Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Uncovering of the Holy Relics of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, and the Healing of an Addict

St. Ephraim the New Hieromartyr of Nea Makri, the Wonderworker (Icon courtesy of used with permission)
January 3rd we remember the finding of the Relics of St. Ephraim, the newly-revealed Hieromartyr of Nea Makri, Greece. Below is an account taken from:
Mother Makaria holding an icon of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri (taken from:
On January 3, 1950, Abbess Makaria (+ April 23, 1999) was wandering through the ruins of the newly re-formed monastery on Amomos Mountain, thinking of the martyrs whose bones had been scattered over that ground, and whose blood had watered the tree of Orthodoxy. She realized that this was a holy place, and she prayed that God would permit her to behold one of the Fathers who had lived there.

After some time, she seemed to sense an inner voice telling her to dig in a certain spot. She indicated the place to a workman whom she had hired to make repairs at the old monastery. The man was unwilling to dig there, for he wanted to dig somewhere else. Because the man was so insistent, Mother Makaria let him go where he wished. She prayed that the man would not be able to dig there, and so he struck rock. Although he tried to dig in three or four places, he met with the same results. Finally, he agreed to dig where the abbess had first indicated.

In the ruins of an old cell, he cleared away the rubble and began to dig in an angry manner. The abbess told him to slow down, for she did not want him to damage the body that she expected to find there. He mocked her because she expected to find the relics of a saint. When he reached the depth of six feet, however, he unearthed the head of the man of God. At that moment an ineffable fragrance filled the air. The workman turned pale and was unable to speak. Mother Makaria told him to go and leave her there by herself. She knelt and reverently kissed the body. As she cleared away more earth, she saw the sleeves of the saint's rasson. The cloth was thick and appeared to have been woven on the loom of an earlier time. She uncovered the rest of the body and began to remove the bones, which appeared to be those of a martyr.

Abbess Makaria miraculously finding the Holy Relics of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri (source)
Mother Makaria was still in that holy place when evening fell, so she read the service of Vespers. Suddenly she heard footsteps coming from the grave, moving across the courtyard toward the door of the church. The footsteps were strong and steady, like those of a man of strong character. The nun was afraid to turn around and look, but then she heard a voice say, "How long are you going to leave me here?"

She saw a tall monk with small, round eyes, whose beard reached his chest. In his left hand was a bright light, and he gave a blessing with his right hand. Mother Makaria was filled with joy and her fear disappeared. "Forgive me," she said, "I will take care of you tomorrow as soon as God makes the day dawn." The saint disappeared, and the abbess continued to read Vespers. 

Icon of  Blessed Makaria from the Monastery of St. Ephraim in Nea Makri (source)
In the morning after Matins, Mother Makaria cleaned the bones and placed them in a niche in the altar area of the church, lighting a candle before them. That night St Ephraim appeared to her in a dream. He thanked her for caring for his relics, then he said, "My name is St Ephraim." From his own lips, she heard the story of his life and martyrdom.

Since St Ephraim glorified God in his life and by his death, the Lord granted him the grace of working miracles. Those who venerate his holy relics with faith and love have been healed of all kinds of illnesses and infirmities, and he is quick to answer the prayers of those who call upon him."

The Mulberry Tree on which St. Ephraim was martyred (taken from:
The Monastery of the Annunciation, where Saint Efraim is to this day, is at Nea Makri in the Attica region, about 30 km outside Athens. You can visit it or by a car or by bus from the center of Athens. When you will arrive at the center of the town, there are cabs who can take you to the Monastery. Open hours are 8 am - 12pm and 5 pm - 7 pm. A great place to visit, full or trees and magnificent view. (from:, see for some more info about the Saint)

You can read a slightly fuller account with some more miracles about St. Ephraim at:
For the life and Martyrdom of St. Ephraim, see the above link, and:

For more miracles of the Saint, see:
The Relics of St. Ephraim the Great-martyr of Nea Makri (image taken from:

St. Ephraim works many miracles throughout the world. He is apparently especially helpful to the youth and to drug and other addicts. Below is a story about the wondrous healing of an addict by St. Ephraim (taken from:
"Some years later an American teenager in the Midwest was grappling with his own life. He was heavily using drugs (cocaine and heroin) and was quickly sliding to destruction. He had neither a stable family life nor a religious upbringing, and though still young was in serious trouble.

One night an ugly old man appeared to him and said, "I am your friend, I want to make an appointment with you to meet me." He directed him to get into his car and drive as quickly as he could down a certain road which had a hairpin turn at the end with a sheer cliff at the bend. The young man did as he was told, got into his car and drove as fast as he could down the road. Losing his nerve at the last minute he managed to slam on his brakes and barely made the turn. He arrived home shaken.

Icon depicting St. Ephraim and Blessed Makaria before Christ and the Most-Holy Theotokos (source)
Two nights later, the old man appeared again and said with anger and indignation, "I am very disappointed that you didn't meet me. Get into your car again and drive as fast as you can and this time don't put on the brakes." The young man felt strangely compelled to do this. Once again he got into his car, drove as fast as he could and this time didn't stop but drove at high speed off the cliff. The car was demolished but, surprisingly, he escaped with only cuts and bruises, and with a concussion.

A few weeks after he was out of the hospital, the ugly man appeared to him once again and said, "I am furious with you for not keeping our appointment. Tonight without fail you will meet me! Put a double dose of the drug in your needle." Again the boy felt compelled to do this, and after injecting himself went into a coma from the overdose. He was taken to the hospital where doctors told his family that he probably wouldn't live. And if by chance he did live he would only be semi-conscious - in a vegetative state. There was almost no chance of recovery. In two weeks, however, the young man did awake, fully conscious. He told those around him that he had seen a man which looked like some sort of radiant monk. He came to him and said, "I have been praying for you.... God has given you another chance. You will live, but you must correct your life. You are to go to Greece so as to visit the resting place of my bones, giving thanks to God for your salvation. My name is Ephraim."

May St. Ephraim intercede for all of us and help us!

Icon of St. Ephraim the Great-martyr of Nea Makri (Icon courtesy of used with permission)
ΑΠΟΛΥΤΙΚΙΟN Ἦχος α’ Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης
Ἐν ὄρει τῶν Ἀμῶμων ὥσπερ ἥλιος ἐλάμψας καί μαρτυρικῶς, Θεοφόρε, πρός Θεόν ἐξεδήμησας, βαρβάρων ὑποστάς ἐπιδρομάς, Ἐφραίμ Μεγαλομάρτυς τοῦ Χριστοῦ , διά τοῦτο ἀναβλύζεις χάριν ἀεί, τοῖς εὐλαβῶς βοῶσι σοι, δόξα τῷ δεδωκότι σοι ἰσχύν, δόξα τῷ σέ θαυμαστώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διά Σοῦ, πᾶσιν ἰάματα.

For the full service to St. Ephraim (in Greek), see:
Apolytikion of St. Ephraim the Great-martyr of Nea Makri in the First Tone (amateur translation)
On Amomon Mountain, you shown forth like the sun, and O God-bearer, you left for God by martyrdom, you endured barbarians’ attacks, Ephraim O Great-martyr of Christ, because of this you ever pour forth grace, to those who piously cry out to you, glory to Him who gave you strength, glory to Him you made you wondrous, glory to Him who grants through you, healings for all!
St. Ephraim of Nea Makri, depicted before his holy monastery, and blessing and working miracles for people throughout the world (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Anonymous person said...

A miracle of Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea Makri in my life!
by Thomas Cudo Andrango

my blog is

I live in the U.S.A. and I am not Greek, but I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian and I thought I would share this and add this to the list of miracles done by Saint Ephraim.

4 prayer requests in one

I have been suffering for years and I still suffer from multiple
addictions and passions: pornography, sorcery,video games, judging,
anger, immense pride, and grudges.

I also have been going through a few years long trial of, well,: I can't
pray. I can say the words, but He is not there. I need patience in this
for I fear that my patience is running low.

I also am having difficulty trusting Jesus. With the way things are now,
it doesn't look like I will have a happy future. I need to trust Him.

I also would like prayers for unbelieving/sinful people who are close to me: Philip, Arturo, Emily, and Paul.

That, and there is someone who does believe, he has accepted Jesus, but I
do not know whether or not he is an Eastern Orthodox Christian: Jason.


Thank you Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea Makri!

I was reading Orthodox church quotes on
I came across a post that was posted on November 3, 2015 that quoted
the prayer to Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri for addictions. Because, as of
04/15/2016, I cannot pray (Jesus is not there), I read the words of the
prayer, even though Saint Ephraim was not with me as I read it. I felt
as if I should read the short prayer that normally one should pray
constantly and continually: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, through the prayers of
your holy martyr Ephraim, have mercy on me and deliver me from this
cruel bondage. I read it more or less 10- 15 times, and I felt that my
passions within me were being lessened with each time. I was glad, so I
continued to say the words even though I couldn't pray. After a bit, (10
to 15 times or so) I felt as if I no longer needed to say it. So, to
test and see if I was cured, I thought about and brought to mind lustful
thoughts. No sooner than had this happened that the very thought of it
felt disgusting and nasty. Proof of full and true repentance to the
point of passionlessness is the disgust of ones previous sins. I know
this because I read in the life of Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of
Platina that he was passionless and whenever the subject of his previous
life of sin was brought up, he called them disgusting and didn't talk
about them. Anyway, thanks be to Saint Ephraim the Great-Martyr of Nea
Makri, for after over 10 years of multiple addictions, I am finally

You can read about him in the following webpages.

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

I pray that St. Ephraim might protect and heal you, and all you suffer and are tempted throughout the world, and I encourage you also to follow a good Orthodox spiritual father, most especially using (at the spiritual father's discretion) the mysteries of the Church.