January 31, 2024

Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John for Theodora Who Had an Eye Disease and for her Husband Christodoros Who Was Shipwrecked

The Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John

Miracles 8
On Christodoros Who Was Shipwrecked

By St. Sophronios of Jerusalem 
There was a certain Christodoros, a virtuous, pious and educated man who manifested his reverence toward the saints. His case is a good occasion to tell the readers of the miracles performed by Cyrus and John, when and how they had been written, in accordance with the will of God and with the co-operation of the martyrs themselves.

For Eulogos, bishop of Alexandria [581-608], appointed this Christodoros to manage the treasure of the saints. [He thus administered the church of Irene dedicated to?] John the Forerunner [text corrupt]. Eulogos' successor, Theodoros [bishop 608-609], delegated him to the herd [text corrupt]. John [the Merciful, 610-619] in turn, who took Theodoros' place by the divine will, was a devoted friend of the poor. It was he who decided that Christodoros would manage the temple of the martyrs [in Menouthis]. Under this bishop the miracles accomplished by the martyrs were written down and transmitted.

Christodoros thus sailed on the Mareia lake intending to get to Mareotis to inspect the properties of the saints. Since it was wintertime, suddenly a storm arose and raised big waves on the lake. They tossed the boat here and there, so that it could no longer be controlled, and Christodoros was in danger. He thought that he was going to die and that his body would feed the fish and crocodiles.

So before it happened, he turned to the saints with a prayer. Knowing that they can save from death those whom they want to help, he begged them for rescue, since it was because of them that he was in danger.
They heard his supplication and rushed to assist him, since there is no obstacle to their aid and salutary appearance, be it on land, or on the sea or the lake, be it close or distant in space. Thus, whenever anyone calls on them as allies, they arrive at once, and help him and deliver him and protect him. If there is an attack of invisible enemies, they support him in the battle. When they win the battle against those enemies, they chase them to their dishonour, appointing as the winner the one who had invoked them.

If the insult comes from evil people, they dismiss it easily. If the attack comes from mischievous beasts, they decide on the means of salvation. If the suffering [of an illness] is a fierce and insufferable torture, they calm it and heal it as gentle physicians. If there is a danger in the water of a sea or a lake, they bring stillness and rescue their venerators.

Thus they saved Christodoros, calming the waves on the lake and made the boat sail safely. He escaped death, but, due to these dramatic circumstances on the lake and the perturbation of the air and sea, fell incurably ill. His temperament became unbalanced, which resulted in an excretion of the internal humours out of the skin of his body, and so he was in danger again. The best Asclepiades [= pagan doctors] who were summoned were helpless and contented themselves predicting that he was to die and would not wake up the following day. When he heard this sentence, he recalled the aid of the saints that he had received just a bit earlier.
Along with the martyrs John and Cyrus he also invoked Theodore, a commander among the martyrs, to pay him a visit; for Christodoros was an admirer of Theodore and often used to call him and ask for protection out of this great affection to him.

He [Theodore] received his prayers as if they were coming from a friend, and moved to the greatest compassion, appeared to Christodoros in a dream arriving from afar to bring him the desired aid. He had a sign lifted up in his right hand and a raised cross, making it clear that he was coming to release him. He said: "Christodoros, do you know why I have come here?" When the latter stated his ignorance, the former said: "It is for you that I rushed here to call my principal Cyrus on behalf of you."

When the martyr Theodore said this, Cyrus manifested himself at once, accompanied by his brother John. They approached the bed with a common zeal. They examined the one lying on it, touching his wounds with their hands, and calm as with a nitron the perturbation of the excretions [of his body]. And having accomplished this gently, all the three withdrew.

But it happened in a dream. Thus, when he woke up in reality, his disease receded with the sunshine. In effect, the buboes on his skin flaked off and remained on the bed resembling the scales of fish. But after five days, when all the buboes were removed from his body, the saints reappeared to him. They commanded him to take a bath and anoint himself entirely with some boiled peas. This remedy was to remove all the defilement and the rest of the eruption of the buboes. Thus, when he was entering the bath, he still had the scars of the buboes on his body, but when he went they left, there was no single trace of them any more and he was as if new-born. Having obtained healing, he venerated and honoured the martyrs. 
The Miracles of Saints Cyrus and John

Miracles 9
On Theodora Who Had an Eye Disease

By St. Sophronios of Jerusalem

This miracle was performed by the martyrs Cyrus and John on behalf of Theodora, a wife of Christodoros whose miraculous healing was described in the preceding chapter of the Miracles. This Christodoros was in charge of managing the finances of the shrine of Cyrus and John in Menouthis as he was appointed to this function by Eulogos, bishop of Alexandria [581-608]. His wife Theodora had a grave eye disease and was treated by many physicians in Alexandria. She was thus upset by her husband's nomination as the financial manager (oikonomos) of the shrine because it was located far from the city. She tried to persuade her husband to refuse the nomination under the pretext that their house in the city would be left abandoned. And she was likely to succeed in persuading him (because wives have great power and influence over their husbands), if the saints who favoured the nomination, did not appear to the woman in a dream and convince her that she should accompany her husband to their shrine in Menouthis. They asked her why she did not wish to move to Menouthis, and she revealed that she did not want to be away from her doctors who cured her eye disease. Then the saints showed her in a vision their sanctuary and the ill people who gathered there to sleep, and described the disease of each one of them. This way they persuaded her, and she agreed to go to Menouthis. Once she got there, she was immediately released from the disease. She did not do anything to be cured, but to be content with contemplating the sanctuary. For it was so agreeable that it was able to cure diseases truly disagreeable.

However, Theodora also obtained another miracle afterwards. Some time after being healed, she went to wash herself in the bath of the saints. During the bath, she slipped on some sticky ointments and fell on her back. The fall was serious, since she got a deep wound on her elbow and bled a lot. But the martyrs appeared and healed the wound immediately. On the night following that day the woman went to sleep despite the great pain, because she wanted to obtain healing from the saints in the fastest way. The martyrs hastily appeared. Standing by they commanded her to wipe her elbow with a sponge soaked in the wine of Mareotis and apply on the wound some flesh of labrax (a species of sea-fish). And since they thought that this damage was of demonic origin, they also ordered that she took a bath, so that they set a monument of their healing in the same manner, in which the insulting accident happened. When their order was executed, Theodora obtained healing at once. The demons were defeated, their machinations were proved vain and the martyrs were glorified.


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