Δευτέρα, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Two miracles of the Holy Cross in Africa (Congo)

Elevation of the Holy Cross, September 14

 Photo from here

Orthodoxwiki

The Elevation of the Holy Cross is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on September 14. This feast is also referred to as the Exaltation of the Cross. This is also a popular name day for Stavroula/Stavros (from "stavros" meaning cross).
This feast commemorates two events:

The finding of the Cross by the Empress Helen (the mother of St. Constantine the Great) on Golgotha in 326 AD, the place where Christ was crucified.
On the spot where the Cross was discovered, St. Helen had found a hitherto unknown flower of rare beauty and fragrance, which has been named "Vasiliko," or Basil, meaning the flower of royalty. Note that the word "Vasiliko" means "of the King," since the word "Basileus" in Greek means "King"; so, the plant Vasiliko, Basil, is tied to the Precious Cross of the King of Glory, our Lord Jesus Christ. 
 

The Elevation of the Cross
 
Underneath the Basil, the Cross of Christ was found, but with it were the other two crosses, those used to crucify the two thieves on either side of Christ. The sign with the inscription, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews", also lay among the three crosses. In order to determine which one was the true cross, a sick woman was told to kiss each of the three crosses. The woman kissed the first cross with no result. She kissed the second cross and again nothing happened. However, when the ailing woman kissed the True Cross, she was immediately made well. It so happened that a funeral procession was passing that way, and so the body of the dead man was placed on each of the crosses, and when it was placed on the True Cross, the dead man came to life — thus the name the “Life-Giving” Cross, which gives life not only to that man, but to each person who believes in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His all-glorious three day Resurrection.
When the true Cross was identified, it was lifted on high for all the people to see, who then continually sang Kyrie eleison, a practice which is still enacted at current celebrations of this feast

The recovery of the Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified from the Persians. The Persians had captured the True Cross as a prize of war when they sacked Jerusalem in 614 AD. It was recovered by the forces of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) in 627 AD, when Emperor Heraclius decisively defeated the Sassanid Persians at The Battle of Nineveh, surrounding their capital Ctesiphon, recovering the True Cross, and breaking the power of the Sassanid dynasty. The Elevation took place on March 21, 630 AD, when Emperor Heraclius entered Jerusalem amidst great rejoicing, and together with Patriarch Zacharios (609-632), transferred the Cross of Christ with great solemnity into the temple of the Resurrection, joyously held up for veneration by the Christian faithful. 
This is one of the two feast days which is held as a strict fast. The other is the commemoration of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner on August 29.

A Miracle of the Holy Cross in Congo 1

Mystagogy


Amazing things are happening in Congo, said Father Basil Muamba to a large audience in the lecture hall of Kananga Mission. They are authentic and leave one speechless!

Fr. Basil recounted:

"In 1996 I made a missionary trip to Dimbelenge, accompanied by a boy who was a chanter in the Center of the Mission of Kananga, and another boy who came with us on the road.

When we arrived we met the old faithful who I had baptized last year and some were waiting to be baptized now. They gave us a house to spend our days while we were living near them.

Among those awaiting baptism, there was a man who in a magical way was able to bring down lightning, and he had already killed many people.

The traditional chief of the village had punished him by forbidding him to drink from the local river Mukamba.

I baptized all of those who waited for baptism and among them was the magician.

In the evening I kneaded and left the prosphoron (offering bread) for the Divine Liturgy the next day. All three of us then went to sleep.

At around 4 o'clock in the morning a strong wind began to blow, which made the entire house shake. I jumped from the bed and heard the two children who escorted me crying and shouting:

'Father, we are dying, come and rescue us!'

I heard the kids, but I could not move to get to the children's room. I realized I was alive because I could feel my head. But my entire body was paralyzed.

I had with me a Cross that the late Fr. Chariton gave me once in Tsikamva. In the evening I had placed it on the table. I thought of getting it and praying. But I could not reach out my hand.

The children continued to cry louder. With difficulty I brought my hand on my leg, I did the sign of the cross, and realized that I could now move.

I sat on the bed with my legs hanging, but the wind was throwing me from one wall to another room. With difficulty, knocking back and forth, I got out of the room and went to the porch where I saw my bike thrown upside down on the edge of the porch, and immediately went to the children's room.

I went inside, grabbed them by the hand, their clothes were torn leaving them almost naked, and they vomited and had diarrhea. It was about 6 o'clock in the morning.

In the courtyard of the house was a night guardian who resides with his entire family in a house on the same plot. He had heard what was happening in our house, but could not approach us to help. I took the kids outside and told them to stay on the porch and I reentered the house.

I started to call the name of the security guard. At one point, he arrived. 'You do not understand anything that was happening?' I asked. 'Do you perhaps understand what happened all morning?'

'I heard everything', he told me, 'but I did not have the strength to come near to you.'

I begged him to go and call some of my relatives, who lived in the area, as well as the faithful. In the morning I had to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Many of the faithful came and told me:

'All that happened in the night happened because you baptized yesterday the leader of the thunderers magicians who was able to throw lightning. His friends (other magicians) thought: We will agitate and put through a trial now the one who baptized our leader.'

I stepped out for a moment from the space in which I was about to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Some of the faithful and a few unbaptized villagers said to me:

'Father, they wanted to kill you (like they did the others), but they were unable to. We also believe that your God is mighty, true. We ask you, therefore, to baptize all of us.'

I baptized them and the leader of the 'thunderers' was strengthened even more, that our God is the true God.

I finished the trip and returned to Kananga.

When I was to make my next trip, the Bishop gave me a Cross, saying: 'When you arrive, throw this Cross in the river of the area, and you will tell the faithful to swim, find and return to you the Cross.'

I threw the Cross. Many of the faithful fell into the river to find it. The one who found it and returned it to me was the leader of the 'thunderers' who had come to celebrate at the Center of the Mission.

I presented to the Bishop the faithful one who retrieved the Cross and the Bishop gave him a gift.

He had the habit of walking barefoot, but now began to wear shoes. He also began drinking water from the river that was forbidden to him."

A Miracle of the Holy Cross in Congo 2 

Mystagogy

At the Monastery of Saint Nektarios (Kolwezi, Congo), among the girls in the boarding school, there were added two more a few months ago - Despoina who is 11 years old and by exception a boy named Angelo who is 6. These children have a history.

The Sisters of the Monastery found these children abandoned in the streets. They brought them to the Monastery and alerted the police to find their parents. Eventually they learned their mother was a witch. She had killed their siblings and initiated them in magic and abandoned them. In this way they would be able to make their "bread" in life.

With the blessing of Fr. Meletios Mandelides, the head of the mission, they were baptized. Since then they have had the strength and enlightenment from God to tell Abbess Thekla what magic they did and how many people they had killed.

They told her that with magic they killed people, took their blood, and placed it on a sewing needle. They would hang this on themselves and at night they would fly kilometers away to do their magic and kill other people.

When the Abbess asked if the demons still bother them, they said:

"They come to get us. They pull at us to cut off the Cross we wear around our neck. When we do the sign of the cross, they disappear. One time magicians came and pleaded with us to follow them, but they were unable to take us with them."

As to why this is so is easy to understand, since the demons fear Baptism, the Cross and Holy Water which the children drink every morning.

These children, Abbess Thekla told me, have a strong character which is why they have them eat once a day. Every morning they drink Holy Water, and when there is a Divine Liturgy they Commune of the Holy Mysteries.

Source: Αληθινές Ιστορίες μαγείας (True Stories of Magic), Εκδόσεις “Ορθόδοξος Κυψέλη”, Θεσσαλονίκη. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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