Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Miracle of Saint John

Summer before last we had the opportunity to travel as a family to California for a two week vacation.  It was a blast!  We stayed with friends along the way, friends who, incidentally, had many children like we do which made the adventure seem even more lively.  It was one of those trips where we didn't plan too many things.  We had a few "must do's" but it was so refreshing not to feel like our days were dictated by a schedule. 

One of our "must do's" was to go to San Francisco to hang out with my brother, Uncle Aaron (or Uncle Fun if you're one of his nieces or nephews).  It was a blast!  We went to Fisherman's Wharf and had clam chowder in sour dough bowls.  We watched a magician on the wharf and saw the Silver Man perform, smelled the Ghirardelli chocolate, played on stairs that looked and made sounds like a piano and saw a trolley.  It was such fun! 

We were preparing to take my brother back to his place but, since it was on the way, decided to stop briefly by the Holy Virgin Cathedral - Joy of All Who Sorrow.  We had been to this Church before, when we were preparing to move to Colorado.  We had walked into what looked like heaven! 


We were prayed over by the priest near the relics of Saint John Maximovich and were presented with several vials of oil from his vigil lamp. We had the opportunity to visit the orphanage he had set up. We saw the cell he used with no bed, only a recliner, for he rarely slept and we said the Our Father.  We visited the original wooden church where Saint John's vestments are kept and the priest covered us with the vestments and prayed over us!  We were blessed to have gone.  So this time, while we weren't able to stay for a whole service, I wanted to get a few vials of oil to give godparents and our priest back in Colorado.  I went into the great Cathedral, said some prayers and received five vials of oil.  I quickly put them into my purse because my husband was circling the block in our big van and I wanted to return before the children started a rebellion.   
A day or two went by and as we were packing up to leave I realized one of the bottles of oil had completely spilled into my purse! There were receipts, money, gum and all sorts of other things in my purse.  There were also two prayer ropes I was working on.  I reached in my purse to assess the damage and determine how to properly clean everything up when I realized the oil had been fully absorbed by the prayer ropes!  There was no oil on my purse, on the papers or anything else.  How could that be?! They were saturated with this holy oil.  I wasn't the only one this happened to. Just two weeks ago I heard from a young man in Sunday school who had a similar experience.  He had a vial of oil spill in his bag and all the oil was absorbed by his prayer rope when it should have gotten all over the clothes in his sack. 
Miracles are wonderful things! They are placed there for our edification and remind us how truly awesome God is.  His ways are not our ways.  Some think these kinds of miracles make us want to recognize a particular saint or relic, but everything about a Saint, any wonderworking that comes about from their relics or through their prayers, are not so the Saint will receive praise, but these blessed events all point to the One Who is the salvation of us all. 

1 comment:

  1. I was with you that time where we were all prayed for before moving to Colorado.
    Last year I visited St. Piasius Woman's Monastery in Arizona. While walking one afternoon, I encountered a Hieromonk and he asked me if I had anything inside my cross? (I wear a small silver reliquary cross)
    I said, no...to which he replied that he had something he could put in it if I gave it to him for an hour or so. (Which I did)
    What he placed in my cross was a piece of the first coffin of St. John Maximovich, pressed in bee's wax.
    We don't seek signs and wonders, but are sent reminders now and then that we are not forgotten or alone. A cloud of witnesses prays for us.