Friday, September 17, 2021

Saint Herakleides and the Demoniac Who Issued Forth a Snake and Two Crabs

A well-attested story from 1769 states the following. 
A certain Hadji named Savvas, an inhabitant of the Phaneromeni district of Nicosia in Cyprus, had a son named John, who was a victim of demonic possession. On the feast of Saint Herakleides the parents brought their child to the shrine of the Saint in hopes of eliminating his suffering. While the Divine Liturgy was being celebrated, a strange occurrence took place. The boy suddenly fell to the ground, convulsing and vomiting, then witnesses beheld his tormentor issue forth in the shape of a snake, a span length, and two crabs. The snake and the crabs were afterwards hung up publicly in the church to confirm the faith of believers and silence the unbelievers. 
The Holy Hieromartyr Herakleides, Bishop of Tamassos, is commemorated on September 17th. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Saint Ioanniki of Svyatogorsk and the Malicious Demoniac with a Distorted Face and Inhuman Voice

The following incident took place according to the testimony of Andrei Fedorovich Kovalevsky (1840-1901), who was a pious Kharkov landowner who pursued asceticism in the field of spiritual literature, and was acquainted with Saint Ioanniki of Svyatogorsk (+ 1882), about whom he wrote the following:
Once a man of enormous height was brought to [St. Ioanniki], a line Cossack from beyond the Kuban, with a brutally distorted face; he was hardly able to be dragged there by two stalwart Cossacks, his relatives. The demoniac roared in an inhuman voice, and the roar of a bear, and the howl of a wolf, and the grunt of a pig were alternately heard in the sounds of his voice, while his eyes sparkled with inexpressible malice. 

Friday, September 3, 2021

When Saint Nektarios Encountered a Demon Possessed Young Man Upon His Arrival in Aegina

Saint Nektarios went to Aegina at the end of the summer of 1904. His purpose was to establish the monastery which now bears his name.

As the boat approached that was bringing him to the island, a young demon possessed man, Spyros, fell before the doorstep of the pharmacy of Aegina and began to shout:

"He's coming, the bishop is coming! Run to welcome him! The saint is coming to save the island!"

They tried to calm him down, but they could not. Spyros continued to shout. A crowd of strangers gathered and kept growing. They looked sadly at the disheveled lad and marveled at what he said.

Some ran to Papa-Michalis, the pastor.

"Papa, Spyros is foretelling about a bishop. A bishop is coming, he shouts, who will save the island."

Papa-Michalis hurried to see what was happening. He entered the circle of those that gathered and approached Spyros. He was still shouting:

"The bishop is coming from Rizarios! God took pity on this place! The holy one of Pentapolis is coming!"

The priest watched the confused young man for a long time, who was foaming at the mouth when he tried to shout. Then he left troubled in his thoughts and headed to the port dock. At that time the ship came from Piraeus. Among the passengers Papa-Michalis distinguished the bishop.

He bent reverently and kissed his hand.

"Your Eminence, welcome to Aegina. First time coming here?"

"First," he replied with a smile.

"Here, let's go home ... Only ..."

"Do you want anything?"

"Yes, a little further on, an event shocked us."

"What happened?"

"There is a poor young man, crawling in the market, closing his eyes and prophesying the future. He is now disheveled and shouting that you will come and save the place. He even calls you a man of God, a saint!"

"Where exactly is this young man?"

"This way, Your Eminence."

They went and arrived at the doorstep of the pharmacy. Spyros was still shouting:

"The bishop is coming! He is coming to save this place! He will build a church! He will build the biggest Monastery!"

The Saint stood short of where the young man was. He raised his face to heaven and prayed. Then he raised his staff, the only sign of his high priesthood, and, shutting the mouth of the lad, said:

- "Spirit of the python, the wicked and impure, I urge you in the name of Christ the Crucified, to come out of this young man."

Immediately then Spyros groaned and stood up! He opened his eyes. Then he bent down and full of gratitude kissed the hand of the Saint, who healed him.