Friday, May 31, 2013

A wondrous appearance of St. Spyridon

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
St. Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Trimethous - Commemorated December 12th (source)
   
A wondrous appearance of St. Spyridon (amateur translation)
This event that I and my husband are relating was the beginning of our opening our hearts to believe in God in reality, because up till then, we only listened to God's liturgists with denial and criticism. My husband, furthermore, had the opinion that there was no God. This was a great event that confirmed to us how wrong we were, and what a mistake we made, and opened our eyes to see the true road, the road to God.

Our son Sotiris was born on September 19th, 1994. We had decided that when the child had completed forty days of age, I would go to church to get a blessing, like normal, after the exhortations of our immediate family members.

I did not go on my fortieth day, but the next day was a Sunday, October 30th, 1994. However, as careless and naive people that we are, though I awoke at 7AM to get ready, after, I lied down again and fell asleep. Thus, I awoke later with my husband, and we leisurely got ready and left for church. When we went to the first church, the Divine Liturgy had finished, and there was no priest to give the blessing to the child. We left and went to another church. We visited the churches that we knew in the towns of Peristeri, Chaidariou, and Aigaleo. Some churches were locked, others were open, but the priests had left. I, however, insisted, and said to my husband that "Today, Sunday, he should get the blessing." Around 2PM we reached the Holy Church of St. Spyridon in Aigaleo. My husband said that we should abandon our endeavor and go the next day to get the blessing, however, I insisted. I saw the door of the church half-open, and I told him: "This will be our last try". Thus, we entered the Holy Church, myself with my baby in my arms, and my husband.

The polyeleos before the Royal Doors was lit by electricity. One priest was sitting in the rear stasidia on the women's side (today the stasidia have been replaced by chairs). He was very old, and because I did not want to bother him, I went to the priests' office within the church, in a renovated place to find another priest to give the blessing. There was no one in the office. I looked throughout the whole church, and there was no one else except for the church warden.

Then, the sole, elderly priest that was sitting, turned his head towards our direction and asked: "What do you want?"

"Father," I said, "I wanted my child to get the forty-day blessing, but we were running late today."

"I will do it," he said, and stood up. Then we beheld a tall man, elderly, with totally white hair and beard, wearing a white robe. He came towards us slowly, because he was elderly, but also very peaceful. He took the child in his hands, and we lost him within his arms. He said the prayers by heart, without reading anything, and went to pass throughout the Holy Church.

He entered the Holy Altar through the central door, and exited through the left door. He came back to our place, and gave us back our child, and said three blessings (not "na sas zesei" [literally, may he out-live you], but very moving prayers having to do with the future of the child, which, because of our not showing the proper attention, we have not remembered to this day, neither me nor my husband). We received the child, and left feeling lucky that we were able to have the forty-day blessing.

After some time, we reached the store that we have in Aigaleo, where we work with a trustee of the Holy Church. We struck up a conversation and we told him: "You have a very good priest in your church." And we began to describe the priest that we thought that we had seen.

"We don't have a priest like that," he replied. After, he asked us, "Do you know Fr. (same)?"

"No, we don't know him."

When we said that he was wearing a white robe, he shed a tear, telling us that a simple priest does not wear a white robe, but only in certain circumstances. Furthermore, he told us that the church is usually closed those hours of the day, because everyone is tired from the morning Divine Liturgy, and they also usually go to the church later in the evening. He said: "Only Christ and the Saints have the right to wear white robes, and because of this, you should pray and thank God." And he left.

Then we immediately thought to visit the priests of that church one of the next days to find out who that priest was in reality. Before we were able to go, a woman came to our store, who had never been there before, and who has not returned since. She was speaking continuously, and no one could stop her (And it was noteworthy that there were other customers in the store).

She observed a small icon that we had been given of St. Ephraim, which we posted in a conspicuous place, and said: "Ah! You know St. Ephraim? Take another icon," she told us. And before I could say anything, she grabbed my hand and placed in my palm a small icon. I looked at it. It was an icon of St. Spyridon. I waited for this unknown woman and the rest of the customers to leave, and I asked my husband: "Do you remember the priest who did the forty-day blessing for our Sotiri?" He said yes, and I told him to look at the icon of the Saint. He agreed enthusiastically, "that's him."

We therefore went to the church of St. Spyridon, and again saw St. Spyridon in the large icon in the church. It was the same Saint whom we had met. We mentioned this wondrous event to the priests. And the managers of the Holy Metropolis of Nicea, to which the church belongs, also learned of this.

One Sunday, at this church, one of the priests mentioned this wondrous event of the appearance of St. Spyridon during the sermon in the Divine Liturgy, without of course mentioning the names, saying to the faithful that miracles still happen in our days, as long as we open our eyes and our souls. And in reality, he was totally right. If we open our hear and seek for God to come into our lives in reality, then He will help our every step, in every moment of our life. To this day which I write these lines, my son has completed his 14th year, and he has grown handsome, peaceful, bringing us every joy that we have him near us. May God every grant him enlightenment!

I and my husband wanted to record our personal witness, which relates one of the miracles that still happen in our days!
(source)
 
"This is the icon of St. Spyridon which the lady gave me who came to my store, and which I keep with me to this day" (source)
 
Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life!
Truly the Lord is risen!

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