November 18, 2014

Little Demetri With the Gift of Foresight

In September of some year in the oncology department of the University Hospital of Rio, there was a great disruption. Little Demetri was urgently asking for the priest of the hospital. He wanted to surely receive Communion.

He was 13 years old. For about a year and a half he was in this clinic. A small headache led him there. The doctors diagnosed him with brain cancer. His origins were from Fier in Albania. The parents were not baptized. For many years they were living in Patras. Shortly before entering the hospital, he wanted to be baptized. He would hear about Christ and wanted to be His "child". He was baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", after catechism of course.

Everyone in the clinic loved him very much. The cancer advanced and he was deprived of his vision. He couldn't see at all - nothing and no one. But he would listen with great and admirable patience. He would not complain. He would say that God loved him very much. He would pray and supplicate that his parents would do the same.

Those who visited him understood there was something different with this child. He always spoke of God. He was always polite and cheerful. His face shined. He wanted to commune frequently of the Honorable Gifts. When his mother sometimes was in a different section of the hospital, he would yell: "Mother, come quick. The priest is almost here with Christ. He's coming up the stairs. Come and prepare me." And so it was. The priest would come and find Demetri sitting on his bed with an open mouth doing his cross with reverence. While he did not know the exact time the priest would come with the Honorable Gifts, with his gift of foresight he saw him coming, even though there were two doors that separated his room from the hallway the priest took to get there.

This is confirmed by the pious lady Maria Galiatsatou, who had voluntarily taken care of this child. "Miss Maria, I want to tell you something," he told her one day. "When the priest comes with Christ, I see him on the stairs coming up with two tall men next to him, beautiful men in garments all in white who lean towards the Holy Chalice with open hands protecting it."

Once the doctor asked him: "How are you, Demetri, how is everything?" He responded: "Sir doctor, can I tell you something up close? I am well. You should not worry that your wife left you. God will be with you because you are a good man." The doctor was a bit startled. Nobody knew the sad circumstance that took place the day before at his house, when his wife abandoned him and took another man.

Those who knew him would say: "This is a child of God."

The last time he communed he could not remain sitting on the bed, but he welcomed Christ with joy and longing as he lay down. "Thank you very much", he mumbled and then passed away.

The priest, when he went the next day to the morgue to read the Trisagion over Demetri, said:

"The first time in my life I have seen such a relic. His face is smiling, shining, and it has the color of amber."

His parents came to love Christ very much and they want to be baptized.

Source: From the book Ασκητές μέσα στον κόσμο (Ascetics in the World). Translation by John Sanidopoulos.