Monday, June 8, 2009

A paraplegic walks at the Tomb of St. Barnabus, and the life of the Apostle

The Monastery of St. Barnabus the Apostle near Salamis, Famagusta, North Cyprus (taken from: http://www.whatson-northcyprus.com/interest/famagusta/salamis/barnabas.htm)
  
"He Walked Having Venerated the Tomb of the Apostle Barnabus a paraplegic lived the miracle
The man himself, the Church and also his doctor attribute the cure to a miracle.

The hopes had been extinguished from the person of the paraplegic Marios and his doctors in Cyprus and Germany said the worst: that he would not be able to walk again. However, the "resurrection" came a few months earlier for this forty-year-old man, who lives after the miracle yesterday. He rose from his wheelchair and walked after venerating the tomb of the Apostle Barnabus, the founder of the Church of Cyprus.

Marios Stylianos, forty years old, from the occupied Ammochosto and who currently lives in Levkosias, was left a paraplegic after surgery on his neck, for which he traveled abroad. He related himself that he had seen in a dream the Apostle Barnabus, who told him to write a book about his life and as soon as it was finished, to go to his tomb and he would walk. Marios, following his dream, went to the tomb of the Apostle Barnabus in the occupied Monastery of the same name near Ammochosto, and after the liturgy was finished at the tomb, said that he saw the Apostle Barnabus approach him holding the Gospel and extending him his right hand. Then he made a cry and felt something like an electric current flowing through him, and he continued to get up from his wheelchair and walked, supported.

The neurologist Michael Protopapas, who was watching the paraplegic, related that both he and the German doctors who referred him to surgery, believed with certainty the clinical picture which Marios Stylianos presented, and that he would not walk again. To the question if Marios Stylianos' paralysis could be attributed to psychosomatic causes, he said that all of the specific tests had showed that the spiral cord did not send any "signal" to Marios' foot. Having been asked whether he believes that his is a mirace, he replied: "Above everything is God. This I believe personally."

Moreover, the Church spokesman related that there was great concern whether the event should be disclosed. Eventually, he said, the view prevailed that this fact should be the property of the people."

(Source: the newspaper: Polites (CITIZEN): 15/03/2005 Page: 43, No.. Article: 531508; translated and summarized from: http://www.apostolosvarnavas.org/Miracle.htm)
Picture of Marios Stylianos, walking with the help of Elder Gabriel (the last remaining monk at the Monastery of St. Barnabus), among others (taken from: http://www.apostolosvarnavas.org/Miracle.htm)
  
Of course it is always important to approach these situations with caution:
"However, the Church is being cautious about proclaiming the case a miracle. The Bishop of Arsinoe said the Church did not rule out miracles but would not jump to any immediate conclusions. Echoing his comments, Bishop Chrysostomos of Paphos, who is acting head of the Church, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he would prefer not to make any judgments, saying it had not happened on his “territory”. If he had, he said he would be more than willing to give a lengthy statement. “I believe in miracles but we should not accept them at a glance,” he said. “It needs analysis.” (http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/?go=forum.posts&thread=571709&forum=71)
  
While always maintaining caution, it is perfecly clear that the continuous blessings and miracles of God continue to flow to us sinners in these latter days. And as the Apostles and all the Saints worked great miracles in life by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, they continue to do so after their earthly deaths. May St. Barnabas the Apostle intercede for all of us and help us!
  

Icon of Sts. Barnabas and Paul the Holy Apostles (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)
  
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles, when Sts. Paul and Barnabas visited Lycaonia (Acts 14:8-17)
"In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
(taken from: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=51&chapter=14&version=31)
  

The Holy Tomb of St. Barnabus the Apostle, Cyprus (taken from: http://www.whatson-northcyprus.com/interest/famagusta/salamis/barnabas.htm)
  
The life of St. Barnabus the Apostle
"Barnabas was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was born in Cyprus of wealthy parents from the tribe of Levi and studied together with Saul under Gamaliel. At first, he was called Joseph but the apostles then called him Barnabas, Son of Consolation, because he was exceptionally capable of comforting the souls of the people. After Saul's conversion, Barnabas was the first to introduce Saul to the apostles and after that, with Paul [Saul] and Mark he preached the Gospel in Antioch and throughout other places. In all probability, he was the first to preach in Rome and Milan. He suffered on the island of Cyprus at the hands of the Jews and was buried by Mark beyond the western gate of the town of Salamis with the Gospel of St. Matthew on his chest which he, by his own hand, had copied. His grave remained unknown for several hundred years and since many received healing from sickness on this spot, this place was called: "the place of health." At the time of Emperor Zeno and the Chalcedon Council [451 A.D.], the apostle appeared to Archbishop Anthemius of Cyprus on three successive nights in a dream and revealed to him the location of Barnabas' grave. That appearance of the apostle occurred exactly at the time when Peter, the power-hungry Patriarch of Antioch, sought that the church in Cyprus be under the jurisdiction of the throne of Antioch. After the appearance and discovery of the miraculous relics of the holy Apostle Barnabas, it was established that the church in Cyprus, as an Apostolic Church, should always be independent. Thus, the autocephaly of the Church in Cyprus was established." (taken from the Prologue of St. Nikolai for June 11th, from: http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm)
  
Cypriot stamp depicting the finding of the Holy Tomb of St. Barnabas the Apostle (http://www.hellenica.de/Griechenland/Zypern/Biographie/GR/ApostolosVarnavas.html)
  
Another excerpt about the finding of the Holy Tomb of St. Barnabus the Apostle
"During the 6th century the Monastery of the Apostle Barnabas flourished. It was founded at the end of the 5th century by Archbishop Anthemios with the financial assistance of the Emperor Zeno (474-491) and other wealthy men, about 3km. west of Salaminia.
According to tradition which was recorded by the monk Alexandros, who lived in this monastery in the half of the 6th century, the Apostle Barnabas appeared thrice in a vision to Archbishop Anthemios revealing the place of his sepulchre. Accompanied by his clergy Anthemios went in procession to the place which had been so miraculously indicated and found a chest containing the remains of the saint, with a copy of St. Matthew Gospel in Barnabas' own handwriting upon his chest.
 
Fresco depicting the finding of the Holy Relics of St. Barnabas the Apostle (source)
 
Anthemios set off at once withe the precious relics for Constantinople where he reported the marvellous occurrence. Emperor Zeno, as a mark of the importance he attached to the discovery, confirmed the autonomy of the Autocephalus Church of Cyprus and conferred upon the Cypriot primates certain privileges which they have guarded ever since. The received the right of signing in red ink, a mark of distinction only otherwise enjoyed by emperors, of wearing a purple cloak on feast days and of carrying an imperial sceptre in place of the ordinary pastoral staff.
The copy of St. Matthew's Gospel, presented to the Emperor by Anthemios, was conveyed to the chapel of St. Stephen in the imperial palace in Constantinople, where it was read annually on Good Friday." (taken from: http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/cyprus.htm)
  

Icon of St. Barnabus the Apostle, enthroned (taken from: http://www.christopherklitou.com/icon_11_june_barnabas_apostle.htm)
  
Apolytikion of Sts. Bartholomew and Barnabas the Apostles (June 11) in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

  
Kontakion of St. Barnabas in the Fourth Tone
To thy Lord, O Barnabas, thou wast a genuine servant; and among the Seventy Apostles, thou wast the foremost; and with Paul, thou shonest brightly in thy wise preaching, making known unto all men Christ Jesus, the Saviour. For this cause, we celebrate thy divine memorial with hymns and spiritual songs.
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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