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April 5, 2020

No Such Thing as an Ordinary Divine Liturgy When Saint Savvas of Kalymnos Celebrated

During the Divine Liturgy, Saint Savvas of Kalymnos (1862-1948) was completely fixated on the mystery being performed and oftentimes he concelebrated with saints and would converse with the Three Hierarchs and other saints. Many times it was observed by the nuns present or by other priests concelebrating with him that the Divine Eucharist would rise up to the rim, without the contents ever spilling out. At other times the faithful who were in attendance would hear a young child crying out as if it was being slaughtered in the altar area as the Saint prepared the Holy Gifts and was cutting the Lamb during the Proskomide.

One day Niki Koutelaina, who later became Nun Salome, beheld the Saint in the altar lifted high up off the ground during the Proskomide while he was encircled by angels. She also noticed the contents in the Holy Chalice rising up to the rim without spilling over. Though she was frightened by this, she said nothing. Later she revealed to Saint Savvas what she saw, but he told her: "O, my child, by God, do not say this to anyone!"

The ascetic monk Nikephoros Lappas (1903-1992), before he was a disciple of Saint Amphilochios Makris in Patmos, was a disciple of Saint Savvas in Kalymnos. When Saint Savvas celebrated the Divine Liturgy, Monk Nikephoros was his helper. One Sunday, as Saint Savvas was commemorating names, he saw an infant being slaughtered, and then it was transformed into the Holy Gifts, as blood ran down from the Holy Altar. He was so shocked by this that he ran outside the Holy Sanctuary and began to sob without ceasing. After the Divine Liturgy, still traumatized, Monk Nikephoros approached Saint Savvas and calmly confessed to him what he saw. Saint Savvas then lifted his finger to his mouth and said: "Silence, silence! Speak of this to no one before I die."