Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom, and some Modern Miracles of the Saint

The Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom
"The memory of this illuminary of the Church is celebrated on November 13 and January 30 but, on this date, the Church celebrates the translation of his honorable relics from the Armenian village of Comana, where he died in exile, to Constantinople, where earlier he had governed the Church. Thirty years after his death, Patriarch Proculus delivered a homily in memory of his spiritual father and teacher.*** He so enflamed the love of the people and Emperor Theodosius the Younger toward this great saint that all of them desired that Chrysostom's relics be translated to Constantinople. It was said that the sarcophagus, containing the relics of St. John Chrysostom, did not allow itself to be moved from its resting place until the emperor wrote a letter to Chrysostom begging him for forgiveness (for Theodosius' mother, Eudoxia, was the culprit responsible for the banishment of this saint) and appealing to him to come to Constantinople, his former residence. When this letter of repentance was placed on the sarcophagus, its weight became extremely light. At the time of the translation of his relics, many who were ill and who touched the sarcophagus were healed. When the relics arrived in the capital, then the emperor in the name of his mother as though she herself was speaking over the relics, again, prayed to the saint for forgiveness. "While I lived in this transient life, I did you malice and, now, when you live the immortal life, be beneficial to my soul. My glory passed away and it helped nothing. Help me, father; in your glory, help me before I am condemned at the Judgment of Christ!" When the saint was brought into the Church of the Twelve Apostles and placed on the patriarchal throne, the masses of people heard the words from St. Chrysostom's mouth saying: "Peace be to you all." The translation of the relics of St. John Chrysostom was accomplished in the year 438 A.D."

See the following link for the full account: http://www.chrysostompress.org/saints-0127-john-chrysostom-translation-of-relics.

***St. Proclus' Eulogy for St. John Chrysostom
"Only if another John [the Beloved] were to appear could John fittingly be praised! When the faithful recall his labors, struggles, and discourses, their thirst is slaked, as though by a mighty river overflowing its banks. From John shine rays of God's grace in which one man clearly discerns the sun of the Godhead, another beholds the cleansing of Orthodoxy from heresy, another perceives the deceptiveness of idolatry, another distinguishes truth from error, another is confirmed in faith and virtue, and another observes gleaming heavenly crowns. Oh, hierarch whose memory is like a fragrant breeze! Oh, namesake of grace, whose deeds were truly divine! Oh, golden mouth declaring the word of God! Oh, tongue which spoke of mysteries loftier than the heavens! Oh, teacher proclaiming the gospel more loudly than thunder! Verily like unto John the Forerunner, the preacher of repentance, was this John. One was a herald, the other a trumpet. One was unshakeable, the other invincible. One was a virgin, the other a champion of purity. One baptized in the wilderness, the other lowered his nets in cities. One denounced adultery, the other reproved the avaricious. One was cast into prison, the other was exiled. One was beheaded, the other desired beheading for the truth. Many were John Chrysostom's struggles on earth, many are his crowns in heaven. He now cries out with the Apostle Paul, 'I am a sweet savour of Christ, having cleansed the whole world of the stench of error. In Ephesus I expunged the delusion of Midas, in Phrygia I rendered childless the mother of false gods, in Caesarea I did away with the houses of ill fame, in Syria I abolished the assemblies of the godless, and in Persia I sowed the seed of the word of God. Everywhere I have planted the Orthodox faith. By my teaching I have disseminated the knowledge of God throughout the earth; by my books I have spread the nets of salvation far and wide. With John the Theologian I theologized concerning the Word of the Father; with Peter I laid the foundation of an Orthodox confession; with the fishermen I cast the net of piety into the world.' O John, your life was truly sorrowful, but your death is precious, your sepulcher glorious, and your reward great!"

The Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom to Constantinople (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Apostoles_Constantinople.JPG)

Excerpt from the "Anonymous Description of Constantinople", before 1439 AD
“The Tomb of St. John Chrysostom, however, is at the high altar in the sanctuary of [Hagia Sophia], and is covered with a slab worked in gold and precious stones. [His body] was still whole, and reposes there as if [he were] alive. There is nothing dismal about his vestments or hair, but to this day [the body] exudes a strong sweet fragrance. A large concourse gathers on his festival, not only Christians, but Franks and Latins too, and much healing and forgiveness come.”


Left: Icon depicting St. Paul divinely inspiring St. John Chrysostom's commentary of the New Testament; Right: the Precious Skull of St. John Chrysostom, treasured by the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos (http://www.dailygreece.com/2007/01/post_33.php, http://vatopaidi.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/ceacceb3ceb9cebfcf82-ceb9cf89ceaccebdcebdceb7cf82-cebf-cf87cf81cf85cf83cf8ccf83cf84cebfcebccebfcf82.jpg; for more, see: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/11/divine-inspiration-and-st-john.html)

Modern Miracles of St. John Chrysostom – 2007 (amateur translation)
During the reception of the precious Skull of St. John Chrysostom in Cyprus (November 10-19 2007), the following miracles occurred [through the prayers of the Saint]:

...And the Saint did not leave his presence among us without witness. “The Lord our God lives” glorified in His saints. As we vividly experienced his presence, we vividly experienced his power to work signs and wonders.

From the first instant when they departed the Holy Mountain [from the Monastery of Vatopedi] until their return, the whole endevor was characterized by one continuous miracle. The terrible weather and stormy sea died down to make the trip possible. It appears that the Saint wanted to visit Cyprus. He wanted it, for he knew the spiritual offering which characterizes the people. The continuous fragrance of the Skull, many times poured forth in the Church in waves, and the warmth of the skin of the Saint was one of the first miraculous signs. The living and wonderworking presence of the Saint was revealed by the various healings of people of difficult diseases. The following are the accounts of some of them, for the glory of God:

A) Healing of a woman with a right foot drop. After the vespers on Saturday November 10th, the woman rushed from the Church and banged her foot, which was later found to be broken near the ankle. In the hospital where she was transferred, her foot was placed in a cast and she was ordered to keep it immobile and to use crutches to get around only where necessary. She was in great pain when she returned being supported to the Church for the Saint's feast to venerate the Skull. After venerating the pains left, the break in her foot healed, and she left her crutches and removed the cast.

B) The healing of a ten-year-old of hemiplagia. Following a head injury, a ten-year-old student from Archangelo was left with hemiplagia, numbness and paralysis of his whole left side. For a period of at least two weeks before the Skull arriving in Cyprus, he was being cared for in the General Hospital of Levkosia. After venerating the precious Skull, according to his own and his family's confession, his condition, to the surprise of everyone, disappeared. This event and the previous one, were carried by the media.

C) Disappearance of a large tumor in the neck and the healing of a man with neurological problems, problems with the vertebrae and dyskinesia. There was a couple in which the woman had a large tumor on her neck, and her husband suffered from the aforementioned sicknesses. With great effort they entered the line to venerate. One instant the husband thought that two fingers were pushing his lower back. The pains became stronger and their agony more apparent as they wondered whether they would be able to venerate. When it was their turn to venerate, with wonder they noted that from the wife the tumor disappeared, and the husband was left totally healthy.

D) Healing of a man with back dyskinesia. According his own confession, he had a most severe problem, which was localized in his back, and during the veneration of the Skull and after intense vibrations he felt when he bent over to venerate, his problems disappeared.

E) The healing of a child ready to die from Sri Lanka. Formerly a buddist, a woman later embraced Orthodoxy in Cyprus and was baptized. With fervent faith she prayed at the Skull of the Saint and when she venerated it, she prayed for her niece in Sri Lanka that was near death. After this she received a call from her homeland, which she made know as there was no reason to keep silent, that the child escaped from danger. She, knowing what had taken place, attributed this to the wonderworking power of the Saint, and informed her family of this in Sri Lanka. The result of this was an intense anxiety of that family and those around about what was the true faith and their position in the search for truth.

Finally, the greatest wonder, greater than these and other healings, were the resurrections of the souls of people, the soul and spiritual healing, the turn towards repentance and correction of life. A wonder, which the eye can't behold and the hear is unable to hear. It is felt however in the heart of every man and is experienced in the depth of his existence...
(amateur translation and summary of text from: http://www.agiooros.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=5818&start=0)

For more on St. John Chrysostom, see: http://chrysostom.org/, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2009/11/st-john-chrysostom-patriarch-of.html, http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/11/divine-inspiration-and-st-john.html, http://www.voskrese.info/spl/Xjn-xrysost.html. See here fore the Akathist to the Saint: http://chrysostom1600.org/index.php/akathist/. May St. John Chrysostom intercede for us all and help us!

St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (http://vatopaidi.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/chrysostom.jpg)

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The grace of your words illuminated the universe like a shining beacon. It amassed treasures of munificence in the world. It demonstrated the greatness of humility, teaching us by your own words; therefore, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede to Christ the Logos for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion in the First Tone
The holy and august Church is mystically gladdened today on the translation of thy holy relics. And though she had kept them hid in concealment like precious gold, by thine intercessions she unceasingly granteth, unto them that praise thee, the divine grace of healing, O Father John Chrysostom.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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