I was fortunate in 2002 to visit Archimandrite Hippolytus (Khalina), the abbot of the Rila Monastery near Kursk. Many would go to him for advice and spiritual fortification. And I went.
When we said goodbye to Batiushka, he gave me a paper icon of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina, which I keep as his blessing.
At that time I was laboring in Nikolo-Tikhon Monastery in Lukh. On the eve of the commemoration of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina I became so seriously ill that I couldn’t even raise myself from my bed—a temperature, I was shaking with fever, and every bone ached so much that I can’t even tell you. Even my eyes hurt. It happened suddenly. I lay alone in my cell, not knowing what to do.
The bells began to ring for Vigil and then I remembered that today is the commemoration of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina. After Fr. Hippolytus had given me her icon I began to venerate this saint and often turned to her.
Having gathered my last strength, I decided to go to church, figuring it’s no problem if I died: I’m in a monastery, and they can serve my funeral here. I wanted to go to one last service. And in this joyless state I headed for church.
When the anointing began, I was barely able to venerate the icon of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina, after which the abbot of the monastery Schema-Igumen Agafon (Chesnokov) anointed me with oil.
And immediately all my ailments disappeared! As if nothing had happened. Only a slightly ticklish throat remained.
I had a great Don Cossack friend in the monastery, Andrei Bagrov. He fought in Yugoslavia, Transnistria, and other places in the early ‘90s. He was the kindest-hearted man, but with a very sober outlook on everything. I approached him, being under the impression that a miracle had just happened to me: after all, a moment ago I couldn’t even stand. My joy knew no bounds, as I told Andrei. Andrei gave me a once over, and with an absolutely straight face just said: “People come to the monastery and begin to look for a miracle, and then what to do with them? What are you talking about? You need to be calm about everything.”
But my change was obvious: I had just been barely able to move on my feet, but after I venerated the icon of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina and they anointed me with oil there was no trace of any ailment left. And all this was in a matter of seconds.
Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina, pray unto God for us!