Hundreds of Greek Cypriot Orthodox believers flocked on Tuesday to a church where a cleric claims miracles have taken place after the relic of a saint went on public display.
The church of Saint John Chrysostom, named after the saint, has become a focal point for pilgrims seeking help for themselves or loved ones after two miracles were proclaimed there.
The alleged miracles coincided with the arrival of the skull of John Chrysostom from Mount Athos in Greece. The saint’s relic went on show at the church in a Nicosia suburb on Saturday and its healing powers were declared soon afterwards.
In the first miracle, a 42-year-old woman who had been in a car accident and broken her leg was completely cured after a visit to the church of St John Chrysostom in Lakatamia on Saturday,
“She now walks naturally without the use of crutches,” Father Paraskevas of St. John’s told reporters on Tuesday, the saint’s feast day.
The second miracle took place at the same church on Sunday, when a semi-paralysed 16-year-old boy was also completely cured.
The two miracles were brought to light yesterday when Archimandrite or ‘Elder’ Ephraim from Mount Athos, who told reporters the two miracles happened after the arrival on the island of the skull of John Chrysostom, one of the most famous saints of the early Church. The Archimandrite is accompanying the relic on its tour of Cyprus.
He had been told of the miracles by Father Paraskevas, the priest from the Lakatamia church. The senior cleric was speaking after a meeting with President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday as part of his visit.
The relic of John Chrysostom, which arrived from Mount Athos on Saturday, was being hosted at the church in Lakatamia, named after the saint. It was put on show on Saturday evening, the day of the first miracle.
Father Paraskevas told reporters that the first miracle happened after the official church ceremony to mark the arrival of the skull.
He said the woman in question, whom he referred to as “Mrs Panyiota”, was brought to the church at around 10.30pm by her son, who drove her there. She had broken her leg in a car accident the previous week.
After praying to the saint, the priest said the miracle occurred instantaneously. Mrs Panayiota felt the pain leave her leg, and took off her cast.
“The injury disappeared. She walked normally and drove home in her car,” said Father Paraskevas.
The boy in the second incident, Panayiotis Panyiotou, had been semi-paralysed after a head injury some time ago. He had fallen down in class and hit his head, resulting in severe restriction of movement in his hands, which remained, despite therapy.
The boy went to church with his parents on Sunday. He was also cured instantly, according to the priest, and no trace of his condition remained.
St John, who lived from around 349-407 AD was Archbishop of Constantinople and produced the liturgy still celebrated in Orthodox churches across the world.
Numerous miracles have been attributed to him.
Western churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England, and the Lutheran church, commemorate the saint on September 13. In the Orthodox Church, his feast day is today.
His relics were looted from Constantinople by Crusaders in 1204 and brought to Rome, but were returned in November 2004 by Pope John Paul II.
The skull of St John Chrysostom is said to be one of the holiest relics of Mount Athos.
It will be returned to the Holy Mountain next Monday, but first it will be taken to Paphos on Wednesday, to Limassol on Friday and to Machairas Monastery on Sunday.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a November 14, 2007 article by Jean Christou in The Cyprus Mail