July 27, 2011

Saint Panteleimon and the Irreverent Doctor

Our presvytera had a tumor and had surgery. As soon as they removed the tumor, they gave a piece to her husband, Father Evangelos, to go for a biopsy and bring back the results immediately. After receiving the results of the examination the doctors did not give even six months to the afflicted. The daughter of Papa-Vangeli fainted, while he himself lost it. In his hands however he squeezed the relic of the hand of Saint Panteleimon, which he brought with him, and prayed.

Presvytera returned from surgery. Father Evangelos placed on top of the bandages where the breast surgery of presvytera took place the hand of the Saint, and he knelt down in prayer. At that time the surgeon entered with his mask on. Seeing the scene, he began to yell:

"What is this bone, my Father? Get it out of here and head on home."

The poor priest was dizzy; he gathered the holy relic and sought the door. Though he was dizzy, he heard the nurse call the doctor on the telephone saying that his wife was asking for him.

In the evening a car stopped outside the home of the priest. Surprised, Papa-Vangeli saw the doctor emerge. "My! My!", he thought, "the doctor is even chasing me to my house!" With horror, however, he also sees emerge from the car a young disfigured boy; his mouth went all the way to his ear.

The doctor approached the priest and said:

"My Father, that bone, do you have it? Forgive me, I got carried away. At the moment I kicked you out my wife called me saying that my child, as he was taking an exam, came down suddenly with the palsy you see. I realized that I was to blame, which is why I beg you much to read for us a prayer. Your presvytera gave me your address to the village."

Father Evangelos replied: "Gladly my child. Come to the small church. My son, hold the hand of the Saint and kneel."

Father Evangelos then explained what happened next, saying: "I lay my stole on the head of the youth and I began to read the prayer. As I read I heard a noise, crack! crack! I thought, what is going on? I finished, and when the child got up, what did we see, but the mouth of the child came back in place! Father and son threw themselves on me."

"My Father, how can I thank you?" asked the father of the child.

"Not me, my child," replied the priest, "but thank God and the Saint."

From that time and for a very long time they would come to venerate and to bring oil for the oil lamp of the Saint.

As for the presvytera, it is now more than twenty years since she became perfectly well without any more therapy. She raised her children and lives in the village, taking care of the small church with its many relics, since Father Evangelos is no longer around.

The doctor would often say to Papa-Vangeli: "We, my Father, must burn our books."

Source: Σταχυολογήματα από την θαυμαστή ζωή του π.Ευαγγέλου Χαλκίδη εφημέριου Αγ.Βασιλείου Λαγκαδά (Gleanings From the Wondrous Life of Fr. Evangelos Halkidi, Parish Priest of Saint Basil's in Langada) by Orthodoxos Kypseli. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.