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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Saint Paisios the Athonite and the Japanese Buddhist

In May 1990, during one of my visits to Elder Paisios, we were about twenty pilgrims in his outdoor guesthouse.

Among us was a Japanese man, a chemical engineer of a large pharmaceutical company, who did not know Greek.

On this occasion, the Elder spoke about the Buddha and, addressing the Japanese man, told him that the Buddha was just a wise and intelligent man of his time. And how the world, admiring his wisdom, made him almost a god.

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Friday, May 27, 2022

A Christian Miracle to a Muslim in Mecca (From the Life of St. John the Russian)

Icon depicting an angel transporting a platter of hot pilaf from St. John to his master in Mecca.

Saint John the Russian (+ May 27, 1730) was a soldier who was taken as a slave and sold to a Turkish master who was a cavalry officer in Prokopion of Asia Minor. The Saint, though treated with contempt and abuse, with his kindness and gentle nature he had an effect on the souls of both the master and the other slaves. Saint John brought a blessing to his master simply by living in his household. The cavalry officer became rich, and was soon one of the most powerful men in Prokopion. He knew very well why his home had been blessed, and he did not hesitate to tell others.

One day the officer, being cheerful at his unanticipated success, left Prokopion and went to Mecca on pilgrimage with a great retinue to fulfill his religious duty as a Muslim. A few weeks later, his wife gave a banquet and invited her husband's friends and relatives, asking them to pray for her husband's safe return. Saint John served at the table, and he put down a dish of pilaf, his master's favorite food. The hostess said, "How much pleasure your master would have if he could be here to eat this pilaf with us." Saint John asked for a dish of pilaf, saying that he would send it to his master in Mecca. The guests laughed when they heard his words. The mistress, however, ordered the cook to give him a dish of pilaf, thinking he would eat it himself, or give it to some poor family as he was accustomed to do.

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Saturday, April 9, 2022

How Saint Raphael Brought a Muslim Man Back to Life

  In late August (around 2014), Mrs. Alkestis called the Monastery of Saint Raphael at Ano Souli, Marathon from Mykonos Island, asking for information regarding access and accommodation nearby, in order to be present at Saint Raphael’s, during the celebrations of the Monastery’s feast day on the 2nd of September.

While on the phone with one of the fathers, she asked him to light a candle to Saint Raphael for the brother of the cleaning lady that she had at her place to help with the housework, as he had suffered a stroke and eventually fallen into a coma. She had learnt that the doctors had said that it was almost impossible for the patient to recover and had recommended that the relatives be prepared for the inevitable. They all feared that even if he did survive –which was highly unlikely- he would not be able to move his hands and legs, nor would he be able to speak properly and coordinate his thoughts, due to extensive brain damage. As a result, all of the patient's relatives (of the Muslim faith, as was the patient) were extremely upset, as was Mrs. Alkestis, as she shared their pain.

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Thursday, February 17, 2022

Indian Muslims React to the Chanting of a Popular Greek Orthodox Hymn (video)

In the video below, Indian Muslims react to the chanting of a popular Greek Orthodox prayer known as Agni Parthene (Αγνή Παρθένε).

The popular Common Man Show YouTube channel, with over 20 million views, records the reactions of Indian Villagers and Tribal People trying new food, new songs and other interesting tasks.

In this particular episode, four Indian Muslims are emotionally moved and spiritually uplifted by listening to Agni Parthene. Currently there are nearly 170,000 views.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Muslim Testimonial Describing How Elder Jonah of Kiev Saved a Muslim Village from Cholera

Elder Jonah (ca. 1794-1902) was a disciple of Saint Seraphim of Sarov who experienced many remarkable visions of the heavenly realm, was visited by Christ Himself, and quite frequently by other Saints, including the Theotokos, who instructed him to found the Holy Trinity Monastery in Kiev.

A Muslim named Medzid Hanzibiev wrote the following for The Russian Pilgrim in 1892:

Near the city of Ekaterinodar in Kuban (a region in southern Russia) is the village of Tokhtomukai, home to more than two thousand Muslims of the Caucasus.

A terrible cholera epidemic broke out in this village.

Every day 20-25 people died. The panic was indescribable. All hopes were lost because there was no medical help.

I am a resident of this village and a Muslim. I had heard from some of my acquaintances who are Russians about the holiness and power of the prayers of the abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Kiev, Elder Jonah, and I had seen with my own eyes several cases of healing in Ekaterinodar done with his prayers.

That is why on July 29, I sent a telegram to Kiev describing our drama, and asked Father Jonah for his prayers for our salvation from cholera.

I received very quickly a warm and consoling answer, that he accepted my request and prayed before the throne of God for the salvation of the village.

The telegram was followed by a blessing.

I was closely following the events in the village and every day I learned all the relevant developments regarding the cholera epidemic.

That is why I am able to assure you that from the day I sent the telegram, the death toll has dropped significantly and the disease has subsided.

In fact, no new cases of the disease have appeared since August, and not a single case of death.

Source: This letter originally appeared in The Russian Pilgrim, issue 35, in 1892. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
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