On August 26, 2021, the birthday of Elder Gabriel (Urgebadze), Pravoslavie.ru published new testimonies of his miraculous help, which we offer our readers.
“My son was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome”
St. Gabriel When my son Archil was fifteen, he contracted a rare condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. The doctors warned me that the disease was potentially life-threatening and didn’t give me much hope for my son’s recovery. At the hospital Archil underwent quite expensive procedures, after which he was discharged home and I was warned: “Archil has acute immunodeficiency caused by this condition. So be careful: in no case should he catch cold or contract any virus.” It was cold in the room where I slept, so I would put my son to bed in my mother’s room. It was warm there. My mother is a wheelchair user, too. Every night I went into the room several times and protected the safe sleep and health of my child, as it were.
One night I wrapped a blanket around Archil to keep him warm, made the sign of the cross and before leaving the room asked Elder Gabriel to “look after the child.” Soon I fell asleep in my room. A few hours later in a dream I heard a clear voice, “Get up! Get up! Look at him...” At first I thought that I had heard this while half asleep, but in a few moments, with God’s help, I made out whose voice it had been, jumped out of bed and ran to Archil’s room. The child was asleep, with the blanket lying on the floor. Since Archil’s muscles were badly affected and weak, he couldn’t have covered himself with a blanket, and, besides, he was sleeping soundly without realizing that he was cold.
This is how Elder Gabriel answered my prayer instantly and woke me up. Our Mama Gabrieli has such boldness towards God! We visited Samtavro Convent As often as possible, and one fine day we were lucky enough to venerate the coat of Elder Gabriel and other relics associated with him. When Archil touched the relics and the coat of Father Gabriel, his joy knew no bounds. He prayed as best he could. I will never forget his eyes filled with joy and love. After a short time Archil began to recover. Today he moves around freely and independently, although he cannot run. And this is after he couldn’t sit upright even in a wheelchair, couldn’t hold his neck up, and couldn’t move his fingers due to muscular atrophy in his arms and legs. Through the prayers of Elder Gabriel, the Lord gave me my boy for the second time.
After his recovery Archil told me that when he was bedridden and couldn’t move, and had no strength for anything, he saw Elder Gabriel sitting at his bedside without leaving him. “I knew that he would help me. He sat next to me and looked at me with great love,” Archil related.
I can’t stop thanking God Who has sent us our beloved Elder Gabriel.
“The doctors suggested that I have an abortion”
I was expecting my first baby, and the pregnancy was accompanied by severe toxemia. During a medical examination, tests showed that the baby would be born with Down Syndrome. The doctors suggested that I have an abortion. I was so depressed that I was unable to answer anything to the doctor and left the hospital silently. “No, I won’t have an abortion,” I said to myself. And I was afraid to reveal my decision to those around me, mostly non-religious people. My husband was on a business trip, and I decided not to tell him about the test results by phone. I screwed up my courage to go to my spiritual father and tell him about my misfortune. He listened to me and then said very calmly: “Take Communion, read the Psalms and akathists, and everything will be fine...”
The next morning I went to Samtavro Convent, venerated the relics of Elder Gabriel and prayed tearfully. At some point a nun who had probably noticed me in such a state approached me and handed three sweets to me. I was confused and didn’t know what to do. “Take them! They are left from the service of intercession to St. Gabriel. Eat them—they are tasty.” I took the sweets, thanked the nun and continued to pray.
When I left Samtavro, peace and grace reigned in my soul. I didn’t like sweets, still less in my condition, but on the way back I thought that I needed to try one of them. In the end, I ate all three, but with such ease that I myself was surprised. I didn’t feel any reaction or nausea. “Apparently, these were grace-filled sweets,” I thought.
I came home, read the akathist hymn and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, my husband had already returned from his business trip. I made up my mind to tell him everything, and suddenly he said to me with a smile: “Nina, do you know what a weird and funny dream I had?! You and I were in church, and you were standing in the corner. Suddenly a strange priest with a white beard came up to you and offered you sweets, as if you were a girl, with the words, ‘Eat! Eat them! They are so nice...’ And with a strange gait, waving his arms, he left the church...” Before my husband had time to finish talking about the dream, I burst into tears... He was confused and didn’t understand what was happening... I told him everything while sobbing, and he listened to me silently. To my great surprise, he himself asked to go to Samtavro together.
We arrived. He was standing and looking at the icon of Elder Gabriel. “I think it was him,” my husband said. And we firmly decided not to have an abortion! From that day on, my husband tried to go to church with me regularly. Throughout my pregnancy we didn’t lose hope, and I prayed to the elder that everything would be fine and the baby would be born healthy...
The time came, and my daughter Barbara was born... She was perfectly healthy! The doctors were really astonished. And my husband and I knew who had helped us by doing this seemingly impossible thing! And the things which are impossible with men are possible with God (Lk. 18:27). More than a year has passed since then, and new videos of Elder Gabriel appeared over this period. After watching them my husband said in amazement: “It was him that I saw in my dream! He lifted up his hands to heaven in the same manner...” Now my husband has a spiritual father as well. We try to visit Samtavro Convent often together with Barbara, who also loves Elder Gabriel very much!
Glory to God for all things, and glory to our beloved Elder Gabriel!
I would like to address the women, the mothers who find or will find themselves in a similar situation: Believe in the Lord, pray to Him, to His saints, don’t despair, and never have abortions!
Appeal to the readers of OrthoChristian.com
The authors and creative team of the films, “The Elder’s Diadem” and “I Am Waiting for You in Samtavro” are now working on a third documentary about St. Gabriel, entitled “Mama Gabrieli.” It will be dedicated to the veneration of St. Gabriel in Georgia and outside it. Filming has partly been carried out in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Serbia. There is a lot of work ahead of us.
We appeal to you to offer your mite towards the making of the film.
Donations can be sent via PayPal to email@example.com.
The Sberbank card number: 4276 6900 1646 4429
Recipient: Давид Кобаевич Чикадзе (David Kobaevich Chikadze)
We ask you to indicate your names in Holy Baptism, along with the names of your departed relatives, when donating funds. All names will be commemorated during the service of supplication in front of the relics of St. Gabriel (Urgebadze) at Samtavro Convent and in front of the wonder-working icon of Sts. Gabriel and Seraphim of Sarov. Names can be sent in an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.