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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Miracles of the 179 Venerable Martyrs of Ntaou Penteli Monastery


Brief History

The Monastery of the Pantokratoros Ntaou Penteli was founded in the 9th century as a men's cenobium. During the first period of its life and activity, the Byzantine period, it was the second largest monastery of the Balkans after Daphne Monastery, with a brotherhood that exceeded over 600 monks.

From 1570 onward, the fathers of the monastery became great spiritual figures of their time. The last of them, 179 in number, were slaughtered by the Turks after a Paschal Divine Liturgy in 1680. The commemoration of the 179 Venerable Martyrs slaughtered by the godless Hagarenes in 1680 is made on the Tuesday of Renewal Week. For centuries the graves of the 179 Venerable Martyrs remained unknown until September of 1965, during renovations of the floor of the main church, when entire remains of monks were found buried.

Then, in other parts of the floor where work was being done, other graves with relics were found inside them which smelled of an inexpressible fragrance. The effort to find other bodies of the Holy Fathers continued, and they were placed in a designated space of the main church. There followed the inclusion of the 179 Venerable Martyrs of Pantokratoros Monastery into the official list of saints of the Church by synodal decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 14 August 1992.


Miracles

1. Stephania A. from Evia suffered a severe stroke and heart attack and was treated as if clinically dead at the General Hospital of Athens Hippocrates. For 16 days she was breathing through artificial respiration. After a Divine Liturgy was done in her name in the church of the monastery, along with the fervent prayers of her mother and being anointed with oil from the oil lamp of the Saints, the almost lifeless Stephania received her strength back and was completely healed.

2. Yiasemi Z., 35 years old from Korydallos, became seriously ill in August of 1997 with a malignant tumor in her brain, which was also on her nerves and caused a loss of her senses. Before leaving for England, where she would undergo surgery, she visited the monastery with her relatives, venerated the holy relics of the Fathers, and was anointed with oil from their lamp. In England the doctors were surprised, because the next day after her five-hour operation the patient woke up and began to talk, which she could not do. After three days the doctors confessed that miraculously the liquid was absorbed, for which a second operation would have been needed, and in 18 days the patient was completely healed and returned to Greece.

3. Mr. John P., a resident of Rafina, also benefited from his spiritual communication with the monastery, and out of gratitude wanted to cultivate the olive grove of the monastery. In May 1996, as he was plowing with a tractor on an uneven section of the property, he suddenly saw a monk in front of him, who called out to him to leave the machine immediately. Frightened and surprised by the unexpected appearance of the monk and the strange order, he left the machine in fear, and within a few seconds after he saw it being overturned and completely destroyed. He immediately sensed it was one of the slaughtered Holy Fathers of the monastery, who appeared to him and saved him from certain death. Since then, his reverence and gratitude to the Holy Martyrs has been infinite.

4. Mrs. Mary K., from Chalandri, was the sponsor of little Basil P., 11 years old, who was suffering from diffused cancer of the bowels, and confessed that little Basil was completely healed, and this was confirmed by doctors. Before his third surgery and after eight months of hospitalization in the Children's Hospital (October 1998 - April 1999), he had been anointed with oil from the lamp of the Saints.

5. Mrs. Niki from Sepolia in Athens, a regular visitor and worshiper at the monastery, very much revered the Venerable Fathers of the monastery, and she narrates the following:

"I saw in my sleep a certain monk who asked me to strengthen his children, who were having a hard time in the cold of winter. I didn't pay much attention to the dream. The only thing I thought was that the monk I saw in my dream was a certain Athonite. The next night I had the same dream, but again I gave it no attention. After a week, my husband suddenly fell ill with a serious heart attack and was admitted to Evangelismos Hospital. The doctors, after examining him, gave an opinion that he had to have an operation, and in fact he had a 20% chance of living. I was in the hospital all alone and full of anxiety, but my mind ran to the Holy Monastery of Pantokratoros and her Holy Venerable Martyrs. But, being very tired, I sat down to sit and fell asleep for a short while. It was then that I saw the monk a third time saying to me: 'Why are you asking our help? When I asked for your help for our children, you gave us no attention.' I woke up scared and then I realized what the vision I had seen meant. Without further ado, I ran to your monastery. I asked the Sisters what needs they had now in the winter and found out that they had necessities in dealing with the winter cold. I told them about the dream I had three times and how I believed that the monk that appeared to me was one of the Holy Fathers of the monastery, and I immediately offered my help as asked for by the Holy Monk, without them expecting anything. After venerating the sacred relics of the Saints, I returned to the hospital and found my husband in another condition related to his health. The doctors, surprised, found that their first diagnosis, that my husband had to be operated on urgently, was wrong, despite the fact that the first tests performed on him required him to have an immediate operation, because otherwise he would have died! Now they realized that everything was normal, without being able to explain the situation. When they informed me of this, I explained to them where I went, as they were preparing for the operation. Then they asked me out of curiosity to come with me to the monastery. Indeed, we went and with great reverence they venerated the holy relics of the Fathers. I, now, together with my husband, attend church here at the monastery every Sunday and glorify God for His saving intervention through the intercessions of the Holy Fathers of your sacred monastery and we thank the Fathers for their mediation."

6. On Friday 13 February 2015, the nuns of the monastery experienced the healing of a quadriplegic young man from Russia. According to the same but also with testimonies of other believers, the child walked for the first time in his life! Everyone who was in the monastery spoke of a miracle.

Regardless of whether one believes in miracles, here is a specific incident that one can evaluate: A family from Moscow decided to make a four-day pilgrimage to Greece in order to pray for their son Dimitry, who was born with quadriplegia. The doctors could not do anything, because the problem was not orthopedic, the brain did not give instructions. However, he went to school, succeeded in Law school and was one of the best at Moscow University.

The first destination of the family was the Monastery of Pantokratoros Ntaou Penteli.

"The sister spoke with them a bit in the church and then we all went to the catacomb to venerate the holy relics. They found it difficult to lift the wheel chair, but in the end they succeeded. After the catacomb, the guide asked if the abbess could cross the disabled child with the holy relics. The sister guided us to a little house. Soon after Abbess Styliani came with the holy relics. With much love she crossed Dimitry," said the nun Nikodimi from the monastery, who was present at the time. She adds: "When she finished, she called for the guide next to her and told him to translate whatever she says. Then the abbess turned to Dimitry and said to him: 'Dimitry, you came from Moscow to Athens to venerate. Well, you did the pilgrimage and it's over. Those that you venerated, Dimitry, are saints, great saints, who have great boldness before the Lord. But you did it. Now the only thing left that you need is to have faith. Have faith, Dimitry!' And from that moment, caressingly, the abbess 'hit' him on the head, where the problem was. 'If you have faith, Dimitry, it is up to you to get up!"

After a few minutes the abbess left, the others went on to the exhibition, and Dimitry stayed in the little house.

"At one point I saw the disabled Dimitry standing up and running. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest! He ran to the yard, shouting something in Russian and shaking his hands. After a while, panting, he stopped. His father gave him a chair to sit on," says the nun Nikodimi.

"Meanwhile, the sisters had notified the abbess, who came down and took Dimitry, his parents and the guide to the monastery, to worship at the Chapel of Saint Stylianos. They went up there walking! Leaving the monastery, Dimitry said that as soon as he completed his studies in Law, he would come to the monastery on foot from Moscow," concludes the nun Nikodimi.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.



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