The Story of One Miraculous Communion

This story was written down from the words of Irina, a parishioner of one Moscow church.


I was baptized in my youth, and when my mother suggested her best friend Lyuda1 to be my Godmother, I agreed. Neither my mother nor Godmother were Church women. They went to church sometimes and they believed in God (or at least they didn’t deny Him), but like most people of the Soviet era, they weren’t “carried away” about it.

Aunt Lyuda underwent unsuccessful cancer surgery, then she developed peritonitis, and she ended up in the ICU. Her condition was getting ever worse. Her son tried to get in to see her, but no one was allowed into the ICU.

Then on Bright Tuesday I was praying and thinking: “My Godmother’s hopeless—she’s dying. What will I do when it happens?” Then it suddenly occurred to me that it was possible to help her right then, that she could take Communion before passing away. Only I didn’t know how to arrange for it.

I was musing about which priest to ask (my spiritual father was very busy at that time and I didn’t want to disturb him) and walking around the apartment when I happened to notice that my husband got a text message from our friend Lesha,2 an acolyte. My husband happened to be at home with a fever that day, which is extremely rare for him.

I called Lesha back, explained the situation to him, and it turned out that our priest, Fr. Alexei, was somewhere in the area of the hospital my Godmother was in, which surprised and delighted me very much!

I called Batiushka, and it turned out that he was very close to the hospital just then. I didn’t even think that he should have the Holy Gifts with him, but he was coming from having communed a sick parishioner at home, who fortunately lived in that area, and he did have them with him!

I left our young child with my husband and rushed off, with many questions in my head. How would we get into the ICU if even my Godmother’s own son wasn’t allowed in? What if Aunt Lyuda didn’t want to take Communion? And how would she react to seeing me? Or maybe the situation with a priest in general would frighten her, like many other seriously ill non-Church people whom a priest suddenly visits?

Fr. Alexei met me at the hospital gate, and we headed for the ICU. A very beautiful and lovely woman came out, asking who we were and what we wanted. After a little hesitation, I nevertheless answered honestly that I was Lyudmila’s Goddaughter and that Batiushka and I wanted her to take Communion.

The woman unexpectedly answered that, of course, there would be no problem. There was another patient’s relative with us in the hallway, and she couldn’t believe her luck that they would let us in now. She grabbed the doctor by the hand and asked her name, so she’d be able to get in next time too. As in the best Hollywood traditions, the doctor suddenly replied: “Why do you need my name? I won’t be here tomorrow.” And that’s how we miraculously got into the ward.

Aunt Lyuda was half-conscious and couldn’t speak, but when she saw me, she recognized me—her eyes opened wide, and it was clear that she was extremely surprised. She regained consciousness but couldn’t speak, and reacted only with her eyes. I reassured her and told her everything, explaining that her son was very eager to see her, but only I had managed to get in by some miracle. I told her we were very worried, that we loved her very much, and that everything would be fine.

Fr. Alexei asked Lyudmila if she wanted to take Communion, and fortunately she agreed. Batiushka got vested, and I helped him, which was very touching. Aunt Lyuda couldn’t speak, and Fr. Alexei asked permission to remove the oxygen mask for a while. He listed the sins and asked if she had committed them. She nodded with her eyes, and Batiushka gave her Communion.

He also told her: “Don’t think you’ll just get better and so this confession was just a formality on your part.” But then he promised to visit her again when she got better, to receive her full confession. Though I believe that my Godmother certainly understood everything... It was hard for me to say goodbye to her, to look at her, since I realized we would never see each other again. But what happened was a great relief.

Three days later I got a call from the hospital that Lyudmila had just departed to the Lord. She fell into a coma sometime after her confession and Communion and never regained consciousness.

I asked Fr. Alexei how I should pray for my Godmother and what special prayers I should read, but he replied that she didn’t need anything special. He testified: Since she was vouchsafed to confess and take Communion and then repose in Bright Week, when the royal doors are open in church, then everything is fine with her now.

There are many such connecting links in this story, that if at least one thing hadn’t happened, the whole thing would have been impossible. First, if my husband had been at work, I wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere, because there wouldn’t have been anyone to watch our child. Second, I accidentally saw that my husband got a text message from the acolyte Lesha, and Lesha knew that Fr. Alexei had taken the Holy Gifts to commune someone. Third, out of all of gigantic Moscow, Batiushka was right there near the hospital and was free right when I called him. Fourth, we were let into the ICU. And fifth, Aunt Lyuda agreed to take Communion. Everything in this story is a miracle from beginning to end!

And for me it was a great joy and strengthening of my faith to touch, to be involved in such Divine acts.

May the Lord forgive the servant of God Lyudmila all her sins, voluntary and involuntary, and grant her the Kingdom of Heaven!

Prepared by Evgenia Kalachikhina
Translation by Dmitry Lapa


1 A diminutive form of the name Lyudmila.—Trans.

2 A diminutive form of the name Alexei.—Trans.

Justina5/28/2022 1:33 am
Glory to God!
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