A Contemporary Miracle of St. Spyridon*
In October of 1989, the pious and virtuous Mr. Evangelos Kosmas, a resident of Tenos, recounted to us a very moving miracle performed by St. Spyridon on his behalf when he was a small child. Aside from the other lessons to be gained from this narrative (which we transcribed from a tape recording), we would like to call attention to the respect and obedience children ought to show to their parents.
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I WAS then a little boy of five years. At that time, we lived in the village of Kathikaros, on Tenos.
I remember one autumn morning when my father left to go to a funeral in the neighboring village of Tripotamos, which was about half an hour by foot from our village. He did not, however, take me with him. I dearly loved my father and wanted him to take me with him wherever he went, since he would carry me on his shoulders, and that made me happy.
Since my father left without taking me with him, I decided—unbeknownst to my mother—to go to the village of Tripotamos to find him. Following the footpaths, I reached a point where there was a small stream. The water was then quite deep because it had rained recently, and, small as I was, I was not able to leap over it. So I sat there and cried, being unable to cross.
As I was sitting there in that state, I noticed a small Chapel on the other side of the stream. The door opened, and an Elder came out and headed in my direction. He wore a heavy, woolen overcoat that resembled the capes worn by simple mountain shepherds. On his head was a round cap.
Approaching me, he said: “Where are you going, my good lad?”
I answered: “I am going to Tripotamos to find my father, because he left without taking me with him, even though I wanted him to take me….”
He said to me: “Does your mother know that you left home?”
“No!” I replied.
“You did not do well in leaving your house without telling your mother,” he said to me. “Good children let their mothers know when they leave home. This time, I will help you go to Tripotamos, but don’t do it again!”
I remember that he took me by the hand and—it was as if we flew!—we found ourselves on the other side of the stream, which I had previously been unable to cross. He held me by the hand for a distance of 400 to 500 meters. We then reached a point where Tripotamos and its Church were clearly visible. He then said to me: “Your father is now in the Church that you see. Go there and you will find him.”
I thanked him and kissed his hand, since my mother had taught us to respect our elders. When I had kissed his hand, he stroked my head and said: “Go now, with God’s blessing. And do not forget: When you leave your house, let your mother know.”
After he had stressed this advice to me again, I set off for the village. Before I had gone more than a few steps, I wanted to take another look at the Elder, who should, I supposed, have been climbing up the hill to return to the place where I had met him. I turned my head but did not see him—he had disappeared….
That puzzled me, even though I was so young, since it was impossible for someone to ascend the long road that lay behind me in such a short space of time. While this perplexity gnawed at me, I headed for the village.
I went to the Church, where the funeral service was still underway. After looking around a bit, I found my father sitting in a stall (stasidion) along the left wall of the Church. He was disconcerted at the sight of me and asked what I was doing there. I did not explain anything at that point, but simply announced that I had arrived.
When the funeral was over, we took the road back home. When we reached the small stream and came in view of the Chapel, I told him exactly what had taken place. My father then took me into the Chapel, asking me: “If you see the Elder, will you recognize him?” I answered in the affirmative.
So he began showing me the Icons, asking me if he had been one of those depicted thereon. First he showed me the Icon of Christ, then St. John the Forerunner. I shook my head. He also showed me St. Spyridon. I was taken aback: “Yes, that’s the Elder. He was exactly like that, with his cap….”
My father then knelt in prayer. We lit the vigil lamp, censed the Church, and, after venerating the Icons, returned home. We recounted everything to my mother. My parents considered St. Spyridon to be my Patron Saint. Thenceforth, we attended the Divine Liturgy every year on his Feast Day, and every Saturday we cleaned the Chapel and lit the vigil lamps. To this day, I consider the Saint to be my protector.
* Source: Hagios Kyprianos, No. 233 (November-December 1989), pp. 125-126.