April 24, 2020

The Story of How Saint George Led a Turkish Woman to be Baptized an Orthodox Christian

Recently a 26 year old Turkish woman named Gamze and her 34 year old Greek friend Stylianos visited Elder Nektarios Moulatsiotis, the founder and abbot of the Monastery of Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint Seraphim of Sarov in Phokida, Greece. Gamze and her family were from Ankara, Turkey but moved to Berlin, Germany ten years ago. She grew up with no religion, though her family does have an Alevite background. Stylianos is from Kavala, Greece and due to financial hardships moved to Berlin, Germany about seven years ago. There he works as a public servant, and daily would visit the bakery across the street where Gamze worked. Over some time, a friendship formed between the two.

One day they both sat down to talk at the bakery, and Gamze asked Stylianos what he was going to do that weekend. He told her that he was going to church on Sunday. She asked where this church was and if he went often and why he went. He replied that he went because he had "an appointment with the Lord." This response resulted in her wanting to know which Lord he was talking about. He explained that as an Orthodox Christian we believe that the Lord truly visits during church services and is in the Mysteries of the Church. When she asked how this was done, he told her that it was done by a miracle.

Now even though Stylianos would go to church and had a Christian consciousness, he wasn't particularly devout and did not live in accordance with his Christian faith, but he did enjoy exploring his faith and would even sometimes watch Orthodox videos online, including those of Elder Nektarios Moulatsiotis. But he struggled with the sins of the flesh and was somewhat of a ladies man, who even had the original intention of trying to pick up Gamze.

Gamze continued to inquire more into the faith of Stylianos, and wanted to know more about Jesus, whom she had heard of, but knew nothing about. When he explained basically who Jesus was, that he was the Son of God who became a man in order to save us from sin and death, she was very moved and deeply impressed. When she asked to know more, he showed her a video about Saint John the Russian, whom he knew as a popular Greek Saint who has worked many miracles.

That night Gamze went home and when she lay down on her bed to go to sleep she prayed to God. She asked God to forgive her for not knowing more about him and about Jesus who became a man for our salvation, and even about Saint John the Russian. She also confessed that she believes in miracles and if it was his will then she asked God to help her to believe also. Saying this, she fell asleep, and in her dream she recalled seeing the face of Saint John the Russian with a pleasant and gentle smile, whom she had recognized from the video she saw earlier.

After this dream she began to have several more dreams over consecutive nights, but this time it was Saint George the Trophy Bearer and Great Martyr who began to appear to her. He had the appearance of a Roman soldier with a sword and he had a white horse. Saint George then began to talk to her, and explained who he was and how many Turks believe in him and how he helps many Turks that have need. He also said that God makes no discrimination among human beings and that he prays for people, among which was her friend Stylianos, who had lost his way.

When she finally told Stylianos about these dreams over a phone conversation, he at first thought there was probably some natural explanation, but he also warned her that there are also demonic spirits that can try and deceive people through dreams, so she better make sure that demons were not appearing to her. From that time forth when Saint George would appear to Gamze, he would do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Saint George also began revealing to her things about Stylianos from his past that she could not have known. When he heard this, he began to believe that Gamze's dreams were real. Saint George would further instruct for Stylianos to pray more, to stop doing this and that, and to do this and that. By this she was helping Stylianos to come closer to God and to the Church. However, even though Stylianos believed her, it didn't truly penetrate deep enough to make a real change in him. Because of this, Saint George revealed to Gamze that one day soon when they are together he will put something in his hands that was from him and belonged to him and he was to keep this with him always.

A week later, on 25 October 2019, she had some school work to do and she needed a place to do it, so he invited her to his place to do her work. At around midnight they grew tired, and she fell asleep on the couch while he went to bed to sleep. Not long after he woke up and found all the lights on and Gamze awake. She told him that she fell asleep and saw Saint George in a dream and he told her to tell Stylianos to go in a specific closet and there they would find what he had previously told her about. In this closet, which was locked, Stylianos would sometimes throw some of his garbage inside and would only open it every three months or so. Because of the mess, he was embarrassed to open the door, but he found the key anyway and opened it. When he opened it nervously, a certain beautiful fragrance emerged with the cold air instead of a garbage smell, and it was dark inside. Though it was dark for him, Gamze could see something illuminated on the floor. When she told him about the light, he couldn't see it. She reached out to pick up what was giving off the illumination, and found that it was a small wooden cross.

Though Stylianos was still embarrassed over Gamze seeing his garbage, she turned to him and said that they needed to sit down and talk. She explained to him how she could hear Saint George talking to her just like he was talking to her, but she was unable to see him. Saint George then began to explain the following through her to Stylianos. He said that he knew Stylianos didn't know what was going on and what he believed about everything that was happening, however, the cross they had just found was a cross that once belonged to him centuries ago while he was still alive on earth. It was a constant consolation to him during his tortures and martyrdom. Before his execution, he prayed to God if he could take this cross with him to Paradise. God granted this prayer, and through the centuries this cross remained with Saint George in Paradise. He then went on to explain how he recently again prayed to the Lord to allow him to return this cross to the earth once again to allow others to benefit by it and help turn people towards to the Lord, and to show the people that wondrous things still happen. With this explanation, he also said to not ask why he was giving this cross specifically to Stylianos, but to only understand that he was to turn away from his sins and repent, and to become the keeper of the cross for a short while and serve in this capacity, visiting people anywhere he asks him to visit that have need of the cross.

Saint George went on to explain that they were both to soon visit a church on an island he loves very much, and to not worry about how they will get there or the money they needed for the trip. They were to bring the cross with them, which he is never to separate from. The island they were told to go to was Trizonia, a small island in the Corinthian Gulf, where there was a church dedicated to his name. This church would be right on the beach surrounded by some trees.

After this, Stylianos began doing some research online looking for this church, and he would show Gamze the pictures, but none of them were the right one. Not long after, he was watching a video of Elder Nektarios Moulatsiotis that he shot on the island of Trizonia, and on the video he saw the church exactly as it was described. After finding photos online he showed her the photos and Saint George confirmed through her that was indeed the church, and how he loved it very much, and they were to visit it, and after they were to visit the priest in the video, Father Nektarios. They therefore wrote to the parish priest of this church, Father Gregory, who was a spiritual child of Elder Nektarios, and he arranged everything for them to come and visit.

Having visited the church, Gamze was baptized an Orthodox Christian and took the name Sophia. Till this day the cross is still fragrant. A few days later they visited Elder Nektarios, who shot the video interview below of their testimony.