October 20, 2016

Miracles of Saint Artemios the Great Martyr (1 - 5)

In the seventh century an Anonymous author compiled a number of miracles of Saint Artemios, whose healing activities were predominantly centered in the Church of Saint John the Forerunner in Constantinople and who "specialized" in healing hernias and diseases affecting the genitals of mostly male patients. Below are five examples of many:

Miracle 1: St. Artemios and the chief physician Anthimos' son

A certain chief physician, Anthimos by name, had a son about 20 years old whose testicles had become dangerously diseased so that he did not even have the strength to go to the latrines by himself. The father brought him on a litter to the Church of the Forerunner where the much-revered relic of the holy and glorious Artemios now lies, and did whatever all are accustomed to do who are similarly afflicted. Then one night the holy Martyr appeared to him in a dream in the semblance of his father Anthimos and said to him: "Let me see what it is that you have." And Anthimos' son, after undressing himself, showed him; once he had done this, Artemios took hold of his testicles and squeezed them forcefully so that he awoke and cried out in pain, still in the grip of the frightening dream. Anxious and worried that the illness was growing worse and after touching the afflicted place, he found himself without pain and his testicles restored to health.

Miracle 2: The man with three diseased testicles

A certain man, about 45 years old, who lived on the Gulf, was suffering so severely with testicle pain that he could not even fall asleep. This one approached the holy Martyr. Now it chanced that he fell asleep, as customarily happens towards daybreak. In his sleep he saw himself lying with his wife. Then he realized that he had three swollen testicles and said to her in the dream: "Alas, wife, as for my testicles in which I feel pain, I am not healed but another was added for me besides and it is diseased so that now I have three hernias." So while he was at a loss and sorely troubled in his sleep, the Saint appeared to him in the guise of a physician and said to him: "What is it, brother, that you say you have?" He replied: "As if it were not enough for wretched me that I was not healed in my testicles where I am diseased, but still a third testicle was added and now I have three hernias." Artemios replied to him: "Undress yourself that I may see you, brother." And after the man did what was ordered, Artemios took hold of his testicles and squeezed them so that the man screamed out in pain in his sleep for a good time "Lord have mercy!" and those waiting to be cured were awakened by the shouting and approaching him roused him, asking: "What's the matter, why are you shouting and not letting us get our rest?" Awakening and touching himself, since he was still in the throes of pain, he found himself healthy; and glorifying God he related to them the vision and the miracle of the Martyr.

Miracle 3: The lancing of the Amastrian's boil

There was a certain man from the region of Amastris staying in the divinely favored and imperial city. It happened that he had a boil on his testicles so that, although he had visited many doctors, he did not derive any benefit at all but grew worse. After he was brought in by someone, he ran to the Saint and Wonderworker. Waiting then three days and becoming more and more distressed by pain, he directed entreaties to the priests of the church, requesting that there be given to him some of the wax-salve of the Forerunner and of the Martyr. So after receiving it and making a poultice, he applied it to the painful area. This took place about the fourth hour, but at noon the servant of God stood near him and pretending to touch him made an incision with a scalpel; immediately the boil which he had burst and all of the holy house was filled with a stench, so that those present who witnessed the Martyr's miracle with their own eyes but could not bear the stench brought warm water and sponges and with their own hands sponged off the effluvium from the sore. Although some advised him to lie down in the hospital, he refused and sent them all away saying: "I am not going to withdraw from here, but I will use this poultice of the Saint's wax." And doing so, he was restored to health and went away glorifying God who had cured him through the holy Martyr.

Miracle 4: The recovery of the African's son

A certain other man, an African by birth who resided in Africa itself, had an only child who was a male and suffered terribly in his testicles. And although the man had spent much money on doctors, he had not helped his son in the least. Since he was in extreme distress over this, in conversation some people suggested to him, as they themselves had experience of the Martyr's efficacy, that, if it were possible for him to travel to the holy Martyr Artemios in Constantinople, he would be cured immediately. Upon hearing this, he inquired diligently about the location and wrote on papyrus taking notes just as they dictated to him saying: "To Saint John the Forerunner in the Oxeia, near the colonnades of Domninos." So setting sail from Africa, he headed for the divinely favored city, leaving behind his ailing son in Africa. Arriving at the Church of the Forerunner, he made in the name of his son a votive lamp according to the prevailing custom with wine and oil. And this he did for as long as he stayed in the city. When he was on the point of sailing back, he put the burnt residue from the lamp into a glass vessel and brought it back to Africa. Then hastening to anoint his son with the blessing, he saw that he was healthy. Then after making inquiries of the servants as to when they realized that he was restored to health, from what was reported by them, he discovered that both the day and hour at which he had made the votive lamp coincided with the supervision of his son's cure by the holy Martyr and he blessed the Lord, rejoicing in the convalescence of his son.

Miracle 5: The healing of Euporos the Chian merchant

A certain man by the name of Euporos, a Chian by birth, a merchant, had a hernia for very many years and suffered exceedingly. Once when he was staying in the divinely favored city and devoting himself to business, he heard about the holy Martyr and coming there he waited upon him about three months. As the time came for him to sail away from there, because the sailors were in a hurry, he departed without success in the ship in which he came, although he was very unsettled in spirit. But since, by Divine Providence, a head wind was blowing, the aforementioned ship lay at anchor at the Hebdomon at the place called Magnaura. This man, dismayed over his failure to be healed, saw the Saint that night in a dream speaking to him thus: "What is the trouble? Why are you pained and grieved and in distress?" Breaking into tears and groaning from the depths of his heart, he replied: "I am diseased in my testicles and I waited in the Church of Saint John the Forerunner in the Oxeia near Saint Artemios, but my sins prevented me from being healed." And the holy Martyr said to him: "Lift up your garments. Let me see you." And after he pulled up his tunic, Artemios touched his testicles. Awakened from sleep and interpreting the dream to himself and deeming it all to be a fantasy, he berated himself, saying that the thing was a vision and not real. Then, touching himself, he found that he was healed. So immediately he took some necessities for making a meal and an offering and disembarked in order to make the trip to the Saint. But the sailors, unaware of the mystery of the miracle and the reason he was seeking to disembark, tried to prevent him from starting stating: "Where are you off to? If the wind starts blowing, we will sail off and you are going to be left ashore." But he said to them: "Set sail with my blessing but do not get in my way." And so he forsook them and went to the Church of Saint John where the Saint lies in repose and gave thanks to God. And making his way back again to the Hebdomon, he found the ship still laying at anchor. After sailing home on it, he proclaimed God's greatness to all those there.