February 10, 2024

"Hands up. Knives down. Tonight there was a miracle of Saint Haralambos at the Polyclinic!"

Nikolaos and Andreas Alivizatos, founders of the Athens Polyclinic in 1903

A miracle of Saint Haralambos for Konstantinos Livadas, an employee of the Hellenic Court of Audit, when he was young. Here's how he describes it:

"In January 1931 I was hospitalized at the Athens Polyclinic with an abscess in the liver. For four weeks I was tormented by fever. I had a temperature between 38-40 °C (100-104 °F) at night and terrible pain. It was decided to do an operation.

It was the eve of Saint Haralambos, February 9, 1931. In the evening and while I was in a lethargic and exhausted state due to the high fever, I saw a priestly man with a long beard enter my room. He approached me and not the patient across from me who was suffering from peritonitis.

He caressed my head and said:

"Don't be afraid... Tomorrow you will be perfectly fine. You're a good kid."

When he left, I asked the Nun Evanthia who was near me and was acting as a nurse who the clergyman was who came?

"I didn't see any clergyman," she said.

I then told her about the incident. She crossed herself and said to me:

"Tomorrow is Saint Haralambos, you will be fine."

I then fell into a deep sleep. The fever from that time began to go down. In the morning I was fever-free, perfectly well and without pain in the liver.

In the morning I was examined by the surgeon Professor Nikolaos Alivizatos and his brother Andreas, a pathologist, to arrange my operation. They investigated and looked for the abscess by palpation, but did not find it, nor the induration and swelling (eight fingers) of the liver.

The liver was normal!

The Nun told the professors about the night's incident.

They also showed me the icon of Saint Haralambos, which I recognized. He was the same person I had seen.

The professors exclaimed in amazement:

"Hands up. Knives down. Tonight there was a miracle of Saint Haralambos at the Polyclinic!"

Later and after many years I learned that Saint Haralambos is a doctor of infectious diseases, just like mine was."

Source: Archimandrite Haralambos Vasilopoulos, "Saint Haralambos", from the Lives of the Saints series published by Orthodoxos Typos. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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