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Friday, November 8, 2019

A Relic in Mount Athos Connected to an Ancient Greek Treasure and a Miracle of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel


On November 8th the Orthodox Church commemorates the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Commemorated on the next day are the builders of Docheiariou Monastery on Mount Athos, Saints Euthymios and Neophytos, whose monastery is dedicated to the Holy Archangels, as well as a great miracle of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel which occurred early in the history of the monastery.

In summary, the miracle took place as follows:

At a dependency of Docheiariou Monastery in Longos of Chalkidiki, there was an ancient pillar with the following inscription: "Whoever will strike my head will find much gold!" Many would try to cast stones at the head, but no gold was ever found. One day a 20 years old laborer named Basil visited the column, who cleverly understood the riddle and followed the shadow of the pillar, where he began to dig at the spot where the shadow of the head of the pillar was located. He suddenly came upon a marble slab, under which was a copper vessel full of gold coins. He notified the monastery, and at the instructions of Saint Neophytos, who was the abbot, three monks were dispatched by boat to go and retrieve the treasure, which included the gold, its vessel, and the marble slab which concealed it.

The three monks, upon beholding the treasure, became enticed by it and plotted to keep it for themselves. They therefore took the young man and tied him around the neck with a rope attached to the marble slab, and they cast him into the depths of the sea. As he was sinking to the bottom of the sea, the young man Basil invoked the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel for help, who immediately appeared as eagles with golden wings and rescued him from drowning. Basil then suddenly found himself in the church of Docheiariou Monastery, terror-stricken, drenched, and with the rope tied around his neck attached to the marble slab. In the meantime, the three wayward monks divided the treasure among themselves. They hid their portions outside the monastery and then stayed by the dock till morning.

Early in the morning the caretaker of the church went to light the candles and prepare for Matins, when he suddenly beheld what he thought to be a ghost. Frightened, at first he went to flee the church, but took courage and approached the spectacle to investigate. Being still dark outside, he was not able to discern what he was seeing, so he went and called for the abbot, Saint Neophytos, crying aloud: ""My elder, there is a phantom in the church, and I cannot go inside!" The abbot told him not to fear, and they went to the church together. Meanwhile the other brothers had entered the church and beheld the astonishing spectacle. It was young Basil asleep on the marble slab with a rope tied around his neck. The abbot woke him up, and had him explain everything that happened. Upon hearing of the ill-intentions and crimes of the three monks, Saint Neophytos told Basil to wait until the monks came up to the church from the dock to see the spectacle for themselves.

When the three monks came to the church, the abbot asked them how things went. They explained that the young lad had fooled them about the treasure, for when they got there nothing was found, so they threatened the lad and he fled. The abbot then told them to proceed into the church that they may thank God. Entering the church and seeing Basil with the rope around his neck bound to the marble slab, they stood speechless. Saint Neophytos then threatened them, told them to bring up the treasure, and he expelled the three monks from the monastery. Basil in turn decided to become a monk and he was tonsured with the name Barnabas.

Till this day a portion of the marble slab is preserved in Docheiariou Monastery, as a testimony of the great miracle of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. See photo above.

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