There is a small chapel with an icon of St. Mary of Egypt in the courtyard of our Church of the Sts. Isidores. On this icon you will see many pendants and various decorations. All of them were donated to the church by people in gratitude for miracles and healings that had happened to them through the prayers of the venerable mother. I would like to tell readers about one of these miracles in a little more detail.
One day a woman came to our church. She was weeping bitterly and could not calm down. I asked her:
“What is the matter?”
“A real disaster!” she answered. “My daughter ran away from home, became a drug addict, and I have no idea how to make her come back home.”
What should I say to a grieving mother? I asked her to wait a bit and went into the altar to pray in front of the great relic—a miracle-working cross, which is kept in our church. I asked the Lord to enlighten me to give her an answer according to His holy will. There, in the altar, I saw two icons. I had received them not long before from a man of holy life, Archimandrite Chrysostomos (Tavoulareas), abbot of the Monastery of St. Gerasimos of the Jordan. One of the icons depicted a great saint—the Venerable Mary of Egypt. “Here it is—an answer to my prayer to the Lord!” I took the miracle-working cross out of the altar, blessed all the pilgrims with it, and turned to the weeping mother:
“Leave the church and go to the chapel with the icon of St. Mary of Egypt. Ask the venerable mother to return your daughter. Pray with your own words, as your heart tells you.”
She went outside. A few minutes later the whole church shook. Outside was heard the loud, heartrending cry of the woman:
“Holy Mary of Egypt, return my daughter!!! She has been on drugs for two years! She can die!!! I gave birth to her! I am her mother! Please help me, a sinner!!!”
The pilgrims began to cross themselves zealously. It seemed that there was no one in the church who remained indifferent to the desperate cry for help. Having poured out her pain, the woman returned into the church, came up to me and said:
“Father, bless me with the miracle-working cross because now my heart is going to break from grief!”
I prayed to the Mother of God to help the poor woman and gave her the icon of St. Mary of Egypt, which was kept in the altar, so she could continue to pray to her at home.
About two months passed. The woman came to my church again. Once she saw me from afar, ignoring the crowding pilgrims who had come to venerate the cross she shouted loudly, but now with undisguised joy:
“Father, I’ve brought you back the icon! Saint Mary of Egypt has helped me get my daughter back!”
She was holding the hand of a young lady of about twenty. It was her daughter Helena. She told me the amazing story of her salvation.
Shortly before our meeting Helena had already prepared a syringe to inject herself with another dose of drugs. Suddenly a woman, “as thin as a skeleton”, approached her and said:
“Never do that again! Come home—your mother is waiting for you. Everything will be fine with you.”
“What is your name?” Helena asked.
“My name is Mary of Egypt. I have come to you from the Church of the St. Isidores.”
The young lady threw away the syringe and went home, but on the way she began to feel chills and vomit. These were withdrawal pains. When she had only a little way to go, she fell to the ground, with people running up to her. Before losing consciousness, she managed to give them her address and asked to be taken home, dead or alive.
After a little while she came to her senses and was helped to get home. She rang the doorbell. Footsteps were heard, and then her mother's voice:
“Mommy, it’s me, your daughter!”
It is impossible to convey the joy of the mother who finally saw her child! She threw herself on Helena’s neck and led her into the house, where she gave her all tender care and affection.
When her daughter came to, she did not need to undergo rehabilitation and stay in the hospital; she felt quite well, and the mere thought of drugs disgusted her. Her mother invited her to go to the Church of the Sts. Isidores to thank St. Mary for healing her from drug addiction.
About two years have passed since then. Helena has changed a great deal and now one can hardly recognize her. The past is far behind. She met a wonderful young man who offered her his hand and heart. If one day they have a daughter, they will certainly call her Maria.
O Venerable Mother Mary, help us and always be our protector!