Αναζήτηση αυτού του ιστολογίου

Παρασκευή, 12 Απριλίου 2013

THE VIGIL LAMP OF THE IVERON MONASTERY





THE VIGIL LAMP OF THE IVERON MONASTERY


Source: "The Plow" Orthodox magazines, July 3"1, 2003, author unknown.
On February 22nd, 1981, a Sunday, I gave a homily during the Liturgy at the Sacred Monastery of Petraki {near Athens, Greece, Ed.). I described the lewdness and the immorality, the sinful dances and the sinful revelries which take place during this period of the Triodion. "God cannot put up with it anymore," I said. "I do not want you to think of me as a prophet. I am not a prophet. But I say that God's wrath is coming upon the sons of disobedience.  From above from Heaven or from below from the earth."
Two days later, on February 24th, the dreadful earthquake took place, which shook up all of Greece. The damage was significant to many in Greece.


On the following Sunday, the Deacon told me: "The day before yesterday, Father, you prophesied."
"No," I told him. "It is a natural consequence of our sinfulness. Furthermore, God forewarned us, with the shaking of the vigil lamp of the Iveron Monastery. There also is the miraculous icon of Pan-aghia Portaitissa (Panaghia, the Keeper of the Portal)
The icon of Panaghia Portaitissa is an icon of the Mother of God, which is miracle working and is at Iveron Monastery on the Holy Mountain. It came at the time of iconoclasm to her monastery, by sea, from Asia Minor. When major disasters or wars are about to occur, she often forewarns the monks with the shaking of the vigil lamp of the monastery.


A Monk sent a related letter to the Greek Orthodox newspaper "Orthodox Press" {Orthodoxos Typos). This letter was published in that newspaper on February 20th, four days before the earthquake and it is included below.
Dear sir, your blessing.


The amazing miracle of the moving vigil lamp of the Sacred Monastery of the Holy*Mountain Athos is quite staggering. Its occurrence drove shivers up our spine; full of surprise, the fathers of the Monastery, as well as the visiting pilgrims that were present during the Christmas celebrations, observ¬ing at awe this unexpected event (something unusual for most pilgrims), referred to the tradition associated with this unique miracle; this is a miracle that has spanned the ages and blesses us with its occurrence in our days as well.
As it is known, in the central Church of the Sacred Iveron Monastery, the Main Church, and precisely in front of the Royal Gate the ancient large and silver vigil lamp hangs, weighing two or more okas (about 3 lbs.). This vigil lamp always presented a strange and mysterious phenomenon, a very manifest miracle, because it refutes the law of gravity and at times moves rhythmically, by an invisible power and for many hours. This occurs on certain great feasts of our Holy Church—during the Services, as well as on other days, not associated with any specific celebration, in a quite extraordinary manner; the latter motions start unexpectedly and are unrelated to the services within our Katholikon.


The vigil lamp experiences three types of motions. 1) Hori-zontally, that is parallel to the iconostass of the Church, 2) vertically to it and 3) circularly. The most common mo¬tion is the horizontal one, which is distinguished by its frequency and harmony, thus exemplifying the presence of divine power.


According to a most ancient tradition, preserved by the Elders to this day, the automatic movement of the vigil lamp in the feast implies a joyous character. It is considered to manifest a sign that our Panaghia is present at that time in Her Church, co-celebrating with the monks, and the visiting pilgrims, as a Mother with her children, simultaneously blessing and counseling them. With regard to the vigil lamp's motion during daily celebrations, it prophesies that some impending misfortune will happen with more general consequences for the world, such as an earthquake, a war, a mortal plague, etc. This latter miracle is a clear sign of divine providence, through which the Most Holy Theotokos intercedes on our behalf in her customary compassionate manner. It is an opportune forewarning for us to face the upcoming evil with the greatest amount of repentance and prayer and through soliciting from God reconciliation for our many sinful behaviors.


Let me go back. This unique miracle was again observed, as we mentioned above, during and around the Christmas celebrations, nevertheless in a certain usual manner, which imposes worries upon us. Specifically, the movements of the vigil lamp were observed during the whole fifteen days of Christmas, with a vivacious mood, more than any other time. Furthermore, while this was occurring in its usual "celebratory" manner, that is horizontally (parallel to the iconostass), they would suddenly alter into circular movements, around the axis of its suspension.


According to the elderly fathers of the Monastery, the circular movements of the vigil lamp were observed, as they recall, during World War II (the Albanian war). I wish to re-emphasize that this recent movement is completely un¬related to the vigil lamp's motions during the feasts.
As you may gather, the subject event imposes upon us a certain amount of concern and fear as well as restraint. For this reason as many as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ, let us all cry out with true contrition, from the depths of our hearts, Lord have mercy and Most Holy The-otokos save us so that through repentance, we might avert a certain upcoming evil, like the ancient Ninevites...
With great love in the Lord,
Monk M.N.I.

This miracle of the moving vigil lamp of the Panaghia of Iveron is alive. It occurs fore-warningly, so that people can repent and avoid the wrath of God. This was also the case in the recent dreadful earthquake. The proof of its posi¬tive impact is that, although the earthquake's strength was unprecedented and impacted almost all of Greece, never¬theless we did not have any victims (aside from a few, who mistakenly jumped from their windows).

This earthquake (and the miracle of the vigil lamp) brought a good result. The 1981 Triodion period was one of the most sober and most reverent periods in Greece for some time. The masquerading, the improper revelries, the sinful dances, the debaucheries, and the immoralities which formerly oc¬curred stopped. The people, as the newspapers write, are running to the churches.
Be careful, however, so we do not forget this and the people fall into materialism, easy living, sinful pleasures, etc. in which case the vigil lamp will not forewarn but the wrath of God will break out.

The movement of the icon, which was at the courthouse of Athens, also impressed everyone. Many people ran to see it, while the minister of Justice ordered that they transfer it to the sacred Church of St. Constantine at Omonoia. By the thousands the people gathered. The important thing is that they saw the chandelier, which was above the icon stand, moving.

God forewarns people with these things, so that they might repent and escape his wrath... Let him who has ears hear His

Vol. 11, Issue 03-04
 Orthodox Heritage


Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: