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November 2, 2022

"The Holy Unmercenary Saints Gave Me Holy Communion"

A Priest named Stylianos gave the following testimony:

On 9/27/2001 I suffered a severe stroke (thrombotic) and my left arm and leg were completely immobilized. My speech was slow and unsteady. I stayed in the hospital for ten days and then I went home. At the end of December of the same year, I started to get up and walk around with a cane.

On 1/9/2002, even while I was on blood thinners, I suffered a second stroke and at the same time a pulmonary embolism. Again the left arm and leg remained motionless. The doctors said there is no salvation for me. This treatment does not justify the blood clot that caused the cerebral and pulmonary embolism. I am again at AHEPA [a hospital in Thessaloniki] on a bed of pain.

On the 9th going to the 10th of January, at three after midnight, while I had fallen asleep for a while, I woke up and saw the whole room illuminated with a white light that I cannot describe. I turned to the door and instead of seeing a nurse, I saw two men in blue robes, with a calm demeanor, a calmness which they also transmitted to me before I even spoke to them. When they approached me, I asked them who they were and in a soft voice they said: "Stylianos, we are Kosmas and Damianos, we are doctors."

One was holding a small Holy Chalice with tongs [communion spoon]. The other a glass bowl with a Cross in the middle and three sprigs of basil. They approached, sprinkled me with the holy water and then they also sprinkled the other patient in the ward, Anastasios from a village in Kozani. Then they came to commune me. I told them that the previous day in the afternoon I had eaten meat and they replied: "Don't worry, we know it. And this one you should know. The one we brought to you, you too will give to people from here on out."

They gave me the napkin and communed me. They did the same to Anastasios. After they blessed us, they left and the light went out by itself. Then I shifted on the bed and felt something strange. Before I even started to think and realize what happened, I felt their blessing. I took the Holy Bread out of my mouth and my hand turned red. Then I understood how real it was, something that existed. With awe I consumed it. I glorified God and truly waited with love inside me for death.

But the opposite happened. While I was 80 percent disabled and according to Law 2643 I was a person with special needs, from that moment everything started to get better. The restoration of my health was quick, spectacular and the doctors were amazed at it.

When, after a few months, I met an Athonite Elder and told him all this, he said to me: "Stylianos, what was it that the Saints brought you that night? It was Christ, His Body and Blood, the Holy Communion. Who is he who gives people Holy Communion? The priest. Stylianos, my child, the time has come for death, not the spiritual one, but the death of old Stylianos; the time has come for you to become a priest."

Thus on 12/14/2003, without having previously thought about it, I was ordained a Deacon by the blessed hands of the late Metropolitan Antonios of Sisanio and Siatista, and on 5/23/2004 a Presbyter at the age of 41.

Source: From the book Ascetics in the World. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.