Six true stories about the power of the cross

    

As we celebrate the veneration of the Cross of Christ in the mid-week of Great Lent, we offer our readers these six true stories our own times demonstrating the power of the Cross and the sign of the cross, compiled by Pravoslavie.ru author Maria Saradzhishvili.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
(1 Cor. 1:18)
  

The “Healer”

    

“Want me to work on you?” offered a woman “healer” I knew out of great love, and mind you, for free.

“I have healed so many people already! I can perform operations from a distance."

I agreed out of curiosity. And she started passing her hands over me from a meter's distance. Then she said, “It’s not working, something is getting in the way. You are wearing something made of metal. You have to take it off.”

“I am wearing a watch, a safety pin, and a cross.”

“You can leave the watch and the safety pin, but the cross is really hindering—I can’t see any organs…"

I refused to remove the cross simply out of the illogic of it. Metal is metal. One metal thing gets in the way but the other doesn’t?

I only learned later why the cross “really hinders”. A year after this experiment I happened to read an article entitled, “The opium of unbelief corrupts,” by Igumen Ephraim. In it were the following lines:

“Modern young people, deprived of faith, and often even of the grace of baptism, through zombification are being turned into a controllable mass that can be directed by a few powerful magician-healers. <…> The zombification, that is, demonic possession is brought on by the 'healers' with the help of secret spells and special hand movements. <…> But the cross hinders them, they have a hard time working with it, because it attracts God’s grace to the person and does not allow the demonic powers to enter the body. That is why so-called ‘spiritual healers’ always ask their clients to remove their crosses.”

Written down from the narrator’s words.

* * *

The Black Dog

    

In 1998 I was walking with a friend down a village road. Not a soul around. Suddenly at the intersection we saw a huge black dog running full speed at us and barking his brains out. No owner in sight. Apparently he had let the dog out to run while he himself sat in the shadows. My heart sank. It was futile to run, and there was nowhere to hide.

“Don’t be afraid,” my companion said and made the sign of the cross over the dog, which was already three meters from us. “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! Stop!”

The dog stopped in its tracks and fell silent.

Written by the author from the narrator’s words

* * *

Terrible Wine

    

“Not long ago this is what happened to me; if someone else had told me about it I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” one of our parishioners told me.

You know, I go to visit one elderly lady from time to time. She is the mother of one of my classmates. Both of her twin sons died several years ago from hunger. They were not married, and so their mother was left entirely alone. To make ends meet, she signed her three-room apartment over to her neighbors so that they would look after her and feed her. The neighbors did not exert much effort for her but did bring her groceries here and there. And of course they can’t wait until her funeral.

They really don’t like it when I come to visit her. They know when she is not alone. I told my spiritual father once about this situation. He said, "Be cautious, or you don’t know but they might kill you, too." Now, he doesn’t say such things lightly. I was naturally surprised, but I didn’t take it as a warning.

Well, I came to visit this elderly lady on one Church feast day. She took out a bottle of wine. "Let’s drink to the memory of my boys," she said. Well, I of course never refuse a little wine. "Let’s!" I said. But there was something about that bottle I didn’t like. I took it and made the sign of the cross over it according to all the rules. And what do you think? The color of the wine changed! Right before our eyes! It turned some murky red color.

"Where did you get this bottle?" I asked.

"The neighbors," she replied, "gave it to me a long time ago. But I never had an occasion to open it."

What sort of wine that was we never learned, but neither did we drink it. God takes care of the one who takes care of himself.

I later told my spiritual father about this incident. But he looks at such things as self evident. "It’s good that you made the sign of the cross over it," he said.

Written by the author from the narrator’s words

* * *

My husband was dying of cancer

    

Lali P. related:

Through my husband the Lord showed me an example of how important it is to wear a cross.

My husband was dying from cancer. I was torn apart between him and our two small children. Every night he moaned from pain. He was tormented and couldn’t sleep, and this kept me up also. During the day he was just barely able to move around on crutches.

On December 19, St. Nicholas appeared to him. Note that it was precisely on that day [his feast day], in full vestments, with priestly cuffs on his wrists, and said, “John, put on your cross and don’t take it off.”

And he repeated this several times very sternly.

In the morning my husband told me about this dream—or vision—he didn’t know which. I snatched up the idea immediately. “Put it on! Without fail,” I said, “put it on!”

But he just waved his hand. “Ugh, leave me alone. How can a cross help me when even the painkillers are useless?!

Incidentally, we didn’t even have money for medications. We were in great need. He is an artist, and I was a jobless medic, what’s more with little kids. I went around to various humanitarian organizations and asked for whatever they could give. We barely managed to get by.

In a word, I little by little managed to get him to put on a cross. It was evening. I don’t know how I fell asleep—it was one of those sleepless nights.

In the morning I jumped out of bed sleepily. “How he must have suffered without me!” I thought, and ran to the bedroom. I looked in and there he was sitting peacefully and joyfully.

“How are you?” I asked.

“I’m fine,” he said. “No pain.”

Just a little while later he quietly passed away.

I later told one priest about this. He had his doubts. “That was a visitation of evil spirits,” he said. “They can take on any appearance.” But I don’t agree with him. After all, “not the healthy need a doctor, but the sick.” St. Nicholas feels sorry for everyone, even us sinners, especially with our pride and skepticism.

From that time on I have worn a cross and I never take it off.

Written by the author from the narrator’s words

* * *

Witnesses”

    

Many think that a total atheist is easier to convert to the path of truth than a sectarian. But this story is a happy exception.

One stout, middle-aged woman relates:

For as long as I remember I was always drawn to communion with God, although there were never any outward causes for this. To the contrary, it was forbidden even to mention the name of God in our family.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses came into my life accidentally. A woman and her niece came to our house. They somehow understood that their words found a response in my soul. There are many such people in that sect. They themselves are poisoned with that false teaching and try to pull others into perdition after them, fully believing that they are doing God-pleasing work. Although they could have become some of the better parishioners of our Church—such sincere desire do they have to serve God.

I think that people fall into that sect because the “witnesses” get ahead of the Orthodox priests in preaching. But only in the Church is person spiritually born.

I am ashamed to remember it now but earlier I also hated priests. I went from house to house and destroyed many souls, leading them after me down the wrong path.

Because of these sins my family broke up, and many close friends left me. But he Lord sent me help in the person of my daughter. Our relationship became very strained. Because of my activities she was rarely at home. She kept our contact to a minimum. Every morning I found under her pillow a large cross, which for me at the time was horrible to see.

Soon my daughter got into an automobile accident, and, hovering between life and death, she needed a blood transfusion.

When I came to the operating room, to my surprise, there among her relatives my “spiritual sisters” had turned up. They demanded that I refuse the transfusion, because “it’s forbidden in the Bible.” Everything went dark for me and I lost consciousness. In my faint I heard the voice of the Mother of God saying, “Save your daughter and wear this cross!” And I saw in her most pure hands the very cross that I had found under my daughter’s pillow every day.

In a word, we were saved. But it didn’t all end there. My former “brothers and sisters” began putting psychological pressure on me. I wavered, and didn’t know what to do. The enemy did not want to let me go. Then my daughter took me to her spiritual father. On his chest I saw a shining cross and remembered my vision.

I bowed to him and asked for a blessing.

Written down by Maria Tuyaeva

Karibche Magazine, January 7, 2015

* * *

The Ceiling

    

This story happened before my own eyes. My friend asked me to become his son’s godfather. I joyfully agreed. Beka was ten months old—he was happy and tranquil child, and his father would say, “It’s as if he never feels the cold or any pain. I have a real warrior growing up!”

After the baptism the table was laid. Beka was put to sleep. Some time later his mother said, “When I changed his clothes I took off his cross and forgot to put it back on.” I immediately rose from the table and offered, “I am his godfather—allow me to put the cross on the child!”

I went into his bedroom. The boy was sleeping deeply. I very carefully placed the cross around his neck. Beka immediately woke up and starting crying. His mother ran in when she heard it. No matter what she did—rock him, give him water—nothing could calm him down. His crying escalated into hysterics. His frightened father came in and took his son in his arms, but the boy would not be comforted.

Then he took the child out to the guests at the table. The boy immediately stopped crying and smiled.

“So that is want he wanted,” the mother smiled.

“Sister, he wanted to feast with us,” joked the toastmaster.

He had barely finished when there was a loud noise and the whole house shook. A cloud of dust billowed out of the bedroom. We looked in there. Right over Beka’s crib the ceiling had fallen. There were huge pieces of stucco piled on his bed and around it on the floor. The grace of the cross that had just been put on him made the boy cry and thus saved him.

Eldar Maisuradze

Kviris palitra newspaper, May 14, 2007

Compiled by Maria Saradzhishvili
Translation by OrthoChristian.com

Pravoslavie.ru

4/4/2016

Comments
Joseph Bell4/5/2016 5:48 am
St. Constantine had a vision of the cross in the sky before the battle of the Milvian Bridge. He painted the cross on the shields of his soldiers or Chi Rho and won the battle. He proceeded to legalize Christianity in the newly united Roman Empire and moved the city to a town called Byzantium, that he renamed Constantinople. He continued to honor the cross for the rest of His days. His mother, St. Helen helped to discover the true cross, on an expedition to Jerusalem.
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