Thursday, November 27, 2014

St. Porphyrios on the Fragrance of Prayer

Entering an Orthodox Church on Cyprus (source)
Once we visited the Monastery of Vella, and entered an old church with frescoes. We were amazed at them, while [St. Porphyrios] disappeared into the holy altar. I was by myself in the one aisle, and the rest in the other. In a short time I sensed a fragrance...The church was old and did not function anymore. As time passed, the fragrance got stronger. I looked around. I noticed that it was the strongest towards the holy altar. "Ah, I understand," I thought, "The Elder lit a charcoal and put on some incense."

When he exited the altar, I told him unprompted: "That charcoal you lit, Elder, it smells very beautiful."

He looked at me with a strange smile. "No," he told me, "I didn't light anything!"

Later, he told us: "When I enter the altar of a church, however, I pray. And I sense all of the prayers that had occurred there. This happened a short time ago in the altar. I prayed, and A. sensed it. Don't we say that prayer rises to God like incense?"

At St. Ierotheos I experienced the same thing. There, as soon as we exited the church with the Elder and got in the car and drove away from the church, there came a wave of fragrance. The Elder said with a smile, without anyone asking him: "This was a special blessing of the Saint."
(amateur translation of text from source: Άγιος Πορφύριος
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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