Tuesday, July 18, 2006

St. Marina Goes to Work

Yesterday was my name day -- apparently, Margaret is another name for St. Marina of Antioch. St. Marina/Margaret used to be a saint on the Western calendar, too, until the Catholic Church threw her and several others off in 1969, noting that they were "probably myths brought back by the Crusaders from the East" -- since those "myths" include St. Christopher, St. Barbara, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, we will say no more about that, except to note that icons are not made of "myths." In other words, :-P~~~~~~~~~

However, sometime last year, this article came into my inbox, a translation from a newspaper article that appeared in a Greek newspaper. I was thinking of it recently, during my recent surgery. You draw your own conclusions.

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A few years ago, a family from Lemessos, Cyprus, named Vassiliou received the following miracle. In Greece they are well known from the televised requests they made in order to find a donor for their young boy Andrea, who suffered from leukemia. The donor was indeed found and the parents began preparing for their trip to Texas, U.S.A where the bone marrow transplant was going to be performed. Meanwhile, they also prayed and begged Jesus Christ to save their boy. Before they left for the U.S.A the parents heard of St. Marina's miracles and they called the monastery of St. Marina located on the island of Andros in Greece to ask for her blessing. The Elder of the monastery, Archimandrite Fr. Cyprianos promised that he would pray to St. Marina. He also wished the parents for St. Marina to be with Andrea in the operating room, to help him. With Elder Cyprianos' blessing and with strong faith that St. Marina would help indeed, the Vassiliou family went to the U.S.A.
After the necessary pre-operation tests that Andrea had to undergo, he was taken to the operating room. A short time before the operation was to begin, a woman came to see the surgeon who would be operating on Andrea. She said that she was Andrea's doctor and asked to be allowed to observe the operation. The conversation that ensued proved that the woman was indeed a doctor. However, the surgeon replied that 'outside' doctors were not permitted to be present in the operating room and that his medical teams' policy was that no doctor other than those on the team be involved in such delicate operations. The persistence of the woman however, convinced the surgeon to allow her in the operating room. But before, he asked her to leave her coordinates [presumably, credentials] at the administration desk. The unknown doctor did as told and then entered the operating room with the surgeon. During the operation, she gave several directions regarding the progress of the procedure. The operation went well and in the end the surgeon thanked the woman and exited the operating room.
Andrea's parents immediately went to inquire about the outcome of the surgery and the surgeon replied that all had gone very well, adding that he could not understand why they had brought Andrea to him when they had such a fine doctor. The parents were surprised and responded that they had not brought any doctor with them. The surgeon insisted, however. He also told them that when he came out of the operating room Andrea's doctor had remained there for a little longer with the rest of the operating team and therefore, she would probably still be around. He recommended that they look for her. The search, however, proved pointless, as the 'woman doctor' was nowhere around. The Vassiliou couple then concluded that it must have been a doctor from Greece or Cyprus who had decided to travel to the U.S.A and contribute to the delicate operation. They expressed the wish to know who she was so that they may be able to thank her, and at the surgeon's recommendation they then went to the administration desk to ask for her coordinates.
It was with utter surprise that they read that the unknown woman had signed with the name "Marina from Andros". Tears of gratefulness and joy filled their eyes as they recalled that the Elder at the monastery had said to them that he wished Andrea to have St. Marina in the operating room to help him. Andrea's parents shared with the media their joy both for the successful operation and Andrea's recovered health and for the miracle they received. The Vassiliou family made the vow that the entire family will be present at the saint's monastery every year on the saint's feast day (July 17) and Elder Cyprianos reports that the family has been making the annual trip from Lemessos to Andros every summer to thank Saint Marina for saving Andrea.
Miracles performed by the saints have never ceased to take place in the Orthodox Church. With these miracles, may our Lord Jesus Christ help us build our faith.

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

A belated Happy Name Day !
Chronia Polla!
Mnogaya Leta!
Many Years !

Mimi said...

Many Years!

I LOVE this story!

Katerina said...

Hi Meg.
I've sent you email about this so check your boxes!

Many years from me too!

May Saint Marina. Barbara, and all the others that have been thrown out of the Roman church, continue to do the work God has for them in bringing His sheep and lambs HOME!