December 9, 2014

When the Virgin Mary Appeared to the Mother of Patriarch Ilia of Georgia

On the day of the feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos (according to the Old Calendar), Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia spoke of a miracle she worked for his mother. Specifically the Patriarch said:

"I remember my childhoood, how a Saturday or Sunday did not pass without my mother and my father taking us to church, to the Church of the Prophet Elias in Vladikavkaz. One day our mother told us children:

'Stay here, and I will go out.'

She went to a grave, which was and is still there. The grave belonged to Anastasia Andreyevna. Her surname was Andreeva. Her origins and ancestry were Greek. She died in 1932. They spoke of miracles. Mom went to the grave, and people were gathered there, kneeling and crying. My mother asked why they cried. 'You can't see anything?' - someone asked my mother. 'No', she said. So they told her: 'Then make the sign of the Cross and kneel down.' It was in the afternoon during a church service.

When she also knelt she saw the Virgin with the Savior in her arms. Mom leaned to kiss the feet of the Virgin, but she disappeared and then reappeared. Seventeen people were witnesses of this wondrous event.

The personal keys and staff of Saint Anastasia that she always took with her are kept at our Patriarchate.They had been given to my father and he gave them to me.

Saint Anastasia Andreyevna was an amazing person. During the war the Germans were about to enter the city and one soldier entered the graveyard, which was on the outskirts of the city, and he saw there an old woman with a staff. He stopped her and yelled: 'Who are you?' She responded: 'I am Anastasia, protector of this city.' The Germans were unable to enter the city.

I remember how my parents prepared before going to church.  How they prepared our clothes, cooked the meal... When we departed on Saturday and returned on Sunday, dinner was ready....

I do not remember a day when we did not stand in prayer together in the evening.

This is the way we should raise our children. With love. I cannot remember any loud word in our family, nor a shout. There always was peace and quiet, and we, children, inherited this from our parents."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.