The following stories were shared with the editors of Pravoslavie.Ru by readers of the site.
“We were barren for eight years”
Last July, a very unusual story happened to us, but we are very grateful to God and St. Spyridon for everything.
My wife and I have been in a Church-sanctified marriage for a little more than nine years now. We got married with the blessing of an elder soon after we met. But, unfortunately, we had no children for eight years. As for our health, it was like with everyone else: The doctors gave us various diagnoses; some said we were healthy and they didn’t know why we were infertile. We fervently prayed to God and many saints for many years. We visited holy places. We kept to a strict fast with the blessing of a certain Athonite elder. But the Lord delayed. Our only hope was the promise of our elder, Batiushka John Mironov, who married us, who said: “You will have three children.” This phrase, said in passing, was the only light that allowed us to continue to hope and somehow battle our deep despair and lack of faith.
Then, after eight years, the Lord deemed us worthy to somehow end up on Corfu. We knew about St. Spyridon before that and had very warm feelings about this God-pleaser, but we had no idea where his relics reposed. Finding ourselves on Corfu, we started going to the church, to St. Spyridon. We were there for about three weeks, and we went to this church all the time. We were drawn there like a magnet.
And then, after very fervent prayer, the Lord vouchsafed us to conceive a child.
I found out about it in a very unusual way. The thing was that I had already stopped expecting anything a long time ago, but hope always flickered within me. And then, during prayer, I suddenly heard a voice inside me: “You’re pregnant.” I was terribly confused and thought it was some temptation or delusion. I quickly drove the thought away, I forgot about it.
That summer, the Lord blessed us to visit a great number of holy sites. Corfu was the last stop on our great journey. When we got back home, I randomly went to the doctor’s, and they told me I was pregnant. Our surprise and joy knew no bounds. Everything looked good and the baby was developing properly. My husband found a new job and everything was great.
But, brothers and sisters, any gift must be preserved and multiplied. We were so euphoric that we were 100% certain that everything would turn out well. I regretted leaving my job—I wanted to keep the benefits. I plunged back into the whirlpool of hustle and bustle. My husband also concentrated on various mundane things, cares, and his new job. Sometimes we even prayed little in the morning and evening.
Our spiritual father warned us: “Children, take care of yourselves and protect your gift like a crystal vase!” But we weren’t able to hear his words right away; we were both in some strange spiritual stupor. Then came the first alarm bells: I began to have various ailments, but we didn’t pay any spiritual attention to it and began to rely more on medical advice. In the middle of my pregnancy, I had to go to the hospital and was bedridden for a long time. This brought me to my senses, but both parents have to come around.
It so happened that the baby died, and I had to deliver it. As the proverb says: “God giveth, and God taketh away.”
We always think that if a miracle occurs, then everything will definitely be okay now! But, it turns out, you yourself have to labor, to preserve, multiply, and be humble. More than a year has passed since our tragedy and the Lord hasn’t sent us any more children. But we are grateful to God for this experience and now we know for sure that we are not barren!
We went to Corfu again this summer and brought a modest gift (a sliver plate with the image of a baby, according to Greek tradition) to the church as a sign of gratitude to St. Spyridon for his miraculous help.
Today we repent and pray to the Lord and His saint that He might not deprive of His mercy but would grant us another child, as well as the strength to adequately bear the parental obedience.
Alexander Bondarev, Volgograd
“I literally only had enough money left for a few days”
I was in a difficult financial situation. I literally only had enough money left for a few days, and even then, all I could afford was bread and milk. I remember that in case of material difficulties, people pray to St. Spyridon. In the evening, I read his akathist in hopes of receiving some kind of work soon. The next day, the first order arrived, which allowed me to at least buy some groceries. After a while, more and more orders came in. I got job offers from almost every place I applied (I work online). I was amazed at the speed and abundance of help, and just this fact in general.
Glory to the Lord and St. Spyridon, a miraculous man of prayer, helper, and intercessor for us sinners before God!
“By the mercy of God, I took Communion calmly and joyfully”
I “met” St. Spyridon ten years ago. There was about half an hour left before Holy Communion when I discovered something missing from my purse: Someone had taken my wallet, where I had public money collected for gifts and the graduation party for my eldest son’s class. It was a significant amount for me. I began to grumble inwardly, but I had to calm down before approaching the chalice. At that same moment, I unexpectedly started praying to St. Spyridon (I didn’t know anything about him then; even his name came to mind in some miraculous fashion). By the mercy of God, I took Communion calmly and joyfully. A little while later, my wages were recalculated for several years, and the extra amount was exactly as much as I’d lost.
“My gastritis was aggravated”
My story is very simple and modest. It’s not a story about some amazing miracle. Nevertheless, the help that St. Spyridon gave me was very significant and invaluable for me.
In May of this year, they brought relics of St. Spyridon to us in Minsk. Before that, I didn’t know anything about this amazing saint, but my friend Katya and I decided to go to the Holy Spirit Cathedral and venerate the relics.
Before going to the church, I looked up information about the saint online and read about his life, miracles, and help to people. I was moved most of all by the story about St. Spyridon’s shoes—about how every year the clergy of the Greek church where his miraculous relics are kept have to change his worn-out shoes. That means that even after his death, St. Spyridon walks around the world helping the needy and the sick.
In the church shop, my friend and I bought some oil blessed on the relics of St. Spyridon. And after venerating his right hand, they gave us little icons of the wonderworker. I put all these valuables on a shelf at home where I have other icons and prayer books, and for the time being … I forgot about them.
And in November, just before the Nativity Fast, my gastritis was aggravated. The pain was such that I couldn’t sleep at night. When it became really bad, I remembered the saint’s miraculous oil and anointed myself with it. As soon as I did so, the pain went away instantly, as though it had never been there in the first place. A few days later, I had another attack, and once again, the saint’s oil helped me instantly.
To be honest, I’m not a very careful person. I don’t follow my diet for the gastritis and I try not to take any medicines. Therefore, it’s quite natural that I had a third attack. This reveals another amazing thing: the saint’s patience. Again, he came to help me. As soon as I anointed myself, the pain immediately vanished, and I was able to fall asleep.
I didn’t read any akathists or prayers to the wonderworker before. Even during my illness, when it was particularly bad, I addressed St. Spyridon with my own words. To thank him for his help, I read the troparion written on the icon they gave us at the church. It seems to me St. Spyridon is very selfless, merciful, and trusting to people.
Holy Hierarch, Fr. Spyridon, pray to God for us!
“My nephew hated his grandmother”
I want to tell about the help that my family and I received from St. Spyridon this year. We had a disaster in January. Whether from drug use or some other reason, my adult nephew developed a psychosis.
It got so bad that he came to hate his grandmother—my mother—so much so that, fearing for her life, I had to move her out of her own apartment. We put her in a one-room apartment with her sister. My nephew had a murderous disposition. It was time for his grandmother to depart this life already. We understood, of course, that his mind was damaged, but that didn’t make the pain I felt for my mother any less. There was the matter of a forced—through the courts—exchange of apartments, so my mother could somehow live in peace.
Then I remembered what I read on your site about St. Spyridon’s help with a housing issue. So I started praying to him, since we have a large icon of him at church. He helped us very quickly: My nephew came back to normal, my mother returned to her own apartment, and at the age of 88, found her own home for the second time!
We magnify thee, O Holy Fr. Spyridon, and we honor thy holy memory, for thou dost pray to Christ our God for us!
“Doctors gave my daughter a frightful diagnosis—keratitis”
Doctors gave my daughter a frightful diagnosis—keratitis. They treated her for a long time, but to no avail. They brought relics of St. Spyridon to our city, and my daughter venerated them and put her head scarf and an icon on the relics. She prayed to St. Spyridon at home. And at the end of August, before the beginning of the school year, she decided to go see her doctor—just in case the keratitis had disappeared. The doctor smiled and said her illness was incurable. But when she examined her, she asked very seriously what she had done, how she had been treated. My daughter replied that it’s hard to believe, but she was helped by St. Spyridon, to which the doctor said only a miracle could heal such a disease! Thank you, St. Spyridon. Pray to God for us!
“Everything I earned was spent on medicine”
I love St. Spyridon with all my heart. I first heard about him from one parishioner. She told me about a time when St. Spyridon helped one poor family raise funds for a pilgrimage. I was sick at that time, and because of my sickness, I was left without a job, without means to survive, because everything I earned was spent on medicine, examinations, and taking care of my teenage daughter. I was in despair. I started reading the akathist to St. Spyridon before bed and asking his help, while at the same time submitting my resume anywhere I could. My joy and amazement knew no bounds when I was invited to work for a prestigious company. My salary was higher than any of my predecessors! None of my co-workers could believe that they had taken me “off the street.” Then, in the same miraculous way, I was able to go venerate the Cincture of the Theotokos and the right hand of St. Spyridon, which had been brought to Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar. Considering my work schedule, it was simply impossible! Batiushka Spyridon helps me in all my affairs! I saw an offer online for charitable assistance in submitting notes to St. Spyridon on Corfu. At that time, my brother and I had a disaster, but healing from a deadly addiction came very quickly—within a week. I thank God and all His holy army for everything! Glory to God in all His saints! Fr. Spyridon, pray to God for us!