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Friday, December 24, 2021

The Christmas Eve Miracle of Elder Eumenios Lampakis


By Dr. Haralambos M. Bousias,  
Great Hymnographer of the Church of Alexanria

In the Cretan village of Myriokephalos there is a Monastery that has the miraculous icon of Panagia Myriokephalitissa. This icon is said to be one of the seventy that the Apostle Luke had made. The Monastery was a Metochion of the Monastery of the Prophet Elias and every month a hieromonk went there from the sovereign Monastery, to serve not only the monastics there, but also the whole village.

One year, as Christmas was approaching, it was the turn of Father Eumenios to go to the Metochion and with holy remembrance he once recounted to Father Spyridon:

"That year, my child, we had a very heavy winter and a lot of snow at the Monastery. The cold was bitter then, not as it is now. They were the wild winters of those years. So, I prepared myself to go on the day before Christmas eve to the Metochion of the Panagia to liturgize. We would do the vespers early with the fathers and then I would take the mare of the Monastery and I would arrive the next day in the village. It was a long road, wild and rough. You passed through canyons and pitfalls. From very early there was a wild dry-rain. It began to blow a lot, to drizzle and to be very cold. So I went early and fed the mare straw. The abbot, Father Basil, viewed me as a Holy Elder and told me:

'Eumenios, where are you going?'

'I will go, Elder, with your blessing to liturgize at the Panagia.'

'What are you saying, Eumenios, are you not afraid of God? Don't you see what's happening here, the world is in a storm with the cold, the air, the rain, the snow, where do you expect to go?'

In those years, my child, we didn't have umbrellas, rain jackets and it was difficult to get around, but I said to him:

'Elder, with your blessing I will go.'

'Where will you go? In one hour it will darken and you will not see!'

'Elder, with your blessing,' I said to him, 'I will take the lamp of the Monastery and I will go.'

And the abbot saw me take the lamp, which had four wicks, to illuminate more, and after I put some oil from the lamp of the Prophet Elias I filled it with oil from the bottle. I did three deep prostrations before the icon of the Prophet Elias and lit the lamp from its lamp.

So, I went out, my child, and the wind was so strong that it was ready to take the mare and me. The lamp, however, my child, did not go out. Is it possible, my child? And yet it is possible, the lamp did not go out and it was lit all night long. When I reached a point called 'bad passage', I had to go through a stream that in the summer becomes a dry river, but in the winter there was a lot of water coming down, when it rained, and there is no other way to pass. Arriving, then, near the stream, I see the mare and she positioned her two front legs at a stop and did not want to go forward or back. Something had scared the mare and she was not moving. So I lift my lamp up and what do I see, the river had risen, taking down tree branches and stones. While I knew it was a stream, the waters passed over a wooden bridge, on which only pedestrians passed. We had to therefore pass through the river, because the bridge could not bear the weight of the horse, but the animal was afraid of what it saw. She knew she was in danger. So I dismounted and caressed the animal, and said to her:

'Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, the Panagia will not abandon us. We will pass through.'

And I see the animal lifting its ears high and I fall, my child, down to the ground, while it was raining and it was snowing and I say:

'My Panagia, help me, I am in your hands, so that you do not remain without a liturgy. Help me to pass through and get across with the animal.'

And I blessed, my child, the river with the sign of the cross and it happened! The sea stopped running and the river opened like the Red Sea. We passed across and I could feel the mare's hooves hitting dry stones. And when we reached the other end of the river I heard a big noise and a big wave and turned and the river went back and followed its course."

This miraculous event had been confided by Father Eumenius only to Father Spyridon, and he was instructed to not tell anyone as long as he lived. Father Spyridon, however, said it somewhere and there it spread everywhere. For his disobedience, the Elder put a penance on him.

Father Eumenios Lampakis reposed on Christmas Eve in 2005.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
 
 
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