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May 6, 2016

Some Miracles of Saint Sophia of Kleisoura

In a letter Mr. Eleutherios M. writes:

"I was a child, and of course I liked playing games in the large courtyard of Panagia's Monastery. However in the evening I would temporarily forget about the games because I liked the stories of Grandmother Sophia, seeing her speak about the Panagia, and the appendicitis surgery she had done for her. At the spot where the operation was done there was a simple fine line, seamless, very thin. Grandmother Sophia would often show this mark.

I remember one incident. As we would gather in the evenings and hear her stories, in front of us there was a cauldron over the fire to boil corn. One of the children complained that his corn was small, so Grandmother Sophia put her hand into the cauldron comfortably, looked around carefully in the boiling water with her hand, and pulled out a bigger corn to give to the child still looking very comfortable. Now that I am older, I understand that this cannot be done so simply, and it is impossible, I think, for it to have been done by Grandmother without burning her hands."

The blessed Eldress baptized many children from the surrounding villages. Many families who could not "hold" a child to term would dedicate them to the Panagia. Almost all the girls in the region who have the name Sophia were baptized by her. She also baptized boys. To one boy in Kleisoura she gave the name Jordan, unique in the whole village. This was the name of her long lost husband.

Another boy she named Haralambos, who when he grew up and reached the age of thirty decided to get married. His father then told him: "My child, in order to get married you must receive the blessing of your godmother, kiss her hand, and then I, your father, will give you my blessing."

The child justifiably reacted, as all his life he had never heard about Sophia, and even as a baby never saw her. How would he now recognize her? "If you don't go to Sophia, then I will not give you my blessing," insisted the father. Harry therefore departed for the Monastery disappointed. Sophia waited for him in the courtyard. She called him out by the name she baptized him with. "My child, my Haralambos, come to me." She affectionately embraced him and gave him a blessing, speaking to him about his future spouse, whom he had never seen. Moreover she asked him: "I, my child, have grown old, and I can't crown you. Find a good best man. The girl you will take is good, only please send me at the time of your wedding a fast car to bring me so I may greet the crowns."

Harry returned to the village out of his mind. But he did exactly as his godmother asked him, and from that time began to frequently visit her and receive her advice.

Fr. Nicholas Gkikarnas, priest in the village of Kleisoura, recounts the following:

"A child in the village of Kleisoura was dying. He was taken and rushed to the Monastery to be baptized before he died. Then Sophia did for him an air baptism and named him Theochari, so that the grace of God would save the child."

The same Mr. Theocharis adds:

"My deceased mother, Soultana was her name, had lost three children and as soon as I was born, on 1 August 1946, they had said to 'dedicate' me to the Monastery, to the Panagia, and if she wanted, I would live.

They took me to the Monastery without a godfather and said whoever presented themselves first would baptize me. The nun heard this, Sophia, amid the crying and she opened for us. Everyone waited for a name like Thanasi or Peter, but she said the grace of God would come and save the child. And that is how I came to live with the name Theocharis."

The brother of Theocharis, Mr. Pericles B., a scholar, speaks with great fervor about the sanctity of Sophia:

"Without any blemish, if anyone deserves to be honored as a saint, it is Sophia. A guileless person. She is without blemish," he added with great love and respect towards her memory.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.