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May 25, 2011

Discovery of the Relics of a Saint At Neamt Monastery

The pavement at Neamt Monastery where the Saint was found.

By Hieromonk Ioanichie Balan

Suddenly on May 26, 1986 the paved path leading to the southwest entrance of the church of Neamt Monastery began slowly rising up to 30 cm. The pavement consists of large pieces of stone. The piece of stone that was rising was the length of a man and the width of a coffin, but they did not understand what it was. They thought the sewer broke down. But when there is a ground fault it goes down, not up. They dug a meter and found nothing. The stone and concrete, the dimension of the coffin, had been rubbed like flour: "What could possibly be here?" - "Come let us close it up." - No, let us dig a little more. What do we have to lose?" They dug a half meter more, and what did they find? Great miracle! The relics of a saint! Some say it's Saint Paisius Velichkovsky (who lived in this monastery from 1779 to 1794). This is what they did in the old days. When you wanted to hide something valuable you put it in a place where a lot of people passed by so that no one suspected anything.

Nobody knows which Saint it is. We pray to God to reveal his name.

It was a moment of great upheaval. People came to the monastery. They lit candles. The Securitate of Ceausescu came to the monastery. Unpleasant events occurred. Now I do not want to say. They stopped the people in Tirgu Neamt (being the last village before the monastery). They put obstacles for the bus to not pass. The fathers of the monastery, seeing that things were getting complicated and dangerous, put the relics in the coffin and hid them in a hiding place inside the wall of the monastery, which has a thickness of 2-3 meters.

The next day came the Securitate. There were queries and investigations. Two to three months passed by. More was coming. They asked us: "Where are those bones. Give them to us." They then said among themselves: "Go to the ossuary." - "Where is it?" - "Down there in the cemetery." They went there, and upon seeing so many skulls they came out scared. As if they had a hindrance of conscience. They left and did not bother anyone again. Today the relics of the unknown saint are located in the narthex of the Neamt Monastery in Romania.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.