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January 14, 2022

A Journalists Harrowing Escape from Bombardment With the Help of Saint Tatiana

By Maria Giachnaki,
Journalist-International Correspondent

It was August 2006, it had already been that all summer I was still covering the Israeli–Lebanese war. In that war I completely changed my philosophy in life. I had lost my associates in the bombing of Tyre in southern Lebanon, at the time I left the hospital to bring a colleague to the shelter and they had stayed inside. I had escaped a second bombing in the village of Cana where 54 children were killed inside the shelter for which I could hardly say a word on the air as I was one of the few journalists in the village that was being ruthlessly bombarded (I do not want to say much).

Now towards the end of August and after southern Lebanon had been leveled I had to leave for the Syrian side and leave the country overnight. In this war I had a good angel named Tatiana who with her whole family helped me and saved me many times by offering me safe places to live.

So the night I left Tatiana hugged me and gave me a small icon of a Saint I did not know. She was worried about the outcome of my departure from the country. "It's Saint Tatiana," she told me, "please take her with you. She will protect you."

The small icon Tatiana gave me.

The same night, just before midnight, I was crossing the devastated area and the bombed bridges with the Lebanese driver who would take me to the Syrian border. There was only one bridge left that was still in place and we tried to cross it.

Suddenly over our heads just before the border with Syria the bombers started grazing behind us the bridge we were just crossing. I held the icon in my hands and my heart started beating loudly. I looked at the driver who had stepped on the accelerator making the car roar and closing my eyes I prayed until I was at the point of the border with Syria having overcome the danger. The only bridge connecting the two countries had been completely leveled! 
Behind the icon I engraved the date of that night.
There, the Syrian soldiers asked me, giving me tea, which Saint I had as a helper...

I am writing this story because today this Saint celebrates who was martyred for her faith and so I want to WISH many years to my distant friend Tatiana who lives, Glory be to God, safe, still in Lebanon.

Source: This was written on 12 January 2017, the feast day of Saint Tatiana. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.