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June 24, 2024

Testimony of an Athonite Monk Healed by the Right Hand of Saint John the Baptist

By Elder Lazarus of Dionysiou (+ 1974)

On May 16 of the year of our salvation 1961, a Monday, the feast of the Holy Spirit, after the Liturgy, the rector hieromonk Paul told me the miracle that was done to him by the holy right hand of the Honorable Forerunner, as follows:

"Did you understand what happened to me today at Liturgy, Father Lazarus?"

"What?" I asked him. "Please explain to me better."

"Of course you heard me during the service of Matins, how difficult it was for me to do the litanies, how my throat was blocked by the pharyngitis that tyrannizes me from time to time."

"Yes," I said to him, "I realized this, and I was saying to myself: how will the priest manage at the Liturgy? And even today when he has a co-liturgist?"

"So listen: When we priests gathered in the church to do the kairos, seeing myself in a bad state, before the abbot did the 'Blessed', I begged him to take out the holy right hand of the Honorable Forerunner so that I could kiss it and he bless me with it. The abbot immediately condescended and blessed me on the head with the holy right hand, saying at the same time the usual prayer. And I also kissed it with great reverence and love, at the same time begging the Honorable Forerunner to have mercy on me and to heal me from this disease that was tyrannizing me, so that I could, to the glory of God, make the litanies with a fluent voice, and also say the Gospel with ease and eloquence, as we say it on such festive Despotic feasts.

This is basically what I said to the Honorable Forerunner, kissing his holy right hand. And - O your wondrous and quick understanding, great Forerunner of the Lord! - immediately I felt the energy of Divine Grace, my larynx softened, my voice opened, and full of divine zeal, with much reverence and love, I made the litanies, I also said the Gospel with all comfort and ease, and from the depth of my soul and of my heart, I reverently and gratefully thanked our all-good patron, the all-glorious Baptist and Forerunner of the Lord, by whose intercessions may we be found worthy in the end of good things and the Kingdom of heaven. Amen."

"May it be so, my Father, may it be so. Amen."

Source: This testimony of a monk from Dionysiou Monastery recorded by Elder Lazarus comes from an article in the periodical “Ο ΟΣΙΟΣ ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΣ”, published by the Athonite Monastery of Gregoriou, vol. 12 (1987), titled «Διονυσιατικές διηγήσεις Γ’», p. 61. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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