Wednesday, November 12, 2014

St. John the Forerunner performs miracles

Monk Bisarion of Dionysiou Monastery was appointed by the monastery in 1916 to work outside Mount Athos for a period of time, at one of the monastery's dependencies where he was in charge of the flourmill.

This monk related the following account that took place during his time there:
One day two villagers went to the fair, and one of them bought a horse from the other. The villager who bought the horse came to the chapel and venerated the icons.

He left a certain amount of money in front of the Honorable Forerunner's icon and asked me to light a candle for him. I lit a candle for him. I saw the money, which was a sizeable amount, but I did not take it; I left it there in front of the icon. Later that
evening, as I went to light the vigil lamps in the chapel, I noticed that the money was gone.

You can't imagine how sad I became. The evil one took advantage of this opportunity and made me
indignant. I walked to the icon of St. John the Forerunner, and, as I stood before it, I said to the
saint: "Holy Forerunner, aren't you here? Why do
you allow people to steal money right in front of your icon? I'm not going to light your vigil lamp!"

So I only lit the vigil lamp of the Mother of God, and I left somewhat nervous. I went to the mill, I walked up to the house, I ate a little, but I was
still apprehensive. I was feeling guilty for having left the vigil lamp of the saint unlit; nonetheless, the evil demon incited me to remain stubborn. I was thinking to myself:
"Let's see what will happen... I'm not lighting his vigil lamp tonight."

Hence, as I lay down to sleep with uneasiness,
I still insisted on my course of action. As I was sleeping in the house all alone (because at that time I did not have any other helpers with me), around midnight, I felt someone nudging me. I woke up, and I saw standing before me a towering figure whose hair was falling freely over his
shoulders. I started to shake fearfully, and I was just barely able to utter: "How did you come here?" The person responded in a serious tone: "Don't you worry how I came here, but tell me why don't you light my vigil lamp?" With utter fear, with a shaky voice, and with tears in my eyes, I said: "Please forgive me, Saint John. I am at fault." I then prostrated myself three times before his feet, crying and asking him to forgive me.

I then heard the Honorable Forerunner address me with a calm and sweet voice: "My child, Bisarion, why did you say that I am not here? If I am not here present, then who has been guarding you all
this time you are here in this wilderness from thieves and other harmful criminals?" "Please, my saint," I replied. "Please forgive me. I won't do it
again." "Go, light the vigil lamp hanging before my icon, and preach to others as well that the icons perform miracles. Because many people in this area have started to say that the icons do not perform miracles." This is what the Honorable Forerunner said to me, and then he disappeared.

That very same moment, I went to the chapel, where I witnessed another miracle! I saw that all the money had been returned to the exact some spot in front of the icon of St. John, where it had been originally placed before it disappeared.

The thief must have experienced a good scare, enough to make him return the money that same evening to the icon.

from the book Narrations from Dionysiou Monastery