Thursday, December 8, 2011

18 Contemporary Miracles of Saint Nicholas (Part Two)


Read 18 Contemporary Miracles of Saint Nicholas (Part One)

11. A Miracle Told By A Monk Of Grigoriou Monastery of Mount Athos

In Beroia of Macedonia there is a Metochion of the Monastery. One or two times a year, always in the summer, we communicated by sea with a small boat from the Monastery. One time I was traveling with two brothers to the Metochion. But between Cassandra and Pelion there was an unusual calm even though we rowed regularly. The annoying lull got me thinking of an inevitable great evil. My concern was lively, without reason. It was something like a premonition. And while the brothers begged me for all of us to take a break from paddling to rest, I urged them to accelerate, as if something was leading me away from imminent danger. We had to reach as soon as possible the coast between Pelion and Olympus. A slight breeze helped us considerably. We reached the shore, we disembarked, and we pulled in the boat.

Meanwhile a cloud appeared above Pelion, which grew increasingly dark. It was a harbinger of terrible evil. What a terrible outburst followed! A rare windy storm, a stove pipe as they say. As we arrived all the residents gathered, and they were amazed and perplexed, looking at us while doing their cross. They confessed that Saint Nicholas rescued us. We stayed a few days, equipped ourselves, got food, and departed. What a spectacle we saw when we returned! Wherever we passed, shipwrecks. All the ships anchored in the ports of Livas and Garbi were stranded or submerged. The entire southwest side of Cassandra, Sithonia and Athos were affected by the storm. As we reached the Monastery we saw a shocking sight: the Litochorino ship full of timber was submerged.

Avoiding any comments, I can only emphasize the vague anxiety I felt as we went. Was it not a profound and vivid intervention of the Saint?

12. A Miracle At Grigoriou Monastery on December 6th

During the abbacy of Elder Symeon, spiritual father of his successor Elder Athanasios, Saint Nicholas looked after the needs of Grigoriou Monastery with a great miracle.

Once, as the 6th of December was approaching, all the fathers were gathered in a meeting. With the help of God, all the preparations for the feast were going well. Only the cooks were worried because they did not have enough fish to feed all the monks. On the day before the feast, in the afternoon, they went to the Abbot.

"Elder," they said, "don't you think we ought to plan for salt cod? If so, we will put it in water to soak."

"No, no! Don't think of that. We'll have fresh fish. St. Nicholas will take care of it."

Meanwhile, the all-night vigil began - Compline, Great Vespers, Litany, then Matins with the Six Psalms, the Kathismata, and so on, one thing after the other. Again the anxious cooks went to the Abbot.

"Elder, now it's even too late to cook salt cod. Should we start cooking some beans?"

"No, no! The fish will come."

This was something the cooks could not understand. How were the fish going to come? And when? Matins was half over! What made the Abbot so sure?

The choir began singing the lauds, and the cooks were getting even more upset. Then suddenly joyful noises were heard from the courtyard. The dock master, gasping and excited, was shouting: "Fathers, come down here! Get baskets and come down! The Saint has made a great miracle!"

What had happened? A large wave had come and strewn the beach with large and succulent bass. It was a gift from God, an obvious miracle of the Saint.Everyone was amazed - especially the cooks. They didn't know what to marvel at first - the miracle of the Saint, or the unshakable faith of the Abbot. At no other feast had they ever had such fresh and tasty fish. The Saint had given them a bountiful - both spiritual and material.

13. St. Nicholas, Patron Saint of the Holy Monastery of Grigoriou

Another miraculous event occurred on a feastday of St. Nicholas during the abbacy of Fr. Symeon. This time, the cellarer informed the Abbot that he would not be able to give any oil to the hermits. (At that time they were accustomed to give a certain amount of oil as a blessing to the poor ascetics who took part in the feast.)

"What is the difficulty?" asked the Abbot.

"We don't have much oil. There is only half a jar left."

"It doesn't matter. Give them what is left."

The cellarer obeyed. Portioning out the oil to the ascetics, he made them happy, but he himself did not feel any great joy. They had a little oil left; now it would be completely gone. These were the thoughts dictated by his logic, and - even more - by his lack of faith. That which followed, however, and which he was the first to ascertain, brought new life to his faith in the providence and power of God. Their kind and compassionate protector, St. Nicholas, again intervened. The level of the oil in the jar did not go down at all, not even by one centimeter. It remained where it was before.

Thus the hermits received their alms, the Monastery suffered no loss, and the monk who was lacking in faith received a valuable lesson.

If someone had the patience to search through the various books and records of the Monastery, he would find countless miracles of St. Nicholas. Many times he protected the Monastery from sure destruction by fire, and saved monks who had fallen down steep cliffs. Many times also he saved boats and ships from certain shipwreck.

In the Katholicon of the Monastery, from the great ring above the chandelier, there hangs a silver model of a schooner. What does it represent? It represents a certain schooner that had come to pick up a load of lumber at the Monastery. The sea was so heavy that it was in danger of foundering. As soon as the sailors called on St. Nicholas, however, the tempest was stilled, and, beyond hope, they were saved from certain death.

Elder Athanasios gave the following advice to his successor Abbot: "The Abbot must be very charitable, as was St. Nicholas, and must assist all who come to the Monastery asking for help. God will never forsake anyone, but will provide so that nothing is lacking."

* All stories about Grigoriou Monastery were written by Archimandrite Cherubim in the book Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos.

14. How the Village of Saint Nicholas in Solia Got Its Name

The village of Saint Nicholas in Solia did not have its name from the beginning. But a miracle of St. Nicholas prompted the residence to rename their village.

One day a farmer, while tilling his field, came upon a difficulty. The ploughshare of the plow was caught under a large stone. With a spade the farmer unearthed the stone and pulled it to the surface of the field. There he noticed the stone had a hole at one end equal to another at the other end. The farmer thought that such a stone was useful, and in the afternoon went home carrying it to his yard. Through the hole he passed the cord of his ox to tie him there. In the morning when he woke up, he found his ox dead. He called his neighbors to tell him how his ox died from the stone, since it may have carried demonic energy. His neighbors said his ox died from some grass, and not from the stone. The farmer insisted, however, to the point that one day an old man told him how the ox died. He said it was a miracle of St. Nicholas, because he heard from his grandfather that in the area where the stone was found a church dedicated to St. Nicholas once existed that was destroyed by the Saracenes.

The farmer suspected the old man to be right. One Saturday night St. Nicholas appeared to him and told him that in the area the stone was found there existed his church which was buried deep. He was then ordered to uncover it.

That Sunday the farmer went to church, and after the Liturgy told the villagers of his vision, and begged them to go there with him to uncover the church. Before sunset they followed him, and they found the walls of the church. They dug around the church till the walls came up to their waists, and they were painted. On one wall was an icon of St. Nicholas full-bodied. The villagers then decided to build a church on that spot and named their village after Saint Nicholas.

15. A Miracle of Saint Nicholas in Limassol, Cyprus

The following was written by Sylvia Leonidou - Onesiphorou:

My grandfather, that is the father of my mother, was named John Kyriakides. He served in the small Church of Saint Nicholas as a sexton for more than thirty years. He was an honest, sincere, humble and good man who loved the Church very much and had a great weakness for Saint Nicholas. He always had him as a protector and helper.

The Holy Metropolis of Kition (Limassol belonged to the Metropolis of Kition) granted to my grandfather one of the two houses that were near the church, where today is housed the Parish Center, and he lived with his wife Helen. In another house the priest lived with his family.

One night in winter, when rain came and went, there came a big storm. It was chaos. Thunder was heard from afar and lightning ripped the sky from east to west. Great desolation and deep darkness reigned everywhere. Nor were there lights, nor moon, nor stars, because the sky was covered with black clouds.

My grandfather had lied down early. The midnight hour passed. My grandmother suddenly heard him get out of bed and hurriedly put on his poor jacket, ready to go out of the house. Immediately my grandmother began to yell: "John, where are you going at this hour?" My grandfather replied with a calm and gentle voice: "Don't be afraid Helen. Saint Nicholas came and told me his silver icon dropped to the floor in the church and I'm going to pick it up."

Despite the exhortations of my grandmother for him to not go out on such a fearful and rainy night, my grandfather quickly went to the church without losing time.

After some time he returned soaking wet like a duck, but satisfied. He was in fact correct. The silver icon of St. Nicholas was on the floor of the church, just like the Saint notified. Grandfather picked up the icon with great respect and placed it back in its permanent position. After doing his cross three times he venerated St. Nicholas and locked the door to the church. He returned in the rain to his poor bed to continue his sleep, delighted and happy now that he had done his full duty.

16. Saint Nicholas Appears To A Pious Christian Woman

The following was written by Sylvia Leonidou - Onesiphorou:

My mother Chrystalla Andrew died on 2/3/1992. She was a very quiet and faithful wife and grew up there in the old homes of the Church of St. Nicholas.

One summer afternoon in 1985 while sitting on the porch with my father Andreas Leonidou and my little sister Angela Leonidou and all spoke together, suddenly my mother got up from her chair, opened her arms and shouted: "Welcome, welcome! Pass through." Her face glowed a little strange and seemed too happy. Others who saw and watched her movements and heard her words said they did not understand, but neither could explain why she did what she did.

After a few minutes she sat quietly in her chair. Concerned the others asked her what was wrong and what happened. Then my mother said naturally: "Didn't you see the three bishops who came to our house? Here with us was St. Nicholas, the Apostle Luke and the third I did not understand who it was. All three were dressed in the garments of a hierarch. I told them to pass through, but St. Nicholas told me that they were all in a hurry. Just at that moment St. Nicholas blessed our house and told me not to fear and that all will go well. All three smiled at me, they left from the yard and proceeded toward the Church of St. Nicholas. You did not see that they were here? Why are you asking me?"

My mother at this time was awake and had her senses. Also my mother was a very positive and honest woman, and said with confidence and enthusiasm that which occurred that summer afternoon in 1985.

17. Helen Ilia Speaks Of Her Father

Around 1920 when I was a little girl, we lived here in Saint Nicholas. We had great poverty. My father was a shepherd and had his own herd. One day he said he was going to cut wood. Where he went he hit at a point in a tree and "lost his light" (he was blinded). People said he beat the "table outside that we saw" (the devil).

He visited several doctors and was not cured. He went to various churches. At the end he decided to walk from Saint Nicholas to Saint Barbara in Zakaki. At night, in his sleep, a Saint said: "You went to all the churches and did not come near me."

"Who are you?" asked my father. And he got the reply: "I am St. Nicholas. I want you to come like this ..." and he raised his robes, showing his feet were clean.

My father asked me to boil water and he bathed. We took him along the reverse path to walk him, with my brother Harry and myself. That night my father slept alone in the Chapel of St. Nicholas. The next morning we went to take him from there but we did not find him. He had become well. Saint Nicholas healed his eyes and when he woke he saw as before. He had gone home to take the herd and drive it to the pasture.

We all praise God and St. Nicholas! The "old ones" had great faith you see.

18. A Miracle of a Prisoner of War During the Turkish Invasion

The following was written in the newspaper "ΣΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ" on 07/19/1998:

The constable Polydoros Georgiadis is not a person that bends easily. He lives life with a cool and unique serenity. When he remembers, however, the 100 days of captivity, in the dungeons of Adana and Amasa, it is impossible though he tries to hide his tears, and even more tears run from his eyes when he recounts the appearance of St. Nicholas in his cell on September 5th. Let him tell us what he saw:

"While I slept at 10pm St. Nicholas appeared, holding in one hand my wife, who wore the same clothes as on the last day that I saw her when I was captured, and in the other arm a baby. 'Here is your wife and the male baby she gave birth to' he said. 'Yes, but we dedicated him to the Apostle Andrew,' I replied. 'I know, but you should baptize him in my church,' said St. Nicholas, and he disappeared. At the same time I saw the Church of St. Nicholas in my village, in Nata of Paphos. A few days later the Red Cross came to the prison, and I wrote down what I saw on the night of September 5 when St. Nicholas appeared. My letter reached, through the Red Cross, the hands of my wife, who later told me she was moved and informed all my neighbors of the appearance of St. Nicholas. On October 28, when released, I went straight to Nata. It was 1:30 in the morning and all my fellow villagers, who were informed, were on foot, while the bell of the Church of St. Nicholas rang joyfully."

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