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January 3, 2020

Miracles of Saint Thomais the Wonderworker of Lesvos (9 - 14)

Miracle 9:

But now let our account pass on to another still more divine miracle; let it demonstrate the wonders of God and magnify His glory as is fitting. There was a man who was afflicted with epilepsy. His foot along with his hand was useless, and there was no natural cure for the malady. But the report of the saint's miracles, which spread very quickly in every direction, soon reached the ears of the above-mentioned man and drew him, without a moment’s hesitation, to the saint’s dwelling place. Once he had been cured, he returned to his home healthy, without sickness, free from the above-mentioned illness, exalting God and acknowledging the glorious grace of the saint.

Miracle 10:

Another man, who was a fisherman, had cast his fishing nets as was his wont, but lost them when they were scattered by a huge wave and violent storm. The man’s loss was twofold, since he not only missed out on the haul of fish but also completely lost the tools of his trade, as one says. What then could he do? He begged help from the blessed Thomais, mixing his supplications with tears and wailing. Nor did he fail to obtain his request. For the blessed one appeared to the fisherman and revealed where the nets were lying full of many enormous fish. The place was called Hebdomon by the locals. When he went to the place, he found the nets filled with a very plentiful catch as had been predicted by the blessed Thomais. And he returned home with much pleasure and good cheer. But let my account continue with subsequent miracles.

Miracle 11:

There was a monastery established in this great city [i.e., Constantinople], in which was honored and especially glorified the name of the all-blameless Maiden and Mother of God (it was called Ta Mikra Romaiou by those who praised it). It was located very near the church of the wonderworking Mokios. The remains of the saint were entombed there, and the earthly mother [i.e., Kale] of the blessed and wondrous Thomais had been appointed the mother superior. It happened that on one occasion the nuns there lost a book. When it could not be found, the nuns were quite despondent, and were terribly distressed and upset. The most compassionate and merciful Thomais, however, did not allow these women to remain long in despondency, but appearing one night she said to them: “Know, sisters, that I am truly alive, even if I have died as far as you are concerned. The book is lying on my tomb where it is being kept safely by me.” Straightway they went to the holy tomb and found the book lying safely just as the saint had described. They were all filled with delight and astonishment, and were moved to thanksgiving and praise of God, Who at all times works wondrous miracles through His saints. One of them is the miracle I will recount now, adding it to the earlier miracles.

Miracle 12:

A woman who made her home very near the so-called Forum of the Ox was worn down by a severe affliction; she had abdominal distress and was assailed by very sharp pains. Despairing of all other hope, she went to the revered coffin of the saint, and with the most fervent faith pleaded for her assistance. After the woman persevered both night and day and shed many tears, she received a cure very quickly and was completely released from the illness that oppressed her. But having received such a favor, the woman was seen to be neither ungrateful for this good deed, nor cold-hearted and thoughtless, so to speak, in her conduct. Rather she repaid the favor with a small token of appreciation, appropriate to her means, to the holy woman who had granted her a very great and much desired favor. With much love she had an arch erected over the tomb of the saint, adorning it with pictures of holy images. And it survives until the present day as a great memorial of this saint. And who could pass by this there which is most wondrous and pleasing? Therefore we should not then pass over without telling its story.

Miracle 13:

There was a man who from childhood had chosen the monastic and celibate way of life and exerted himself completely in godly work. His name was Symeon and his homeland was the most famous of cities [i.e., Constantinople]. He possessed a highly valuable and skillfully made prayer stool (for it was made of precious materials), which he lost in this way. It came about that a friend of his asked to borrow this . On account of his simple and friendly character, he did not suspect anything unusual and readily gave his friend what he had asked to borrow this prayer stool. But the friend, having acquired it and taken it home, wanted to conceal it with the help of the devil. Thus the aforesaid God-loving man later forgot what he had given and to whom he had given it, and was not a little despondent and upset. The saint then appeared in a dream to the aforesaid man and spoke as follows: “Do you know to whom you gave the prayer stool which you used to have? But, if you have forgotten, be reminded of it now!.” And she simultaneously revealed the identity of the man who had taken it and jogged his memory, speaking these very words: “Your friend John has the object you are seeking.” And after being reminded and seeking out the prayer stool, he quickly regained his property and promised great gifts to the saint because of her concern for him.

Miracle 14:

I should also mention the sufferings of her [Thomais] husband, and not be silent about them nor pass over them, but should in the present account make plain and describe to the best of my ability the kind of compensation he had to pay for his most wicked and base life. For he encountered a demon of terrible might and was forcefully driven by it this way and that. And so, wailing inconsolably, he came to the tomb of the saint. And although the demon attacked him terribly there and was unwilling to be driven out of that place, by prayer to this saint he attained salvation from the demon.

Just as it is impossible to reckon the amount of sand of the sea or the tracks of a ship passing through the sea, so it is impossible to set down a detailed narration of the miracles of the saint. But just as one gets a notion of the lion from its claws, and of the whole garment from its edges, so one might understand the whole from a partial narration of her miracles. For over a period of twelve years she has not stopped performing cures for those who approach her with faith night and day. In fact, up to this day she does not cease to supply cures in abundance to those who call on her fervently for aid.

But, O partner of the blessed ones, equal of the righteous, associate of the angels, do not cease by your fervent supplications to entreat earnestly the all-merciful Lord, Who loves mankind, to protect the scion of the purple, the most flourishing Romanos, the most Christ-loving ruler among the lovers of Christ, who glistens with all forms of goodness. Grant to him the power of putting to flight all the leaders of foreign nations and all their semi-barbarous seed. And may you award to him the victory prize, as to a most precise discerner and guardian of righteousness, as to a guide-rule of truth, and as to one who provides and awards all good things to all. And do not cease to honor him, you who award all things that lead toward salvation. Stand by his side assiduously and be his helpmate and a vigilant guardian through your supplications. Come, shelter and watch over everyone who approaches you, giving to them an acceptable and pleasant year, because on this the first and most beautiful of days you received the end of your life, and journeyed toward the Lord. This day is the first of the calends, on which Basil, great among the high priests, journeyed to the Lord. Together with him [Basil] may you always intercede for and stand beside our leader, the most powerful and pious emperor. Remember also me, your miserable servant, who has grown a little weary in singing your praise and in the recital of your miracles, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory together with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and unto everlasting generations, Amen.