A Desperate Step. On the Life-giving Power of Holy Communion

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you (Jn. 6:53)


This story about miraculous help of the sacrament of Holy Communion was told to me by a believing woman who was directly involved in saving a baby.

“My younger sister had a very complicated first pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of her baby in the eighth month, and the newborn was barely saved. He was born weighing 1.6 kg (3 lbs 8.4 oz), and he was placed into an incubator. It happened at the end of the last century, and there were no good conditions for premature babies then. Lawlessness reigned everywhere (in Georgia), and maternity hospitals were no exception. For each day of the infant's stay in the hospital they demanded a lot of money, which my sister simply didn’t have.

“The baby was born very weak with health problems. We decided to invite a priest to baptize the newborn right in the hospital, but the doctors would not let him in. At last we managed to persuade the doctor on duty to allow the priest to see the child. He baptized the baby, who was named Savva (Sabbas) in honor of Venerable Savva of Storozhev.

“But the infant was fading away. He did not gain weight, was very weak and barely reacted to anything. The doctors averted their eyes when we asked them about his condition. It was clear that they didn’t hope that he would survive.

“We wanted to invite a priest again—to give the infant Holy Communion and fully rely on God. But this was out of the question—it had taken us a lot of effort to persuade the hospital staff to allow us to have the baby baptized. Then, firmly believing in the life-giving power of Holy Communion, I resolved to take a desperate step: Having wrapped the child in a headscarf (he was very tiny), I ‘stole’ him from the hospital and carried him to church. The Liturgy was going on. The parishioners who knew me began to ask whose child it was. I told them everything, and soon the whole church was praying for the baby. The newborn received the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and I returned to the hospital safely. They hadn’t even noticed the absence of the baby, since in those years newborns in hospitals were usually neglected. The next day the baby’s skin color began to return to normal (before, it was bluish), and the baby began to gain weight and revive before our own eyes.

“Our Savva survived!

“Now he is already an adult; he knows the story of his birth, and who saved his life!"

Our family knows about the life-giving power of the Holy Mysteries of Christ as well. I wrote about how this sacrament saved my newborn mother-in-law from death when she became seriously ill. Seeing that the baby girl was getting worse and there was no help from the doctors, her mother (a pious woman who went to church in the Soviet era) brought the dying infant to the holy chalice. Having received Communion, the girl quickly recovered. And from then on my mother-in-law did not suffer from any illness her entire life, almost until her death.

The power of Holy Communion has a wholesome effect on infants in particular, and in my life I seen evidence of this many times. When my son (who has received Communion regularly since he was three months old) was an infant, after the sacrament he would sleep until lunchtime without waking up or asking for food, and was very calm. Truly, the Holy Mysteries of Christ nourished him better than any food!

This sacrament also helps people in hopeless situations. The mother of a friend of mine fell seriously ill. The doctors detected a blood clot in her heart. My friend and her four sisters went to church, prayed for their mother, and decided to invite a priest to give her Communion. Their mother received Communion right in the hospital ward. Two weeks later a second test revealed that she had no blood clot!

Indeed, the Holy Spirit through the Holy Mysteries of Christ achieves the impossible!

“Christians have that heavenly fire for their meat. That is their pleasure. It cleanses, purifies, and sanctifies their hearts. It brings them to increase. It is their air and their life.”1

These words of St. Macarius the Great characterize in the best possible way the sacrament of Holy Communion and its effect on people.

Irina Krikheli
Translated by Dmitry Lapa



1 The citation source: https://pravoslavie.ru/77995.html

Cyril10/21/2021 7:51 pm
Glory to God in all things. Thank you.
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