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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Miracles of Saint Theosebios of Arsinoe

 

 
By St. Neophytos the Recluse

The deaf man and another who was blind

Some time later, two people were walking along the road, one of whom was deaf and was holding the hand of the other, who was blind. The blind man heard wonderful hymn-singing and joyful, melodic voices and said to the deaf man: "If only you could hear the melodic hymns that I can, brother. And I wish I could see the form of the wonderful singers." The latter said he could just about hear, very faintly, some of the singing. They left the road and made their way to the place where the sound was coming from. As they were walking along, the ears of the deaf man opened completely and he could hear clearly the sublime and wonderful melody. When they got to the Church of Saint Theosebios, they didn’t see any singer, because it was angels who were praising God and, with this miracle, they made manifest the Saint. This is how the deaf man could hear plainly and the blind man was able to see again clearly. Astonished at this strange miracle, they worshiped and praised God and reverenced His servant Saint Theosebios.

The lime

There was a monk who had come from Byzantium and, after he had built two cells, lived close to the church of the Saint. The latter appeared to the monk one night in a vision and told him: "Dig in that place and you will find lime. Use it as it should be." The monk thought it was his imagination and a lie, but out of curiosity he gave it a try. He dug down and found a lot of lime, which he used properly, as he had been told to.

The crows

One time, when the same monk was busy elsewhere, a couple of crows came and ate all his pulses and everything else he had to eat. When the monk returned and saw the damage to his foodstuffs, he began, in his simplicity, to chide the Saint, saying: "Since I’m being attacked by crows and you’re not protecting me, which other person are you, in fact, protecting and what am I doing staying here for you?" When he had finished he went off to do something else, and the crows came back, as usual, to eat. But they immediately went blind and were unable to leave. When the Elder returned and saw the wretched condition of the birds, flapping about aimlessly and unable to see or fly, he was sick at heart. He picked them up and took them to the Saint and said: "Thank you, Saint of God, for your swift intervention. I fall down before you again and beg you to hear your servant. If you are so moved, forgive the birds and give them back their sight, so that they can fly, as before. It is easier and more normal for you to heal rather than punish." After he had said this, he took some oil from the Saint’s lamp and rubbed it on the eyes of the birds, which were then able to see as before. In confirmation of the miracle, they stayed with him till the end of their lives. They went to find their food elsewhere, but then came back again, to the glory of God and His servant.

The key and the man whose eye hurt

When this Elder fell asleep in the Lord, the place remained empty, except for the crows, which continued to live there. One day, a man with a sore right eye came from Paphos. He found the church locked, so he couldn’t go in, to reverence the Saint and ask him to heal the pain in his eye. He was saddened and began to fret. Then the crows came and found a way to indicate where the key was hidden. When he had it, he opened the church, went in, paid his respects and begged the Saint to heal his eye. When the cure had been effected, he left, glorifying God and the swift and abundant grace of Saint Theosebios which allowed him to cure pain in the eyes and other bodily afflictions of those who came to him daily.

 
The blind monk

There was a blind monk in Cyprus who, when he heard that the Saint had the grace of healing those with impaired vision, came to him and begged him for a cure. He promised: "If you have mercy on me, Saint of God, and give me my sight, I will stay here and serve your holy church till the end of my days." Having promised this and entreated the Saint with a heart full of pain, he was cured by a visitation of the Saint and saw very clearly. He remained with the Saint for a certain length of time, but, because of demonic action, he fell into the sin of sloth. He forgot his promises, left the place and the Saint and went to Mavrovounia where he lived at the Church of the Holy and Glorious Great Martyr George. Saint Theosebios appeared to the monk in a vision and said to him: "Why did you come here rather than honour the promises you made to me? Didn’t I heal your eyes? Didn’t I give you your sight with the grace that resides in me? Now look what you’ve done to yourself." On hearing this, he awoke and found that he was as blind as he had been previously. Using another person as a guide, he went back to the Saint and to his promises, repenting and confessing his disregard and blaming himself for his sin. He entreated the Saint and, a few day later, again was given back his sight. This time he remained there to the end of his days, as he had promised earlier.

The thieves

These and many other miracles were performed by the saint, some of them a long time ago and others more recently. In our own time, there was a certain monk called Loukas, who came with great faith and looked after the Saint’s church. Then Satan incited two herdsmen from the Akama region who came and stole everything they found belonging to the monk and the Saint and returned to their own place.

Three weeks later, thanks to the grace which resided in Saint Theosebios, they came back, with eyes as white as snow. They fell down before the Saint and asked for forgiveness and mercy, though they didn’t confess to the theft, which was the cause of the blindness and eye pain they were suffering. There they remained making foolish prayers in vain. Since they weren’t cured, and because the pain was increasing and becoming sharper, one of them said to the other: "Brother, you can tell that the condition of our eyes is becoming worse. It’s obvious that there’s no mercy for us and no hope of a cure unless we confess our sin and return what we stole." Instead of accepting this good advice, however, the latter accused him of being naïve and impatient, telling him: "Whatever we do, let’s not confess or even say that we’re thieves, at all." No sooner had he said that he suddenly "saw" someone with a sharp instrument stabbing him in the eyes, making his torture that much worse. He began to shout very loudly and said: "It was us, Saint of God, who stole those things and we will bring them back. Just have mercy on us and free us from this torture." So, after they had wept, confessed and promised to return the stolen goods, one of them, the one who had given the good advice, was cured completely, the other less so. This was so that, by not seeing well and being restrained and punished (‘with bridle and bit’ as the Psalm says), he had give up his wicked ways.

Conclusion

When holy Theosebios had departed this life, which resembles a shadow, he passed into the life without sorrows in a wonderful way and with great reverence for God. He now rejoices in an incomparable manner, illumined and comforted by the Sun of Righteousness. He left his irrational flock and was freed of bodily labors. He gladly joined in the divine flock of Christ and the enjoyment of the good things. As a most pure lamb of the good Shepherd, he abandoned "the left" and inherited "the right" (in accordance with the Parable of the Judgement), since, as holy and God-fearing, he was given a place on the right of God and deemed worthy to hear His voice, inviting him to join those sharing in the "kingdom of heaven", in the eternal, indescribable bridal-chambers, the eternal tabernacles, the delights of paradise, in glory, delectation and life everlasting.

May we all - writers, readers, listeners and all who keep his memory - hear this voice, Christ our King, and may we enter into and enjoy the good things of which we have been told, through the prayers and intercessions of Saint Theosebios and those who are participating with him. May we all rejoice with Your Father and Holy Spirit, glorifying Your holy name, now and unto the everlasting ages. Amen.
 
 
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