Friday, April 17, 2015

Four Astonishing Miracles of Saint Makarios Notaras of Corinth

St. Makarios Notaras (Feast Day - April 17)

The following miracles of St. Makarios were recorded by his friend and fellow resident of Chios St. Athanasios Parios, who was an eye-witness not only to the sanctity of the life of St. Makarios, but also the wonderworking grace of the Saint post mortem. St. Athanasios recorded twelve miracles as an appendix to the life he wrote of the Saint, of which four (nos. 1,3,4, and 8) are presented below.

By St. Athanasios Parios

1

Near the famous Church of the Archangels, which is commonly known as Kambana, there lies one dedicated to the Theotokos and called Marmariotissa. At this parish there lives a woman named Angerou, whose husband, Frangoulis, was originally a Roman Catholic and then espoused our Eastern Faith through Divine Baptism. Now the four-year-old daughter of this couple, Argyri, was assailed by the dreadful and dangerous disease of small pox, and her condition became pitiful and miserable. For four years she suffered continuously from fourteen sores, which the disease caused on her right arm. We saw these with our own eyes, and were horrified.

Although she was treated during this period by the best surgeon in Chios, Dominikos, who removed many small bones from the sores, causing her terrible pains, her condition did not improve at all. Rather, she was heading towards death. Her hand became immovable, as if it were dead, being suspended from the neck by a sling and having the fingers turned in towards the palm.

When the news spread that the holy Makarios had died, the sick girl's mother, who had very great reverence for the holy Father, upon hearing it made haste to attend his funeral. She gave her little daughter to a friend who was going to the place of the funeral by donkey, while she followed by foot, accompanied by her niece Roxandritsa.

The man who went by donkey arrived at the dwelling of the holy Makarios ahead of them, and told the story about the girl's sickness to the servant who was present there. The latter felt compassion for her, and entering the cell took the head covering of the holy Father and with faith and confidence crossed the arm of the girl. Shortly after this, the child's mother arrived with her niece, venerated the body of the Saint and prayed.

When they returned home, the mother suddenly saw her daughter moving, without any effort or difficulty, every part of her arm which until that moment had been motionless. And she cried: "Great is our Lord, and great is His power!" She did not untie the bandages with which the sores of the child's arm had been covered and observe them, but took the girl to the above mentioned surgeon, Dominikos, as she was accustomed to do. The surgeon untied the bandages, and seeing the sores healed, he was astonished and said: "Incomprehensible! All the sores have healed!" He glorified God, as did all those who witnessed this miracle.

2

At the parish of Upper Kyriaki there lived a tailor named Nicholas Paraskevas, who was married to a woman called Batolia (Hypatia). He went abroad, and having lost his health returned to Chios. He lay in bed for about seven months, as he suffered from disease and from extreme want. Although poor, he called one of the most experienced physicians of the city, Marinos Klados, who visited him promptly, but could not improve his condition at all, as he was suffering seriously from the incurable disease of dropsy. He eventually abandoned Nicholas, as his body had become very distended and he was at the point of death.

Being in a state of despair as a result of this, his unhappy wife had recourse to the unsalaried and unerring physician St. Makarios, and invited the confessor Nikephoros, who had a fragment of the Saint's remains through which he worked many great miracles for many persons. This monk came to the incurably sick Nicholas, who had given up hope in physicians. He arrived on March 8, the day before the Feast of the Forty Martyrs, and having performed a service for the sanctification of water (hagiasmos), he crossed the whole body of the patient with holy water, said a prayer, and left. The sick man recovered so rapidly and completely, that the next day he got up from bed and went to church to attend the Divine Liturgy. When he returned home, he ate stale bread, olives and the like. The swelling of his body disappeared completely, and his body returned to its normal state, to the astonishment of his neighbors and of all of us, who devoutly cried: "Wondrous is God in His Saints."

3

Tryphon Hatjipsaras begot a child that had a dreadful and incurable disease: the nose was red and the palate was filled with a growth that physicians call polyp. When the nose was touched even lightly, blood streamed from the mouth of the child. After the physicians had tortured the child for forty days with burning salves without benefit, his father remembered the cure of the girl of Frangoulis, which was mentioned in the first miracle, through the intercessions of St. Makarios; and he rightly reflected that the same Saint could cure his own child. Armed with faith, he took his child and the rest of his family and went to Makarios' hermitage. While he and his family listened to the Divine Liturgy there, in the Church of Saint Peter, Divine Grace began to act on the child. The latter fell on the ground as if he had fainted, and foul substances ran out of his nose and mouth.

When the Liturgy was over, the priest touched and crossed the child with relics of the Saint and prayed for his cure. The child was soon completely cured. Since then his father and mother go frequently to the grave of St. Makarios and express their gratitude to him.

4

The daughter of the physician Almanachos, Loula, whose husband is named Anthony, having suffered for four years from a women's disease, ended up with paralysis of the entire body. She could move neither her arms nor her legs, and had to be cared for like an infant by a servant. All the physicians in Chios tried to cure her or at least give her relief, but in vain.

After she had been attended by doctors for a year and had not noticed any improvement, and had seen that human efforts were useless, she decided to resort to the miracle-worker St. Makarios. She was transported to the tomb of this unfailing physician, which abounds in grace, and was placed upon it. Here the priest of the hermitage chanted a prayer of entreaty and crossed her with sacred remains of the Saint. Then she was brought back home. The next day she wanted to get up and walk. And behold the miracle! She who yesterday and before was a paralytic now walked a little inside the house, assisted by her husband, and then sat down. Her sister, who was coming in to take some garment just at that time, saw this unexpected event and was astonished, and began to cry aloud from her joy, and said: "Glory to You, O God."

When we heard of this, we hastened to the cured woman to see and make sure with our own eyes. As we found her seated and not fully recovered, we said: "You had little faith, it seems, and hence you received little health. Go again with perfect faith and you will certainly be cured fully." She did as we suggested, convinced by our words. And she recovered completely.

When we learned this, we visited her again and found her in perfect health and walking quite normally. And truly we were astonished, as was the priest of Saint Peter's; and together we glorified Almighty God.

Our holy father Saint Makarios performed not only the miracles which we have just described, but performs others similar to them for those who invoke him with faith; for the same Divine Grace which was granted to the ancient saints is also given to the modern, and the power of working miracles is a reward for their virtue and holiness.

From Modern Orthodox Saints 2: St. Macarios of Corinth by Constantine Cavarnos, pp. 67-73.

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