday, the feast of the Holy Unmercenaries [Sts. Cosmas and Damian of Rome], and from the morning I was in terrible pain. I took courage and went out to the neighborhood bakery to buy a prosphoro, which I had ordered, for Church on Sunday. I returned and lied down in bed. The whole day rolled by in pain. I had no spirit, nor could I eat anything. I said to my wife: "Tomorrow don't wait for me to go to Church together, I'm in a lot of pain. If you can, go by yourself."

Lying in my bed I felt that I had a heavy orange made of iron inside my stomach. It would move when I turned left or right, and when I was on my back it would cut my breath from the weight. In the evening I prepared for sleep. I went to the icon corner for the traditional evening prayer and before saying "Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers...", I called upon the help of the Holy Unmercenaries. I did not ask them to make me well, but I said:

'My Holy Unmercenaries and wonderworkers, show me what I should do, because I'm suffering a lot and my responsibilities in the home are great (I have a handicapped and paraplegic child, who had Meningitis at age two).

Detail of fresco of St. Kosmas the Unmercenary (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)
When I finished my prayers I went to my bed to lie down. I looked at the clock and it read 10:58. I closed my eyes for a little and I saw that I found myself on a surgical bed and next to me were two doctors with their white aprons as if poking in the area of my stomach. I noted however, that the doctors, among their white aprons, also wore epitrachilia [the stole of the Orthodox Priesthood]. I was terrified and I fell out of my bed. I opened my eyes and I looked at the clock which read 11:02PM. Only four minutes had passed since when I lied down. I crossed myself and closed my eyes and tried to sleep.
Again I saw that I was in a surgical bed as before, the same scene, with the two doctors above me.

The first was tall with a short beart and the second was shorter, older with a long beard, who was helping the first doctor. The two wore epitrachilia among their white aprongs.

The taller doctor who was above me did something on top of my stomach, and I only felt the beating of his fingers.

Shortly, as he was finished, he pointed at me with his right forefinger and said:
'The oil, however, you will drink.'

I wondered, how did the doctor know that I drink oil? I never told this to anyone. Having fallen asleep I woke up at 5AM and had nothing, no discomfort in my stomach.

When I understood this, and my Wife woke up, I told her: 'Get up and let's go to Church, I have nothing, the Holy Unmercenaries healed me.'

We went to Church and I thanked the Saints for my healing. From then until today (May 2008) I have absolutely nothing. Glory to You O God.

According to my humble opinion, the doctor whose fingers where beating on top of my was St. Cosmas (one of the Holy Unmercenaries), and his helper must have been Elder Paisios (the recently reposed Athonite Monk who is buried at the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti, Thessaloniki). I had the privilage to meet him in life and to receive his Blessing.

Picture of Elder Paisios the Athonite (taken from: http://www.rel.gr/photo/displayimage.php?album=3&pos=16)
Thank you for your patience and for listening to me.
With reverence and appreciation,
Papakyriazis 17
Tel 2310 / 813557
(translated from: http://orthodox-world.pblogs.gr/2008/04/to-thayma-poy-ezhsa-dihghsh-thaymatos-twn-agiwn-anargyrwn.html)

Icon of Sts. Kosmas and Damian (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)

Cosmas and Damian were unmercenary physicians and miracle-workers. These two saints were brothers, were born in Rome and as children were baptized and brought up in the Christian spirit. They possessed abundant grace from God to heal men and livestock from every disease and suffering, usually by the laying on of hands. They sought no reward for their efforts. They only required of the infirm to believe in Christ the Lord. Inheriting a large estate, they charitably distributed it to the needy and to those in want. At that time, Emperor Galerius reigned in Rome. As a persecutor of Christianity, he summoned these two holy brothers before him shackled in chains. After a prolonged interrogation the emperor ordered them to deny Christ and to offer sacrifices to the idols. Cosmas and Damian not only did not heed the emperor but also counseled him to abandon the dead idols and to recognize the One True God. "Our God is not created but He is the Creator of all, but your gods are the imaginations of man and the work of the hands of artists. If you did not have artists to make your gods, you would have no one to worship." After working a miracle upon the emperor himself-for they miraculously cured him from a grave infirmity - the emperor proclaimed his faith in Christ and released the holy brothers in peace. Cosmas and Damian continued to glorify God and to heal the sick and were themselves, glorified by the people on all sides. Envious of their glory, a certain doctor who, at one time was their teacher, and with the pretext to gather healing herbs, led them into the mountain and stoned them to death. They suffered honorably for the Faith of Christ in the year 284 A.D. Their memory remains eternal in the Church on earth and their souls took up habitation in the Kingdom of the Lord to live eternally in glory and in joy. (taken from the Prologue of Ochrid of St. Nikolai at: http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm)

And finally on a side note, today, July 1st 2009, Elder Joseph of Vatopedi reposed in the Lord. He was born also on July 1st 1921, and the Holy Unmercenaries proved to be his patrons and protectors throughout his life (ultimately taking him on their feast). He was a disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and after his death, he went to the Skete of the Holy Unmercenaries, and later became the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery. For a short video of Elder Joseph speaking, along with an English translation under the information to the right, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmwCsQVQUfU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eagiooros%2Enet%2Fforum%2Fviewtopic%2Ephp%3Ff%3D4%26t%3D10192&feature=player_embedded
May Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries intercede with the Lord for his repose, and for the healing of our souls and bodies!
Icon of the Holy Unmercenaries, Sts. Kosmas and Damian (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)
Apolytikion of the Holy Unmercenaries in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Sainted Unmercenaries and Wonder Workers, regard our infirmities; freely you have received, freely share with us.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Having received the grace of healing, ye extend health to those in need, O glorious and wonderworking physicians. Hence, by your visitation, cast down the audacity of our enemies, and by your miracles, heal the world.
(hymns above taken from: http://goarch.org/chapel/saints_view?contentid=186)
Icon of the Holy Unmercenaries, Sts. Cosmas and Damian, with scenes from their lives (http://vatopaidi.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/3anargyroi.jpg)
Additional apolytikion specific to Sts. Kosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries of Rome - 4th Tone
Ως θείοι θεράποντες, και ιατήρες βροτών, ανάργυρον βλύζετε, την θεραπείαν ημίν, Ανάργυροι ένδοξοι, όθεν τους προσιόντας, τη σεπτή υμών σκέπη, ρύσασθε νοσημάτων, και παθών ανιάτων, Κοσμά και Δαμιανέ, Ρώμης βλαστήματα.

(amateur translation)
As divine healers and physicians of mortals, freely you pour forth healing for us, O glorious Unmercenaries, therefore for those who take refuge in your sacred protection, deliver from sicknesses and incurable passions, Kosmas and Damian, offspring of Rome.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The joyful event of the resurrection of our Lord Godman Savior Jesus The Christ is revealed in Elder Joseph of Vatopedi. This is not an unusual event in Christians of correct belief (Orthopistis) with correct behavior (Orthopraxia) which reveals true glory(Orthodoxy). Thavmastos o Theos ev toic agioic autou!
Fr. Gregorios Constantios
Resurrection/Holy Spirit Hysychast Chapel Gaithersburg, MD