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October 26, 2023

Saint Demetrios and Onesiphoros the Lamplighter

It was the duty of the young Onesiphoros to light the candles and serve the lamps in the Church of Saint Demetrios. Encouraged by the devil, this young man began to steal candles and secretly sell them, thus gaining a foul profit. And Saint Demetrios, not tolerating such a crime committed in his church, appeared in a dream to Onesiphoros and reprimanded him mildly and lovingly, saying:

"Brother Onesiphoros, it displeases me that you are stealing candles; by doing so, you harm the contributors, and even more so yourself. It should be noted that people who do this will be condemned. Therefore, cease from doing it and repent."

Onesiphoros, waking up, felt shame and fear. But after a while he forgot the Saint's advice, and started stealing candles again, as he had done before. But the punishment soon came to him.

Once a pious man, getting up very early in the morning, came to the Church of Saint Demetrios and brought several large candles. Having lit them, he placed them near the grave of the Holy Great Martyr, and after praying, he left. Onesiphoros approached the candles, stretched out his hand to take them, but at that moment a voice came out from the Saint's grave:

"You are doing the same thing again!"

Struck by this voice like a thunderbolt, Onesiphoros fell to the ground and lay as if dead until one of the clerics came along, and lifted Onesiphoros up, frantic with terror. And when he barely came to his senses, Onesiphoros confessed everything in front of everyone: his sin, and the first apparition of the Saint in a dream, and the second display by Saint Demetrios. Listening to this kind of confession, everyone was filled with eerie horror.

- From the Miracles of Saint Demetrios.

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