By Monk Lazarus Dionysiatis
One time a poor monk named Gennadios came to the Sacred Monastery [of Dionysiou on Mount Athos] from New Skete of Saint Paul to seek charity. He was an old man over seventy years in age. Our abbot, Archimandrite Gabriel, gave him whatever he wanted, even in conversation and in the spiritual life. The old man among others confessed the wondrous vision below, and which testifies to his virtuous and holy life.
On 14 September in 1967, Xeropotamou Monastery celebrates because it has the large Honorable Cross which also has a hole to which the Lord was attached. Because of the feast he also went to celebrate with them and venerate the All-Holy Wood. During the time of veneration at the end of Orthros, the old man came into ecstasy, and saw that flames of fire came out of the Honorable Wood and the entire surrounding area, as if it was on fire. Seeing this in ecstasy he was amazed and said to himself: "How do the brother monks approach and embrace the Honorable Cross and do not burn?" And how would he himself approach and venerate? It seemed to him totally impossible. When it came time for him to venerate he pleaded to the Panagia from the depth of his soul and heart to help him to approach. And, O the wonder!, the flames he saw extinguished and thus with courage and much reverence he approached and venerated.
This virtuous old man reposed on the day of the Elevation of the Honorable Cross on September 14th, which is a sign of his reverence for the Honorable Cross.
Source: Διονυσιατικαί Διηγήσεις (Αγιον Όρος 1989). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.