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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Miracles of Saint Arsenius of Tver


After the death of Saint Arsenius, the citizens of Tver did not cease to honor his memory. Seeing the miracles that flowed from his tomb, the pious inhabitants of Tver called upon Saint Arsenius in their prayers and received help and intercession in troubles. 74 years after his repose (in 1483), Bishop Bassian of Tver, at the behest of Tsar John Vasilyevich, wanted to open his relics. Having gathered in the cathedral with a multitude of people, he went to the Zheltikov Monastery. The coffin, in which the relics of the Saint of God rested, was taken out of the ground and brought into the cathedral church. When the lid was opened, the whole church was filled with fragrance. Corruption did not touch the relics of Saint Arsenius, even the very vestments remained completely intact. Then the bishop commanded to cover the coffin again with a lid, ordered to paint the icon of the Saint (it is intact to this day) and placed it at the Sepulcher for veneration by those who came. A cover with the image of the miracle worker was laid on the coffin. With the blessing of Bishop Bassian, the service to Saint Arsenius was also compiled. Then a local celebration was established for him in the Zheltikov Monastery. Since that time, even more miracles began to be performed at his tomb.

The most remarkable and striking of the miracles of Saint Arsenius took place in 1566. At that time, a fisherman named Terenty lived in Tver. At first he had great faith in Saint Arsenius, and then he fell into disbelief and was subjected to a frenzy of mind. His parents brought him to the Zheltikov Monastery, hoping that their son would receive healing there. But he died. Two days later, his body was brought to the temple of the Most Pure Theotokos, where the holy relics rested. The parents grieved greatly, even grumbled at the Saint:

"We hoped to receive mercy from you, but our son died. Our zeal for you is extinguished, and our faith is impoverished."

The Lord did not tolerate such reproachful words against His Saint. During the reading of the Gospel, the dead man suddenly got up and began to weep bitterly about his sin of disbelief. Terenty's parents also repented of their grumbling against the Saint.

Akakios, who was then Bishop of Tver, a righteous and pious man, himself saw the resurrected one and made sure of the reality of the incident.

In 1606, when the Russian land was suffering from the invasion of Poles and Lithuanians, the enemies by force devastated many areas of the Russian state, including the Tver monastery. The enemies did not spare the Zheltikov Monastery either. They broke into it, thinking to find many treasures. But the monks managed to hide the monastery treasures in advance and themselves retired to Tver. Only on the relics of the Saint remained a cover embroidered with gold with his image. Finding nothing in the monastery, the enemies were greatly deceived in their expectations. One of the enemies, vexed at the failure, grabbed the veil from the relics of the Saint and put it on his horse. But as soon as he got on the horse, suddenly, by an unknown force, the horse and the rider were lifted into the air, then thrown to the ground. They died from a strong blow, and the cover miraculously rose to the roof of the Dormition Church.

In 1637, a new stone cathedral church was built in the monastery. Therefore, the relics of the Saint were temporarily transferred to the wooden church of Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves. One of the brethren, by the name of Hermogenes, went into the church in a state of intoxication after Vespers and fell asleep not far from the relics of the Saint. Waking up at night, he was struck by a wondrous vision. The temple was brightly lit; Saint Arsenius got up and sat down on his stone tomb. Hermogenes, terrified, wanted to run away. But Saint Arsenius, looking at him, said menacingly:

"Why did you, so boldly, enter the temple of God drunk?"

Hermogenes fell down as if dead. He lay there for a long time, but then, having come to his senses, with great difficulty he left the temple by the northern doors, which were locked from the inside. After that, he was ill for a long time. But the Saint only wanted to reason with the unreasonable and deliver him from vice. When Hermogenes, frankly confessing his sin before everyone, asked the Saint for forgiveness, he received healing from his illness before the relics of Saint Arsenius.

Often the holy Saint of God showed his wondrous help to those who were suffering, and through his prayers the sick received healing. Of the many miracles we mention the following.

The youth Gerasim, the son of the priest Vasily, lived in Tver. At the wedding feast, Gerasim was drunk with wine mixed with a poisonous potion. He became very ill and was already contemplating death. Suffering, Gerasim turned to the free healer - Saint Arsenius, came to his relics on the day of his memory (March 2), prayed earnestly, and the Saint of God miraculously healed the sick youth.

Many years later, Gerasim, having become a cleric, moved to live in Moscow. His niece, Daria, who had long suffered from an eye disease, lived in his house. The more time passed, the more the illness intensified, so that Daria could not even sleep at night and groaned all the time. She was unable to look at the light. Finally, on the feast day of Saint Arsenius, a priest from the church dedicated to his name came to Gerasim's house with holy water and washed Daryia's eyes with it. She was healed immediately.

Great was Gerasim's astonishment when he saw his niece healthy. For this he had gratitude to his heavenly intercessor. Seeing his new mercy, Gerasim wished to have his service and life at home. But the life of Saint Arsenius was not found in Moscow. At the request of Gerasim, the archimandrite of the Zheltikov Monastery sent him the life and canon of the Saint and asked, after reading it, to send them back to the monastery. Gerasim hastily began to rewrite his life. But an accident happened to him. When he prayed before starting his work, bowing to the ground, his right eye fell on a nail sticking out on the floor. He could hardly get to his feet and cried out loudly:

"O Vladyka, Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!"

At that time monks from the Zheltikov Monastery, Jonah and Theophilos, lived in the house of Gerasim, who brought the life of Saint Arsenius. Seeing the torment of Gerasim, they began to wipe the blood flowing from the wound, and advised Gerasim to pray to Saint Arsenius. As soon as Gerasim began to ask the Saint for his healing, the blood immediately stopped flowing. Then everyone saw that Gerasim had crushed his eyelid and eyebrow, but the very eye, by the grace of God, remained intact. Soon the wound healed completely, and Gerasim, with gratitude and a moved heart, completed the life of the Saint, through whose prayers he received healing so soon.

Under Archimandrite Savvaty, the following wondrous miracle took place. One peasant, who lived near the monastery of Saint Arsenius, buried his treasure in the forest, wanting to keep it. After some time, this man came again to where his money was hidden, began to look for them, but could not find them. The peasant fell into great sorrow, began to grieve and cry. He even wanted to hang himself and had already thrown a noose on a tree. Suddenly a handsome man appeared before him and said:

“Why, child, have you conceived evil in your heart? Why do you want to destroy your soul and doom yourself to eternal torment?"

The peasant was trembling: he began to cry. When asked by the marvelous man why he was crying so bitterly, the peasant said that he had hidden his money and could not find it.

The noble man struck the ground with his staff and said:

"In this place you will find what you are looking for."

The peasant, having dug up the earth, found his treasure. Struck by this, he began to thank the one who appeared and asked him:

"Where are you from, honorable father, and what is your name, so that I can thank you for my salvation and for finding the treasure!"

"I am Arsenius and I live in a monastery built by my labors. Go there and give due thanks to God."

The peasant wanted to fall on his knees before the elder, but he became invisible. Then the peasant realized that the handsome man was Saint Arsenius himself; having come to the Zheltikov Monastery, he thanked God and His Saint and told everything that had happened to him.

In 1657, a new miracle happened at the shrine of Saint Arsenius. Deacon John lived in the Zheltikov Monastery at that time. Urged on by the devil, he planned to steal the silver and gold utensils from the church where the relics of the Saint rested. One day at noon, he asked the sexton for the keys to the temple, entered the church and took all the silver and gold utensils that stood not far from the shrine of the monk. Motivated by greed, he also wanted to take from the relics the silver panagia that the Saint wore during his life. Suddenly, by an unknown force, the thief was thrown so far away from the holy relics that he hit the church platform and lost consciousness. After some time, the monks who entered the temple saw that John was lying in the middle of the church as if dead. Realizing what had happened, they carried him out of the church, sent him to Tver to Archbishop Joasaph and told everything they saw. John himself could not say anything. By order of the bishop, the paralyzed deacon was again taken to the monastery and then brought to the church. Little by little he began to come to his senses, and finally, having repented, he completely recovered.

Many other miracles flowed from the holy relics of the glorious hierarch and shepherd of the flock of Christ by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God forever. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
 
 
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