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October 20, 2017

Two Miracles of Saint Matrona of Chios to Muslims

Saint Matrona of Chios reposed in peace in 1462. She is known as a Wonderworker because she not only worked miracles in her lifetime, but also continues to work miracles for the faithful after her death by the power of God. Often people who were sick would spend the night in her church, and when morning came they would be cured, usually after seeing the Saint in a dream. During the Ottoman occupation, these miracles not only took place for the Christians, but also for Muslims who came to believe that the Saint was indeed a vessel of grace. Two such miracles are recorded in the New Martyrology of Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite.

1. In the great city of Magnesia in Asia Minor there lived a very wealthy Turk who was paralyzed throughout the left part of his body. Despite the doctors' efforts and the money he spent, he did not benefit. But he had a Christian slave, Maria, who told him: "My master, in Chios is a great saint of the Christians, who heals every disease without herbs and patches. Let's go that he may treat you."

The Turk took Maria and other escorts and crossed over to Chios. They went to the church and the girl said: "Rest a little and the healing woman will come to heal you no matter what" (as St. Nikodemus also points out, this girl showed great faith and courage, because it may have happened that her master would not be cured and she would have to suffer the consequences). Indeed the Saint appeared in a dream to the Turk and said to him: "On behalf of the tears, prayers and faith of my fellow-named Maria, your servant, I heal you [the name of Saint Matrona before becoming a nun was Maria]. Get up and walk in the name of my Lord and go healthy to your house." And truly the master woke up completely healthy! He dedicated many gifts to the church and freed Maria, who remained in the monastery and cared for the church for the rest of her blessed life.

This miracle caused a stir in Magnesia, the homeland of the healed Turk, and since then many Magnesian Christians came to Chios every year to celebrate the memory of the Saint on October 20th (I write "came" because the Christians of Magnesia were uprooted in 1922 and came to Greece as refugees at that time).

2. In 1745, a Turkish man, completely blind, came to the church of the Saint and begged the priest to ask the Saint to give him his sight. The priest prayed and the Turk went to his house (he was a resident of Chios). At night he saw in his sleep a nun, who told him to go back to the priest and ask him for water from the "bath that is in the chest of drawers" to be washed.

So it happened. The priest was initially embarrassed because there was no bath there. Then he thought of the holy water that he kept in the chest of drawers with the holy skull of the Saint. He gave this to the blind man, and he washed his eyes and immediately regained his sight.