A matter of the living

St Nektarios of Aegina

St Nektarios of Aegina

Today is the feast of the 3rd century martyr St Haralambos (Charalambos). There is a first-hand account of a miracle involving him, recorded in 1931, over at Full Of Grace And Truth.

That miracles persist today in Orthodoxy, indeed are really quite common, is hugely significant. Ours is not, to use Fr Stephen Freeman’s phrase, a “two-storey” universe, up-there and down-here. Nor have saints reposed in the Lord passed for ever out of our world.

God is a God of the living. The Orthodox faith is a faith of the living.

NOW that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

Luke 20:37-39.

**

DEAR Theodore,

I am writing to tell you that with the help of the Lord, I arrived safely, and by the grace of our Lady and Mother of God I am well …

I shall write about a wonderful thing that happened when I arrived: we celebrated a Divine Liturgy of the Archangels in our hut, where we have a church of the “Annunciation of the Mother of God”, and the following day, which was St. Nektarios’s day, we told the priest that we would celebrate the Divine Liturgy again, for the many miracles that St Nektarios had done in my own time.

When we had read Vespers and Compline, afterwards I couldn’t sleep, and at night I went to our church. There came a heavenly fragrance such that it filled the whole house. I opened the window and the door of the church but the fragrance there did not leave.

When Fr Gabriel got up for Matins, he said to me, “Elder, the grace of the Panagia and the saints has come”. When we had finished, the priest Fr Athanasios came to celebrate, and said to Fr Gabriel – my assistant – “Have you been  spraying perfume in the church?” and when he said No, and once he had gone into the sanctuary, then he realised that this fragrance was emanating from the reliquary [where St Nektarios’s relic was], and that we had been mistaken.

For five days this heavenly scent persisted. Our Orthodox religion is a matter of living things. What joy we had in those days I cannot describe. Greetings to all the brethren …

With brotherly love in Christ,

Michael.

Monk of the Holy Skete of Kafsokalivia “Evangelismos”
Mount Athos, December 12, 1978.

From Πηγή Ζωής. My translation.

**

BY the Holy Spirit all things live; Light of Light, mighty God: we hymn Him with the Father and the Word.

The Sunday of All Saints. Translation from Anastasis.

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