May 5, 2012

3 Miracles of Saint Ephraim of Nea Makri

1. The Swedish Prisoner

My name is Th. M. and although Greek by birth, I live in Sweden. Twelve years ago I was convicted of a crime I did not commit and sentenced to three years in prison. I was locked up in a dark cell for five months awaiting my appeal, which had been set for Friday, December 18, 1981.

On Thursday night at 3:00 am, I woke up suddenly, startled, and was on my feet before I fully realized I was awake. Standing in front of me was a man, barefoot and dressed in a white robe, who was smiling at me. He was tall and thin and had a full beard. He wore no hat; his eyes were clear blue and he seemed kind.

I asked in Swedish, “Who are you?” He smiled again, and raising his hands, replied in Greek, “Tomorrow in court you will be released.” I repeated, “Who are you? How do you know?” Smiling he said again, “Tomorrow you will be released.” I turned to the door in amazement to see if it had been left open. It was locked. I turned back to the visitor and experienced something I will never forget as long as I live: the figure of the man rose to the upper corner of the cell; there, it vanished. I was convinced I had just witnessed a miracle worked by Christ. I made the sign of the Cross and fell asleep.

The next morning I was taken to court, where, after several hours, the judge stood up and said, “You are free.” I knelt down and made the sign of the Cross and left the courtroom. I called my parents to let them know I’d been released. To my surprise, they already knew. “How? How did you find out?!” I exclaimed. They told me they had been informed by my sister, who had prayed to St. Ephraim in Nea Makri the day before.

I called my sister. She told me that on Thursday evening she had gone to the Monastery of St. Ephraim to pray for me; there she felt St. Ephraim promising her I would be released from prison. She had called to tell my parents about an event that only transpired the following day! It was especially remarkable because no one knew the appeal had been scheduled for the next morning.

Some days later I received a book and icon of St. Ephraim from my sister through the mail. I recognized him at once as my mysterious visitor. I left for Greece and as soon as I arrived went straight to the monastery to thank the Saint for the great gift I had received from God through him.

Th. M. Carussell
2131 Hagersten, Stockholm Sweden

2. The Expectant Mother

June, 1983. In my village a very pious girl of seventeen was pregnant. The doctor had informed her that she wouldn’t be able to give birth naturally and she was terrified, knowing the labor would be painful and end in a Caesarean. One day she decided to visit a relative in the hospital, and hoped while she was there to meet some woman who had recently given birth and could encourage her. She had also been praying to St. Ephraim, as we had told her, with the words, “Saint, may I give birth to this child in the easiest possible way.”

Although she had been examined by the doctor that day, who had noticed nothing unusual, during the evening the girl became anxious. She had no symptoms of being in labor but her husband, as if guided by God, insisted on taking her to the clinic. On the way his wife teased him because the doctors and nurses would make fun of their needless visit.

When they arrived the girl was examined by a nurse who, surprised, said that she was going to give birth very soon. When the doctor arrived, the frightened girl began praying, and within three minutes the baby was painlessly in the doctor’s hands. He later assured the new mother that her most difficult birth had turned into the easiest of his twenty-five year practice.

Kalamata City
September 16, 1983

3. Passing a Chemistry Exam

My name is Helen Voulgarakis. I was applying to enter the university and took my entrance exams in June of 1985. I had not done well in physics and on this day I was to take a chemistry exam. I remember it was a Thursday and I was very nervous. Although I had studied hard, chemistry was not my best subject and I was very unsure of myself. By noon the test was almost over, and I was not at all confident that I had answered correctly. I prayed intensely to God for help.

Then, as if I was listening to a silent voice that spoke in my ear, I erased what I had written. It was almost as if someone was narrating the correct answers.

I returned home and found out that during the test a relative of mine had telephoned the monastery and asked Abbess Macrina to pray to St. Ephraim to help me. It was he who stood next to me during the test and helped me with the answers. He did this out of his great love for people.

I fervently thank the Saint, who gave me 90% on my chemistry exam.

Helen Voulgarakis
Nekea, Athens