On August 20, 2023, we, the authors and creators of documentary films on St. Gabriel (Urgebadze), came to Moscow to show a film about the saint and to hold an evening in memory of St. Gabriel on his birth anniversary—August 26. We had planned to stay for two weeks, but we stayed instead for two months. I will tell our readers in our next article about all the miracles that have occurred and are still occurring before of the wonderworking icon of Sts. Gabriel and Seraphim of Sarov and at the shrine with the elder’s relics. Now I would like to share with you some wonderful testimonies that once again confirm that the saints are with us and never abandon us.
A woman named Anna told us that she had accidentally passed near the Church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, hurrying by on business. She was not going to enter the church, but she suddenly heard a high-pitched voice, calling out, “Where are you going?! Come into the church! Come in, I’m here!” She got scared and obeyed the order to enter the church:
“I went inside the church and saw the icon and the relics associated with Elder Gabriel, whom I venerate greatly. I had dreamed of traveling to him in Samtavro and venerating the relics, but because of certain problems I couldn’t. But it appeared that he came himself and even called me, a sinner. He invited me in, to bless me and give me great joy, with which my heart is filled even now. Thank God!”
When Anna told me about this, I was happy for her, but I thought it was not worth writing about it. However, there were many similar stories. Here is another one below.
One Sunday I gave a talk on the venerable father at the Sunday school at the Church of the Iveron Icon. Not many people were present. I began to tell them briefly about the saint’s life, and later about the miracles that occur at his relics every day. After I had finished, we continued the talk in a question-and-answer format. At some point a woman named Olga stood up and said that she was amazed by the stories I had related about the elder.
“Constantine, I’m here with my elderly mother. We were standing at the bus stop beside the church and waiting for the bus, hoping to get home soon, when suddenly an old woman in a black robe came up to us and said, ‘It’s not the right time to wait for the bus now! A wonderworking icon and other relics from Georgia are here in the church! Batiushka is calling you!’ And she walked into the church. My mother and I looked at each other in surprise and decided to go into the church quickly and see what icon from Georgia it was, what priest had noticed us and called us, and what relics were there! When we entered the church, we saw a long queue for some large icon and heard beautiful Georgian singing. We decided to stay there for some time. We approached the icon and recognized St. Seraphim of Sarov, but did not immediately recognize the second saint. It was explained to us that the saint in question was the Venerable Gabriel (Urgebadze). We had heard about him before, but we hadn’t known much about his life and activity. So we stood in line, venerated the elder’s cap and other holy objects, and then we were invited to a talk. And now we are here and very happy about it. Curiously enough, we didn’t see that old woman, and the church rector hadn’t called us either. When you said that Elder Gabriel was born on August 26, it was a kind of sign for me—my birthday is on August 26 too. It was Elder Gabriel who called my mother and me! From today on, he will become one of our favorite saints. After we had venerated the relics in the church, my severe headache and my mother’s pain in her legs stopped instantly. How could we not know about such a great saint of our times?... But he invited us and got acquainted with us so warmly. Great art Thou, O Lord…”
As I listen to such stories, I involuntarily remember how our beloved Elder Gabriel smiled in his lifetime, and raising his hands towards Heaven, said: “Great art Thou, O Lord, and wonderful are Thy works. The human mind cannot comprehend Thy miracles!”
I try to remember every moment of our stay in the church, but I can’t describe in words the love that we experienced over those two months. We don’t know what other miracles the prayers of our beloved Mama Gabrieli will perform—only the Lord knows about it. We have seen with our own eyes how the elder loves the Lord and teaches us all this love at every step, how he supports and strengthens us all in such difficult times!
Appeal to readers
Dear brothers and sisters! During our stay in Moscow we did a lot of work for the shooting of the third documentary about St. Gabriel. There is a lot of important work ahead of us. We appeal to you with a request to offer your mite to the creation of the film—even a tiny amount often turns out to be decisive in a great cause.
Sberbank of Russia card number: 4276 6900 1646 4429
Recipient: David Kobayevich Chikadze (Давид Кобаевич Чикадзе)
When transferring funds, you are invited to indicate your names in Holy Baptism along with the names of your reposed relatives. All donors will be remembered at the prayer service in front of the relics of St. Gabriel (Urgebadze) at Samtavro Monastery and in front of the relics and the wonderworking icon of Sts. Gabriel and Seraphim of Sarov. You can indicate the names either in the comments on your money transfers or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org