Monday, May 1, 2017

Miracles of Saint Basil of Ostrog (2 of 5)


...continued from part one.

A REMARKABLE HEALING

A written testimony contributed by Stana Marjanovic from Dubrovnik:

“M. Kasikovic became ill in 1948 and had a severe crisis until 1950. That year she became bed-ridden and spent a long time in the hospital. She underwent surgery but the doctors said that it had not been successful and that there was no help for her. She then went home to await death.

Seven years passed. She had wilted away and only skin and bones were left of her.

In 1957 we sent a dress belonging to M. to the Ostrog Monastery. It was placed under the relics for one night. Then the dress was sent back to her and she put it on.

Gradually life returned to her and she felt increasingly better. Soon she was up on her feet. Now she does all the housework and takes care of her little grandson.”

CURED OF CANCER

Maksim Jovovic wrote down the following story in 1960:

“Mara M., a housewife from Dubrovnik, had stomach surgery after an x-ray revealed what the doctors thought was an obstruction in the lower intestines. However, when the surgeon cut her open he saw that what she really had was cancer. The poor woman was discharged from the hospital and sent home, where she awaited her final hour.

She lay in bed for many years with no hope of recovery. One day her mother suggested that she send an article of clothing to the Ostrog Monastery so that could be blessed and prayers be read for her. She sent a dress and when it was brought back to her, she put it on and prayed to God. The same night her condition improved and in a few days she got up from her bed.

Soon she was up and about doing her chores, much to the joy of her family. She is still alive and well today and is a very hard working housewife.”

THE HEALING OF A DISABLED WOMAN

On June 24th, 1960, Hieromonk Seraphim Kasic recorded the following story, verified by the signatures of the cured Sanda Loncarevic, her children Ruzica and Milivoje Loncarevic and witnesses Radoslav and Branko Kalik, students at the monastery:

“In 1957 Ruzica and Milivoje Loncarevic from Gusinje brought their severely disabled mother Sanda to the monastery. Sanda had been completely paralyzed for over a year. They had taken her to see many doctors, but they all agreed that her condition was irreversible.

They transported her from the Ostrog railway station to the Upper Monastery on horseback and took her back the same way. She spent the night at the monastery after prayers were read for her before the reliquary.

When they returned home they all had a rest that night and in the morning, to everyone’s amazement and joy, the mother was up on her feet, feeling quite healthy!

Here she is again today at Ostrog with her children Ruzica and Milivoje, to give thanks to God and to St. Basil for the great gift of mercy she received.”

A MOTHER’S PROMISE

Hieromonk Seraphim Kasic recorded the following story on May 27th, 1957:

“Ljubica Rakocevic came to venerate the relics of our Holy Father Basil with her daughter Milka, together with Dr. Savo Ljubibratic and some other visitors from Sarajevo. She told everyone the story of how, while her daughter had been very ill, she had made a promise to St. Basil. After she had made a promise, her daughter felt better and soon recovered completely from her illness. As they were in a hurry to catch their train, I gave Ljubica my address and asked her to describe her experience in more detail and send it to me by mail. She wrote back and her letter has been copied and filed into the archives of the Upper Monastery. Parts of this letter are as follows:

'Three months ago, on May 25th, I visited your monastery with my daughter Milka, where we were very well received. We both felt so joyous, as though born again, that we will never forget that day.

Our daughter Milka (who is now eleven years old) suffered from a serious case of rheumatoid fever for three years. This past winter was the worst; the doctors said that she would not live. I did not know what to do and then I remembered that it would be a good thing to make a promise to St. Basil. That is what I did. I fasted for nine weeks and sent a donation to the monastery. I prayed to St. Basil and promised that if my little girl got better I would take her to Ostrog within two years.

From that day on our little daughter’s condition improved. By the grace of God and St. Basil she is now attending the fifth grade in school and is just like other children in every respect.

Not even a year had passed since I made my vow when I fulfilled my promise and took Milka to the monastery were we were warmly welcomed … I promised also to bring my other children. I have four other children, two sons and two daughters. I want them also to get to know this holy place and to thank the Saint who saved their sister.

Could you please help me understand the meaning of a dream I had recently? The night before the feast of the Dormition I saw in my dream a great multitude of people going somewhere. I asked them where they were going and they answered that the bishop was coming. I found myself together with all those people in a church, right beside the bishop’s throne. The bishop came into the church and walked towards me. He gave me his hand and asked, “How is your child?” I wanted to answer, but then I woke up in fear. Please tell me the meaning of this dream when you have time.

I am sending you a small donation of 3000 dinars for now. In the future I will try to send regular donations, even if they are smaller amounts. Please light a candle for Milka’s health and one for Milivoje, Ljubica, Radmila and Zivko. May the Holy Father Basil protect you from all harm!'"

THE SAINT DRIVES OUT UNCLEAN POWERS

On November 27th, 1957, Hieromonk Seraphim wrote down and enclosed the written record of a conversation he had in the Upper Monastery church with pilgrim Jelika Zecevic from Vinicka (Ivangrad-Berane):

"When I first met Jelika, she approached me with these words, 'Dear Father! I have come to fall down before God, Saint Basil, and you the keeper of the relics, and to entreat you to help me in my terrible suffering.'

Before me stood a disheveled, weeping woman. I asked, 'What is it, sister?'

'Oh, Father! It has been nearly a year now that some unseen thing has been coming into my house by night, making a frightful banging on the doors and windows and on the floor. My little granddaughter and I are beside ourselves with fear. Sometimes it’s so bad that we are forced to sleep in the home of some neighbors. Other times they come to sleep at our home so that they can see and hear for themselves the terrible night racket and they, of course, can’t sleep a wink for fear! I told our parish priests about this. They came and read some prayers and for a few days the banging was not as loud, but then it got bad again. I am a wreck. My life has become an ordeal for me. My daughters, who are married, have invited me to come and live with them. They are afraid I might go insane if I stay in my house any longer. But how can I live in someone else’s house and leave my home? And so I have come here to ask God and St. Basil to save me from this torment which is worse than any disease I can think of. I beg you, tell me what to do.'

I asked, 'Has the house in which you live been blessed?'

'I don’t know,' Jelika answered. 'I just know that the priests came when I asked them to and read prayers and sprinkled water all over the house.'

I again asked, 'Have any of your close relatives died without a Christian burial or a memorial service?'

'I don’t know,' she answered. 'Perhaps some of them died without a memorial. Some of them died a natural death and a few were killed. You know as well as I do, Father, all that we have been through in this last war.'

'Tell me the names of all your living relatives. I am going to write them down,' I said.

She told me their names and I said a prayer for their health and salvation.

'Now tell me the names of your departed ones.'

She did so, and I served a memorial for them, that God might grant peace to their souls. Then I gave her some holy water and incense. I told her to sprinkle the house with holy water and to burn the incense.

'Have faith in St. Basil and pray. Perform good deeds. He will help you.'

I gave her my address and told her to write. 'I don’t know how to write, Father, and the little granddaughter who lives with me is just beginning to learn.'

I said, 'Very well. Let the girl write as much as she is able to. I will understand everything. You tell her what to write, and I am sure she’ll do fine!'

Here is Jelika’s letter:"

Greetings, Dear Brother!

I just wanted to let you know that I am better now. When I got home, I did not hear a thing (in the house), whereas before even some windows were broken – I forgot to tell you about this. Now I only sometimes hear the noise, but very rarely. The whole thing began before the feast of St. George. I should have come to you earlier. Oh, my brother! Nobody believes what I’ve been through. It was a torment worse than any illness. And I forgot to give you four more names of my departed family: Drago, Janjo, Vuceta and Luda. Please forgive me if I am bothering you. These 200 dinars are for the Saint. I will send some brandy for the monastery. I am not trying to pay, accept it as a gift.

Wishing you all the best,

Jelika Zecevic

A SMALL, BUT LIFE-SAVING PROMISE TO GOD

Maksim Jovovic documented the following:

“Blazo B., a clear-minded old man from the village of M., municipality of Cetinje, had been afflicted for many years with recurring and very painful headaches. The pain was at times unbearable. His visits to numerous doctors were all fruitless. He also sought help among herbalists and village healers and had even resorted to occult practices by local women. He became so despondent that he contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. One day during a particularly painful headache it occurred to him to make a promise to God to give a small donation each year to the Monastery of Ostrog for his recovery. The very next day he gave some money to a pilgrim setting out on a journey to Ostrog and told him to leave the money beside the reliquary. He solemnly promised God that he would send the same amount to the monastery every year. His headaches ceased and since then they have never returned, nor has he ever been afflicted with any other serious illness.

The year 1959 was a bad one and he had no money to send to Ostrog for a long time. Then his son, who worked as a teacher in Zrenjanin, came to visit him and gave him a thousand dinars to spend as he wished. As he had not been able to send money earlier, he decided to immediately send half of the sum that his son had given him to Ostrog. He was worried because there seemed to be no way for him to send his donation, and so he decided to ask a neighbor for advice. It just so happened that this neighbor was planning to go to Ostrog the very next day. Taking Blazo’s donation, the neighbor remarked, 'You are a blessed man, indeed. Be thankful to God and to Saint Basil of Ostrog, for you have found the path of salvation, and both your body and your soul have been healed.'”

THE HEALING OF AN EPILEPTIC

Kolja P., from the village of Dj., municipality of Bar, dictated the following story to Maksim Jovovic:

“I have only God and St. Basil of Ostrog to thank for the fact that I am still healthy at 80, without the help of any man-made medications.

Until my 30th year I had been very prone to nervous fits and seizures. No medications or doctors were able to help me. I became very despondent, hated life and very often wandered about like a lunatic.

In the summer of 1911 my brother and a few friends took me to Ostrog. We spent the night there and returned home the next day. I did not feel at all well during the journey back. We were ferried across the Skadar Lake in the direction of Krajina. When we arrived at Liman Bay I had a seizure. I fell to the ground in a convulsion and shouted, 'Help me, can’t you see these snakes attacking me? They are going to squeeze the life out of me!' I was unconscious for a few hours and after that felt so weak that I could hardly stand. Late that night we arrived home and went straight to bed.
That was my last seizure. I have never had even so much a headache since. I still work as hard today as when I was young.”

THE ADVICE OF THE HOLY ARCHANGEL MICHAEL TO A YOUNG BOY

Maksim Jovovic wrote the following testimony of M.D., a villager from the vicinity of Niksic, in 1959:

“My son had become ill with the disease that the doctors had no cure for. He had completely lost the use of both his legs and could not even stand up.

One night my son saw the Holy Archangel Michael in a dream, who told him, 'Go to the Ostrog Monastery and you will be made well!'

I took my son to Ostrog in May of 1941. I asked the hieromonk at the Upper Monastery to pray for him. Soon after the prayers my son said that the pain in his legs was considerably less, but he still could not stand up.

The following day we went to Holy Liturgy at the Lower Monastery and when we had come out of the church, my son stood on his legs for the first time.”

Maksim Jovovic adds: “The boy returned home on foot and did not require help to walk. Although his parents were worried that the disease might come back, it never did.”

THE HEALING OF A POSSESSED WOMAN

Maksim Jovovic wrote in 1959:

"Anka I., the wife of a state clerk from the municipality of Bar, suddenly lost her wits and became insane. Her gestures were those of a madwoman. She has taken to see many doctors, who could not help her in the least. When her illness took a turn for the worse and the signs of her madness became even more evident and she became a threat to her family and neighbors, her husband took her to the Ostrog Monastery. This was in 1944.

They were seen by the abbot, Father Gerasim. He himself read prayers for the deliverance of this woman from unclean forces. After these prayers the woman felt much better, her mind cleared and she calmed down considerably. The following day she went home with her husband, joyful and content and her children welcomed her relief, for she had caused them much suffering with her illness.

The illness never recurred and this woman always remembers her pilgrimage to Ostrog and is thankful to God for having healed her.”

THE HEALING OF A MUTE AND DEAF GIRL

Seraphim Kasic, a hieromonk at the Upper Monastery at Ostrog, told the following story to Maksim Jovovic in the early 1960’s:

"Along with the multitude of pilgrims who flocked to Ostrog from all parts of our country for the Feast of Pentecost, a woman from Focha came with her thirteen year old daughter. The girl was both death and mute from birth and had never spoken a word.

The mother brought her daughter to the reliquary two times, where prayers were offered for her. After the second day of prayers the girl spoke out in a clear voice, to the utter amazement of her mother and all those present. Everyone who witnessed this miracle glorified God and praised Him for having healed this girl through St. Basil the Wonderworker.

The girl’s hearing was still not good, and I have not been advised whether it improved later on.”

HEALING FROM A SERIOUS ILLNESS

Vojislav R. Jokanovic from Krushevac, who had told Father Seraphim Kasic the story of the healing of his mentally deranged father in 1924, now tells of his own experience at Ostrog. He does not specify the type of illness he suffered:

“In 1952 I was seriously ill and was discharged from the hospital. Although I was hundreds of kilometres away from Ostrog I decided to travel there, trusting in the Saint’s help. With the help of God I made it to the monastery and went into the church to pray before the reliquary.

Upon my return I felt as though I had been reborn. I was a healthy man. Out of gratitude I decided to take a few days off from work and go on a pilgrimage to the monastery to give thanks to the Saint and to ask for his protection and intercession for myself and my family.”

THE HEALING OF A BLIND MAN

M.M., from the village of Sh., municipality of Bar, told Maksim Jovovic the following story:

“A neighbor of mine who is still alive today had been blind since 1926, when he was a schoolboy. The doctors had no clue as to why he was so suddenly struck blind and were powerless to help him. His parents took him to see the best eye specialists but it was all in vain. He remained blind and his family cared for him until 1953, when his two brothers took him to Ostrog.

The monks read prayers for him and they spent the night in the monastery. To everyone’s astonishment the blind man was able to see the next morning and he returned home happily with his brothers. Today he is a healthy man working in and around the house as though he had never been blind.

The brothers are frequent visitors at Ostrog, where they pray and give thanks to God and the great Wonderworker of Ostrog who restored the eyesight of a pious pilgrim.”

THE HEALING OF A MAN WITH AN UNDIAGNOSED BONE DISEASE

Vladimir L. from the village of Z., municipality of Bar, was an eyewitness of the following incident which he related to Maksim Jovovic:

"While I was working as a janitor at the clinic near Ostrog in 1953, I was present when a thirty year old man from the Kuchi clan was brought to the monastery by car from Risan. The young man had spent a long time undergoing therapy for an undiagnosed illness in a clinic for bone diseases in Risan. Upon his request he was discharged from the clinic in order to make the journey to Ostrog. As he was unable to walk his companions carried him to the Upper Monastery on a stretcher. He spent the night under the Holy Relics and around noon the next day he stood up on his feet by himself. He was very happy and got into the car and drove away to his village in Kuchi, to surprise his family and friends by the sudden and miraculous healing he had received by the Grace of God."

THE HEALING OF A YOUNG BOY

On Aug 6th, 1961, Filip Zekovic told the story of his experience at Ostrog in the presence of Hieromonk Separphim Kasic, who wrote it down in the archives. Zekovic signed the written account:

“If I remember correctly, the incident I wish to tell you about took place in 1953. The abbot of the Ostrog Monastery had summoned me to see to some construction work that was going on at the time. It was then that I saw a thirteen year old boy who had been brought to the monastery by his mother and aunt. His aunt said that before coming to Ostrog the boy had known neither his mother nor his aunt, but that as soon as he had gone into the church he had become quite normal.

This boy had suffered an emotional stress in early childhood. Once when he was guarding the sheep with his sister, a huge boulder crashed down and crushed the girl. Her brother lost his wits after the shock but his mind cleared as soon as he set foot on the monastery grounds.”

THE HEALING OF A YOUNG WOMAN’S AFFLICTION CAUSED BY A MAGIC SPELL

Darinka V., from Stari Bar dictated her story to Maksim Jovovic:

"I married in 1925. As is the custom for young brides, I went to fetch fresh water for the household from the village well early one morning.

On my way there I met other young women. On the ground we saw what looked like a bundle of hair pins all twisted and joined together and tied up in a ball. I bent down even though my friends warned me that if a spell had been cast over them they might bring me evil.

It was not long before I felt a tremor all over my body. I became feverish and started shivering. For a whole year I felt ill, medications and home remedies did not help. My nerves were starting to get frail and I was in bad shape.

My husband, aware that my condition might worsen, took me to the Ostrog Monastery the very same year. We spent the night in the Upper Monastery, where they read prayers for my health. We returned home the following day.

I felt as though I had been born again on the return trip home. To this day I am very healthy, thanks to the mercy of God which He bestowed upon me on the day that I visited Ostrog.”

THE HEALING OF A DEMENTED MAN

Monk Makarije documented the following story in the 1930’s on a separate sheet of paper:

“In January of 1928 a certain Djuro Tomanovic of Djenovici sent word to the Ostrog Monastery that his brother Vojin was completely healed and had become quite normal and sane within a month after having been to the Monastery, for which they are most thankful to God and St. Basil.”

THE HEALING OIL FROM THE OSTROG MONASTERY

Maksim Jovovic documented the following story in 1959:

“Aleksandar Ratislavov, a hydrotechnical engineer from Russia, was employed at the Niksic waterworks in 1928. That year his wife had a baby girl, whose head was covered in boils. The parents went to several doctors and hospitals, but the boils only multiplied and soon they covered her whole body. They tried every available medicine, traveled to far-away clinics, used all sorts of ointments and baths, but nothing helped the child. They suffered along with their little girl and at one point would rather have seen her die than endure such pain.

One night the mother had a dream in which an unknown man appeared to her and told her to take the child to the Ostrog Monastery and to anoint the boils on her body and head with the oil from the vigil lamp burning closest to the reliquary. He told her the child would become well. She told her neighbors about this dream and they advised her to do as the man had said. She did so; she took her child to Ostrog. They slept at the monastery and in the morning she anointed the boils with oil from the vigil lamp. The next day she returned home, having taken a little oil with her. She put oil on the child’s wounds two more times. There was no need to anoint her a third time, from the wounds from the boils had healed, the crust had fallen off. In a matter of days the girl was well and today she is a happy and healthy schoolgirl.”

THE HEALING OF A LITTLE GIRL WITH A SHAKING HEAD

Ilija Zlaticanin writes in 1929:

“There was a little girl, a two year old from Serbia. Her mother and father brought her to Ostrog. They said they had come on foot, out of respect for the Saint. The little girl’s head was shaking uncontrollably. It was sad to see the baby suffering so much. When I had seen her, I thought, 'Are not such afflictions the result of our sins and sins of our forefathers?'

The following day at the Lower Monastery I saw the same woman with the same child, who was not shaking any more. She was completely healthy. Her mother was breastfeeding her, filled with joy and gladness that God and St. Basil had helped her.”

HEALED FROM UNCONTROLLED HICCUPPING

Ilija Zlaticanin also wrote down the following story in 1929:

“This is a case of a middle-aged woman from Hercegovina.

It is a common thing for people to get hiccups now and then after meals, or at other times. This goes on for a while and then stops. However, I have never seen such hiccups as this woman had. It was not a sound of normal hiccups, but rather like the snapping of a dog.

I was at Ostrog when this woman came to seek help from the Saint. She spent the night under the reliquary after venerating the relics.

The following morning I met her again. She was washing her face at the miraculous spring. Not once did she hiccup. Oh, how glad she was! She turned and smiled at everyone, as though she wanted to tell them how God and St. Basil had helped her.”

A YOUNG WOMAN IS CURED OF AN ECHINOCOCCUS INFECTION

Stana M., from Dubrovnik dictated her story to Maksim Jovovic:

“My friend Slavka M., a young woman from the village of S. near Trebinje, suffered from an echinococcus infection. She had had several surgeries, was very anemic and had spent a long time in the hospital. A team of physicians agreed that she would not live through another operation and that there was practically nothing they could do for her. She was sent home to die.

In September of 1948 her mother took her to the Ostrog Monastery where they both prayed to God that Slavka be delivered from her illness. The hieromonk read prayers for her health before the reliquary of St. Basil. The next morning the woman was feeling better and told her mother that she would have no more operations and would stop seeing doctors.

They went home happy. The young woman’s health improved day by day. The following year she married and moved to Cavtat. Once, when one of her doctors saw her, she remarked that he was glad they had misdiagnosed her illness.”

FAITH IN THE WONDERWORKING RELICS OF ST. BASIL

Stana Marjanovic from Dubrovnik testifies:

“In the spring of 1950 I had an appendectomy and was discharged from the hospital after ten days. I felt that something was bothering me from the inside. The incision became infected and I had to see the physician again. I told him I had the feeling that something had remained in my insides after the surgery. The physician scornfully replied that such a thing was impossible and that I was imagining things. After a few days the pain in my insides became intolerable and I had to be operated again. After they had opened me up again they found a wad of cotton inside, all covered with puss and blood. After that operation I felt somewhat better, but I had lost a lot of blood and had to stay in the hospital for six months. My condition became worse so I called my mother, asking her to go to Ostrog, to take one of my dresses there and to leave it under the reliquary of St. Basil for the night. I told her to ask the monks to read a prayer over it and to bring me back the dress so that I might wear it. My mother did as I asked and brought back the dress which had been blessed on the relics of Saint Basil. As soon as I had put it on I felt a lot better. I was discharged from the hospital the next day to continue my recovery at home. After a few days I was feeling perfectly fine.”


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