May 16, 2011

Miracles at the Grave of Elder Cleopa

April 14, 2004

The tomb of Father Cleopa Ilie, who rests at the Sihăstria Monastery, has become a pilgrimage site. Those who met Father Cleopa during the 64 years he spent only at Sihăstria come and worship at his resting place and say that they feel the blessing and the help of the holy man in achieving their requests, just as when he was alive.

Very many ill people have been miraculously cured after having taken earth or flowers from Father Cleopa’s tomb (which they carefully preserved at home) or even oil from the icon lamp at his tomb cross, which they applied on the suffering parts of their body. The miracle of the healings has spread out fast throughout the country and the monks at Sihăstria have to permanently add a layer of earth on the tomb, to replace the amount that is taken for healing.

"Several buses of pilgrims stop over at Father Cleopa’s tomb and ask for permission to take a handful of earth. Some sprinkle it in their gardens, others keep it as a sample of the Elder’s grace to be protected from all evil, while others add just a little bit in their food," a monk told us, adding that several times so far he has had to carry two or three wheelbarrells of earth to Fr. Cleopa’s grave, to fill in the hollows left by the faithful.

A young woman from Cluj, who knew Father Cleopa while he was alive (he had been her spiritual Father), was suffering from a terrible heart disease. She couldn’t manage to get to Sihăstria until after the Elder’s repose. She went to the cemetery and prayed near his grave; when she left, she took a little bit of earth and swallowed it, being certain that the Father’s grace will work upon her. The young woman was healed and the news about the miracle spread throughout the villages around Cluj, the monk added. The Father’s cell has been turned into a museum ever since and has been visited by thousands of pilgrims from inside and outside Romania.