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November 9, 2009

Saint Nektarios Appears to Villagers in Romania

According to the source of the miracle described below, this miracle was first recorded when a couple visited the Monastery of Saint Nektarios in Aegina and noticed that it was full of Romanian pilgrims. This was in November of 2009. This couple was curious why so many Romanians were there, so they asked. They were told of the miracle recorded below, and this story was confirmed on another Greek blog, Troktiko, who was told the story by a friend who heard it from the same Romanian pilgrims. According to the other source, the aunt of his friend went to the shrine in August or September of 2009 and noticed there were many Romanian pilgrims at the monastery in Aegina. There was a Greek woman who knew a little Romanian and English who inquired why they were there, and she was told the story below by one of the villagers who was an eye-witness to the event.

Yet an older source by about a month dating from mid-October 2009 says that Dimitrios Velaoras and Archimandrite Chrysostomos Milonas first spread this story in Greek as it was told by Romanian nuns to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Crete. We know Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was in Crete on 7 October 2009, so perhaps this was the occasion for the origin of the story in Greece.

St. Nektarios enjoys wide popularity amongst Orthodox throughout the world, and his popularity in Romania has gained over the past few years. Portions of his relics can even be found in such places as Putna Monastery, Radu Voda Monastery in Bucharest, the Church of the Holy Hierarch Nektarios in Iasi, and the Hermitage of Saint John and Nektarios in Bradetu, Arges.

Below is the account as it was told by Romanians to Greeks:

In a village of Romania there was no priest and the residents often went to the Patriarch with the problem in order to fill the empty spot. However the Patriarch did not have the means of satisfying the demand. The villagers often went to the Patriarch, but he would say the same thing, that he did not have a priest to send to the village.

Meanwhile people died unread (no funeral service), others had relationships and children without marriage vows, and the children and adults alike were unbaptized.

Then one day, outside of the church, a car stopped and out stepped a priest. The village was astonished and yelled out that a priest had come.

The villagers went to the church to greet him and asked him, "How did you come to the village after our Patriarch had said that he doesn't have a priest to send us?"

The priest answered, "Isn't this what you wanted? Did you not want a priest? Here I am."

All the villagers were glad in the presence of the new priest.

The priest began immediately working. He went to all the graves and read the funeral service. He baptized and married everyone in the village and administered Holy Communion.

One day he invited all the villagers to church and told them, "I will leave now, my mission is done."

The villagers were confused and asked, "Now that you came, you are leaving?"

However the priest did not listen to the villagers and proceeded with his decision.

When the villagers realized that their wasn't anything they could do, they thanked him for his offering.

After a few days, the villagers went to the Patriarch and they thanked him for sending them a priest and to let him know that they would appreciate it if he could send them another priest soon, but the Patriarch didn't know anything.

He said to them, "I didn't send a priest because I don't have one, however let me check with the chancellor to see if he had sent a priest to you to serve your needs."

He phoned the chancellor, but he too didn't send anyone.

The Patriarch inquired, "What did this priest do in your parish?"

The villagers answered, "He married us, baptized us, performed funerals for our parents, he did what any other priest would have performed for us."

Then the Patriarch asked, "Well, didn't he gave you any papers or log the Mysteries.

"Of course," said the villagers, "he gave us papers and he wrote them in the church's books."

"Then did anyone see what he wrote? And with what name he signed?"

"All the documents were written in Romanian and we are not well educated and the signature he signed in a language we have not seen before."

The Patriarch requested they go bring the books in order to see who was this clergyman.

When they returned with the book the Patriarch remained speechless. He couldn't believe his eyes.

Indeed all the documents were written in Romanian while his name was written in Greek with the name of his signature,

Nektarios, Bishop of Pentapolis

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos