Sunday, 4 May 2014

Selected miracles of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri

Selected miracles of St. Ephraim of Nea Makri (amateur translations and summaries from various Greek sources)
A couple of Notes:
These are just a few of the countless miracles that people attest to through the intercessions of St. Ephraim, the Newly-revealed Hieromartyr and Wonder-worker of Nea Makri. Though he hasn’t been officially acknowledged as a Saint by the Patriarchate yet (though the Church of Greece has done so), St. Ephraim is greatly beloved throughout the world, and continues to inspire and work endless healings of soul and body for the faithful.
These are some accounts from pious laypeople, who simply and honestly express the presence of Christ and His Saints in their lives. Though there might be some things mentioned that we have to be cautious about in general, including dreams, miracles, disdain for medicine, etc., one can sense both the humility and gratitude of these people who have clearly suffered so much, and the reality of Christ the God-man, Who is visiting and healing His creation through one of His great and beloved servants: St. Ephraim. May he intercede for us all and help us!

A dream of St. Ephraim

It was January of 1996, Sunday morning, when I saw in my sleep that I was in a great church richly adorned with gold and full of light and a great crowd was gathered inside and out. My one girl said that we should go venerate because the mother of one of our friends passed away. We waited in line and when I arrived in front I saw that instead of a coffin there was an upright reliquary made of glass and inside was a tall man, of a young age with a black beard, thin, with vestments and [engolpia] that Metropolitans wear. He wore a black archpriestly hat with a red cross on top, and he appeared alive as if he were sleeping. I venerated once puzzled and waited to see my mother’s friend, while on the glass I saw a small card attached which said: “Ephraim”. The next morning I awoke puzzled and questioned who it was that I saw, for I had never heard that name before and it seemed odd. I asked my Grandmother if there is a Saint Ephraim and she replied pompously: “Ephraim? Of course there is.” I felt goosebumps, how he appeared though I had never heard of him before.
Over the next few days I talked with a friend of mine who was very religious and went to church on Sunday at monasteries. He told me where the relic of the Saint was and began to tell me details about his life, and with great astonishment I found that the characteristics were the same as I had seen in my dream. My friend mentioned that I should go to the monastery, but because of work, I neglected it for two months.
Two months later, one Sunday, I was waiting for the bus to go to my Grandmother, and I remembered that I had neglected to go to St. Ephraim. Straightaway I saw a taxi which I stopped so that I could go faster. When I looked around inside the taxi, I saw a small icon of a Saint that the taxi driver had that I had never seen before. However, his face looked familiar. I asked the taxi driver: “Is that Saint there St. Ephraim?” The taxi driver responded affirmitively, and began to tell me how good and wonder-working the Saint is. After another month of not having visited the monastery, I left work and decided to walk instead of taking the bus. On the road I found a small church which was open around noon for a later funeral, and I again remembered the Saint, and regretted my negligence, and went inside to light a candle. Guess which icon they had in front: St. Ephraim!
After a few days I was made worthy to go to the monastery. My joy was indescribable. My heart was beating as if it were crazy. When I entered the courtyard a calmness filled my soul. I had the great fortune to thank the Saint, and I managed to meet and speak for the first (and unfortunately last) time with Gerontissa Makaria, an astonishing woman who, as soon as I told her these events, cried, but also laughed like a child. I rejoiced that my Saint had revealed himself. When I asked her why he appeared to me though I didn’t know him, and that I had great love towards the Panagia, she replied that St. Ephraim is one of her [the Panagia's] most beloved Saints.
From then I have visited the monastery many times and I pray to him. I thank him, for many times he has appeared to me in my sleep to warn me of something evil approaching. I will never forget the following. One morning I was taking a taxi to go to work, and inside there was an icon of St. Ephraim, and I started a conversation with the taxi driver. I was upset with some things that had occurred, and straightaway the taxi driver’s voice changed and he began to tell me the story of one of his friends and some advice exactly about my problem (I hadn’t shared any of my details with him). I looked at him and smiled: “Were you saying this or the Saint?” And he replied very seriously “The Saint”. I froze; he did the same, and then the tone of his voice changed and he became as he was in the beginning.


῞Οπου λέγεται καί ὅτι πρώτη ἡ Θεοτόκος εἶδε τόν Κύριο μετά τήν ἀνάστασί του ἐκ νεκρῶν

Η ἀνάστασις τοῦ Κυρίου εἶναι ἀνανέωσις τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης φύσεως, εἶναι ἀναζώωσις καί ἀνάπλασις καί ἐπάνοδος πρός τήν ἀθάνατη ζωή τοῦ πρώτου ᾿Αδάμ πού καταβροχθίσθηκε ἀπό τόν θάνατο λόγω τῆς ἁμαρτίας καί διά τοῦ θανάτου ἐπαλινδρόμησε πρός τήν γῆ ἀπό τήν ὁποία ἐπλάσθηκε. ῞Οπως λοιπόν ἐκεῖνον στήν ἀρχή δέν τόν εἶδε κανείς ἄνθρωπος νά πλάττεται καί παίρνη ζωή, ἀφοῦ δέν ὑπῆρχε κανείς ἄνθρωπος ἐκείνη τήν ὥρα, μετά δέ τήν λῆψι τῆς πνοῆς ζωῆς μέ θεῖο ἐμφύσημα πρώτη ἀπό ὅλους τόν εἶδε μιά γυναῖκα, διότι μετά ἀπό αὐτόν πρῶτος ἄνθρωπος ἦταν ἡ Εὔα.ἔτσι τόν δεύτερο ᾿Αδάμ, δηλαδή τόν Κύριο, ὅταν ἀνίστατο ἀπό τούς νεκρούς, κανείς ἄνθρωπος δέν τόν εἶδε, ἀφοῦ δέν παρευρισκόταν κανείς δικός του καί οἱ στρατιῶτες πού ἐφύλασσαν τό μνῆμα ταραγμένοι ἀπό τόν φόβο εἶχαν γίνει σάν νεκροί, μετά δέ τήν ἀνάστασι πρώτη ἀπό ὅλους τόν εἶδε μιά γυναῖκα, ὅπως ἀκούσαμε νά εὐαγγελίζεται σήμερα ὁ Μάρκος.διότι, λέγει, "ὅταν ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς ἀναστήθηκε τό πρωί τῆς πρώτης ἡμέρας τῆς ἑβδομάδος, παρουσιάσθηκε πρῶτα στή Μαρία τή Μαγδαληνή".
Φαίνεται βέβαια σαφῶς ὅτι ὁ εὐαγγελιστής εἶπε καί τήν ὥρα κατά τήν ὁποία ἀναστήθηκε ὁ Κύριος, δηλαδή πρωί, καί ὅτι παρουσιάσθηκε πρῶτα στή Μαρία τή Μαγδαληνή καί ὅτι ἐφάνηκε ἀκριβῶς τήν ὥρα τῆς ἀναστάσεως. Δέν λέγει ὅμως ἔτσι, ὅπως θά φανῆ ἄν ἐξετάσωμε προσεκτικώτερα τά πράγματα.διότι λίγο παραπάνω καί αὐτός σέ συμφωνία μέ τούς ἄλλους εὐαγγελιστάς λέγει ὅτι αὐτή ἡ Μαρία ἦλθε καί προηγουμένως μαζί μέ τίς ἄλλες Μυροφόρες στόν τάφο, καί ἀφοῦ τόν εἶδε ἀδειανό ἀπῆλθε. ῞Ωστε ὁ Κύριος ἀναστήθηκε πολύ ἐνωρίτερα ἀπό τό πρωί πού τόν εἶδε. ᾿Επισημαίνοντας δέ καί τήν ὥρα ἐκείνη, δέν εἶπε ἁπλῶς πρωί, ὅπως ἐδῶ, ἀλλά πολύ πρωί.ἑπομένως ὡς ἀνατολή ἡλίου ἐκεῖ ἐννοεῖ τό ἀμυδρό φῶς πού προτρέχει στόν ὁρίζοντα, τό ὁποῖο δηλώνοντας καί ὁ ᾿Ιωάννης λέγει ὅτι ἦλθε τό πρωί, ὅταν ἀκόμη ἦταν σκοτεινά ἡ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή στό μνημεῖο καί εἶδε τήν πέτρα σηκωμένη ἀπό τό μνημεῖο.
Δέν ἦλθε δέ μόνο πρός τό μνῆμα τότε αὐτή, κατά τόν ᾿Ιωάννη, ἀλλά καί ἀπομακρύνθηκε ἀπό τό μνῆμα, χωρίς νά ἰδῆ τόν Κύριο ἀκόμη. Τρέχει κι᾿ ἔρχεται πρός τόν Πέτρο καί τόν ᾿Ιωάννη, καί ἀναγγέλει ὄχι ὅτι ἀναστήθηκε ὁ Κύριος, ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι μεταφέρθηκε ἀπό τόν τάφο, ὥστε δέν ἐγνώριζε ἀκόμη τήν ἀνάστασι. ῾Επομένως ὁ Κύριος ἐμφανίσθηκε στή Μαρία ὄχι ἐντελῶς πρώτη, ἀλλά μετά τήν πλήρη ἔλευσι τῆς ἡμέρας. ῾Υπάρχει λοιπόν κάτι πού ἀναφέρεται συνεσκιασμένως ἀπό τούς εὐαγγελιστάς, τό ὁποῖο θ᾿ ἀποκαλύψω πρός τήν ἀγάπη σας. Πραγματικά τό εὐαγγέλιο τῆς ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου πρώτη ἀπό ὅλους τούς ἀνθρώπους, ὅπως ἦταν σωστό καί δίκαιο, ἐδέχθηκε ἀπό τόν Κύριο ἡ Θεοτόκος καί αὐτή εἶδε πρίν ἀπό ὅλους τόν ἀναστάντα καί ἀπήλαυσε τή θεία ὁμιλία του, καί ὄχι μόνο τόν εἶδε μέ τούς ὀφθαλμούς της καί ἔγινε αὐτήκοος αὐτοῦ, ἀλλά καί πρώτη καί μόνη ἄγγιξε τά ἄχραντα πόδια του, ἔστω καί ἄν οἱ εὐαγγελισταί δέν τά λέγουν φανερά ὅλα αὐτά, μή θέλοντας νά προσαγάγουν ὡς μάρτυρα τήν μητέρα, γιά νά μήν δώσουν ἀφορμή ὑποψίας στούς ἀπίστους. ᾿Επειδή δέ τώρα ἐμεῖς μέ τή χάρη τοῦ ἀναστάντος ὁμιλοῦμε πρός πιστούς καί ἡ ὑπόθεσις τῆς ἑορτῆς ἀπαιτεῖ ἐπείγουσα διευκρίνησι τῶν σχετικῶν μέ τίς Μυροφόρες, μέ τήν ἄδεια αὐτοῦ πού εἶπε "δέν ὑπάρχει κρυφό πού δέν θά γίνη φανερό", θά τό φανερώσωμε καί τοῦτο.
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