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Τρίτη, 19 Νοεμβρίου 2013

A CONTEMPORARY MIRACLE OF AN ARCHBISHOP IN GREECE.





Dear People,

          For people who believe in God and the reality of His Son Jesus Christ, miracles are a natural way of living.  The creation of the universe and its planetary systems, the creation of abundant life throughout the universe and the creation of our species are all miracles of God.  Without His will there is nothing of worth in human existence.  He sustains us and provides for all that is necessary to sustain our lives on this beautiful planet.  Because of our Creator’s abiding concern for those of us who He has created it is to Him that we owe all our allegiance, our love and our commitment.  Miracles happen when the laws of nature are set aside by the will of God. The Holy Orthodox Church is filled with miracles the greatest of which is the Holy Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy that is celebrated every day throughout the Orthodox Christian world. 

          The wonderful miracle that was revealed to the world by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Greece reassures us that God loves us and continues to minister to our every need.   I received this wonderful story in English translation from Greece.  It is translated from the narration of the story as it was related by Metropolitan Panteleimon himself.  I found that the translation had many typos and missing words and so I took it upon myself to rework the text so that the marvelous story of the miracle would flow smoothly in English.  I ask the translator and those who posted the story to forgive me for taking this upon myself to make these corrections but I feel it was very important to get this story told in proper English.  While reading the story please focus on two very important things that the Archbishop relates to us: one, his profound faith in the reality of the divine message he received and secondly, his encounter with the two angelic beings that transported him to heaven and back.  I pray that this story of God’s abiding presence in our lives will bless each and every one of you abundantly.  

The English translation of this miracle was received from Greece and edited by:
+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, Waterford, CT. USA,, November 11, 2013, the fifty-fifth anniversary of my ordination to the Holy Priesthood of the Greek Orthodox Church, November 11, 1958 in Portland, ME. 860-460-9089, cjsimones300@gmail.com




A CONTEMPORARY MIRACLE
OF AN ARCHBISHOP IN GREECE

          His Eminence Archbishop Panteleimon, Metropolitan of Antinoes, narrated the miracle that Jesus Christ performed for him and cured him through the intercessions of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. The miracle happened in a major hospital of Athens, Evangelismos (The Annunciation) some years ago when the Metropolitan became gravely ill with cancer of the spine and was paralyzed from the waist down from January 1985 to July 1986.  It is a contemporary testimony to the fact that God performs miracles even today when we truly believe and have faith that Divine Power overcomes all problems in life.  What makes his testimony truly special is the fact that he personally tells us about it and he is a living testimony to the reality of God.

          This following testimony is given in his own words: “I was just twenty-nine years old.  I was in my second year of studies at the Cappodistrian University of Theology in Athens.  I left my home on the Island of Kalymnos for Athens on January 8th, 1985 in order to take my exams.  It was the day after the feast day of Saint John the Baptist.  Two weeks after my arrival in Athens, I became so ill that I was unable to get any rest for my whole body was in great pain.  I had no one to turn to for help since I lived alone in a house that I rented during my first year of studies.  A few of my close friends noticed that I was not attending classes.  They knew that I never missed a class and they became concerned about me and they decided to visit me.  When they entered my room they were shocked to see the condition I was in.  I was so ill and in such pain that they hardly recognized me.  They did not hesitate for a minute; they immediately took me to the Clergymen’s Hospital near St. Barbara, Athens.

          I stayed in that particular hospital for two weeks.  But as the days went by I became worse.  I could not climb stairs easily and I could no longer feel my legs.  When this happened, the doctors decided to do a spinal tap on my spinal column.  The results of this test were bad and I had to go to a larger hospital.  They sent me to the Evangelismos (Annunciation) General Hospital on February 10th 1985.  My sister Themis meanwhile had arrived from Kalymnos and was at my side.  I had not informed my family about my sickness until that moment because I did not know what I had.  While I was at the Clergymen’s Hospital, I visited the small chapel of St. Haralampos , the Holy Martyr, and prayed to him to sustain me in my sickness. 
          We arrived at the General Hospital of Evangelismos and a team of neurologists injected a special fluid into my spinal column.  That is where they found the cause of my problem.  Cancer had spread to the spinal cord and the pressure it caused paralyzed me from the waist down.  Following this test, they took me to a waiting room.  I had not been given any drugs that would impair my mind at that time.  I was patiently waiting for the results of the test and what the doctors had to say to me.  Suddenly I heard a man’s voice speaking to me and saying: ‘You must not leave Greece for the Virgin Mary will heal you here, but if you leave you shall die.’  At first I was shocked when I heard this.  I turned my head to the left and to the right and I saw no one in the room.  I then said to myself that it was only my imagination.  But as soon as I relaxed again and I was looking at the medical equipment in the room, I heard the same voice speaking to me again and saying: ‘You must not leave Greece for the Virgin Mary will heal you here but if you leave you shall die.’  And before I had a chance to look around the room to see who was talking to me one of the doctors entered the room and said to me: ‘Father we have decided that you cannot be operated on in Greece.  You must leave immediately either for England or for America; the choice is yours for we cannot do the operation here.’ 

          I refused the proposal and explained to the doctor my reasons.  I even revealed to him what just took place a few minutes ago.  He said: ‘You know Father that I am an Orthodox Christian, I also believe in God but here we are dealing with your life.  Every second that passes is working against you.  You must leave at once.’  I then replied and said: no, I will not go.  I do not know what that voice was and who spoke to me.  But if it was from God then I will obey it.  If you do not want to operate on me then I prefer to die rather than disobey that voice.  The doctors had no choice.  My sister Themis and a few of my good friends were there with me.  One of my professors, George Gratseas was also present.  The doctors then proceeded to operate on me that same day and after ten days they started chemotherapy.  Dr. Constantine Krasanakis was the head surgeon.  When I was in the operating room, as I was lying and waiting for Dr. Krasanakis to arrive, I saw a holy icon of the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.  I prayed to her and said: Mother of God, I ask you humbly that you perform the operation.  Use the hands of this doctor and perform your miracle for the glory of your only Son and our God, Jesus Christ. 

          It was a difficult time for me, said Bishop Panteleimon, because every day I faced death.  It was a struggle between life and death.  But, to be very honest with you, I never lost faith or hope or my trust in God’s promise that He would cure me through His Mother, the Ever-Virgin Mary and that the Holy Mother would be my doctor and my healer.  I needed to have a lot of patience.  Although I was taking chemotherapy for six months, the cancer continued to spread throughout my body.  From a purely medical point of view there was no hope for my recovery. Dr. Alexopoulos, the pathologist—oncologist, prepared my family to receive the bad news about me.  His Eminence Nektarios, Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of Kalymnos, called a meeting of the priests of the island and discussed the details of my funeral.  But God’s Grace acts where human powers fail.  Everyone was expecting the final event to come about.  Dr. Alexopoulos informed my sister Themis what the family should expect to happen in two days.  He said: ‘There is no life left in his body, so it is advisable to tell the whole family about this.’

          I knew nothing of what they had said but about midday, as I was speaking with my sister, I experienced the following vision: I found myself in the countryside but all the villagers had evil faces and were fighting.  As soon as they saw me they started to throw bombs, hand grenades and all kinds of things at me.  Nothing of what they threw at me touched me.  Everything kept falling all around me.  Then I said to myself: Look at these people, they fight and do not live in peace.  I shall depart from here.  And then I found myself in another village but the conditions were similar to the first.  Then I decided to depart from that place.  But as I was walking on the road two young men, dressed in white long garments approached me and stood face to face with me.  Their faces were so beautiful that no artist could ever paint them.  As I looked in the eyes of one of them I was transferred through his body into another world.  It was so beautiful.  How can I describe such scenery?  Everything; plants, flowers, trees, and grass were all made out of blue crystal diamonds.  I remember that I touched a rose.  It was unbelievable.  Although it was made out of diamonds it was alive, warm and had a heavenly fragrance.  I saw no one but I felt a strong presence that exuded love and peace.  When I looked down, I could see other levels where I saw thousands of people living in  sublime happiness.  When I lifted up my head to look once again upon that indescribable scenery, I found myself again in front of the two young men.  They spoke to me and I replied to them.  What exactly they said and what I said in response, I cannot remember the words or the language.  It was a language which was only for that moment.  But as I remember very clearly, the one young man was moving his hand as though he was giving me some instructions to follow.  And then I was back again speaking to my sister.  She told me that during those few minutes of my vision I was facing the icon of Christ and speaking to Him but she could not understand the words.  Actually she believed that it was my final moments of life.

          Two days went by after this vision and my fever still remained high.  It was on a Saturday morning in mid-May 1985, at 7:00 a.m. that my fever became normal.  For a whole month prior to this my fever was over 42.5 C, (I believe this is 110 or 112 degrees) and on that day it suddenly came down to 36.6 C which is normal.  The nurse was actually upset at what she saw because she thought that I had placed the thermometer improperly in my mouth.  But I was very sure that I had placed it properly.  She put the thermometer in my mouth again and it showed the same results.  She then called my sister Themis and again placed the thermometer in my mouth.  She got the same results. She then called the head nurse, Maria Ktenopoulou to show her the results but the head nurse did not want to touch the thermometer.  She immediately phoned Dr. Alexopoulos and reported to him about the fever falling. 

          Dr. Alexopoulos, hearing the news that the fever had fallen to normal replied: ‘Sister, we all love and respect Fr. Panteleimon but this young man will die today or maybe tomorrow.  You must accept the fact that there is no life in him.  He will die.’  Sister Ktenopoulou replied: ‘Doctor, I do not know if Fr. Panteleimon will die or not but what I do know is that his fever has fallen and it is the only chance for you to come and see for yourself.’  The doctor arrived at the hospital before noon.  He was very upset that he had been forced to come to see me.  He sat down and did not even say good morning.  He took the thermometer and when he saw that it was 36.6 C, he could not believe his eyes.  So he placed it in my mouth and held it there for twelve minutes.  When he removed it and saw the same results, he stood up, turned to the other doctors and said: ‘What is happening in this room is not from us but only God could do these things. Nevertheless, it is a sign for us and he gave special instructions to all present.

          The following Monday morning he visited me early in the morning.  He sat next to me and asked me: ‘How do you feel?’ I replied: O.K. doctor, no different.  He said to me: ‘You know you are like Saint Lazarus but in a different way.  Lazarus died and was placed in a tomb for four whole days.  You were dying and yet you, before we could put you in the tomb, you jumped out.’  So, I said, what is your point doctor?  He replied: ‘My point is that on Saturday morning between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. something happened and it is the only thing that we can look at.’ I asked: Well, what happened? ‘I really do not know but this is the only chance we have to find out. We need to take some more tests.” Detailed examinations followed.  The results determined that no cancer was found.  The miracle had taken place. 
         
          Today through God’s Grace, I am amongst you as your Bishop and I thank God for His mercy which He showed me through His Holy Mother, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.  For all the reasons mentioned above, I am now in a position to say to all of you to have faith in God.  You must have firm and steadfast faith.  Do not allow thoughts of doubt to fill your hearts but rather trust yourselves to the will of God.  I write this experience for the glory of God and for the glory of the Mother of God, our Lady, the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. 

GLORIFIED IS THE NAME OF GOD IN
HIS HOLY SAINTS

ΔΟΞΑ ΤΩ ΘΕΩ ΕΝ ΤΟΙΣ ΑΓΙΟΙΣ ΑΥΤΟΥ

The following miraculous story was translated from Greek into English in Greece and was edited by:

+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, Waterford, CT. USA, November 11, 2013, the fifty-fifth anniversary of my ordination to Holy Priesthood of the Greek Orthodox, November 11, 1958 in Portland, 

cjsimones300@gmail.com.



               

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