My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
MIRACLES OF THE CHIEF-COMMANDER OF THE BODILESS HOST,
THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, IN BYZANTINE TIMES
In the period after the New Testament, there are also accounts of the Archangel Michael’s cures and wonders (miracles). Therefore, on this day (November 8th), we call upon him as the protector of our lives and celebrates his honored feast with the remembrance of some of his miracles.
The Church of the Archangel Michael in Sosthenion
When Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337 A.D.) was building Constantinople, it came to pass that he constructed a church dedicated to the Archangel Michael in the surrounding auburn, known as Sosthenion. The account of how this church came to be built is curious indeed. In the outlying suburb, there is a statue of a man with wings. The Great Constantine marveled at the work and wondered what it could mean. He asked his nobles, but no one knew to whom it was dedicated. He then besought God, "Reveal to me after whom the statue was fashioned." At night, the Archangel Michael appeared to him and said, "I AM THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, THE HELPER OF THE CHRISTIANS, even as I have assisted thee in thy victories over thine enemies. For this cause, do thou build a church in my name, and I shall preserve thee from all thine enemies until the end of thy life." When the Emperor awoke, he immediately set about fulfilling the command of the Archangel. The church he erected was huge, for which he apportioned considerable revenues. On the feast day of the Archangel, Christians from the suburbs were assembling at the new church from the outlying areas. One of the faithful had a child who was deaf and dumb from his mother’s womb. The father brought the lad into the church and besought the Archangel to heal him. After much supplicating, the Archangel hearkened to the prayer of that poor father. During the Divine Liturgy, the child was brought before the icon of the Chief-Commander Michael. When the Deacon was about to say, "Let us attend," followed by the priest, "The Holies for the holy," the child, instead, spoke up and said, "Let us attend." From that hour, he was healed. The father returned every year to commemorate and thank the Commander of the Bodiless Host.
The Deliverance of Constantinople from the Perils
of the Avars, Persian, and Arabs
The Avars mounted warriors, came to capture Constantinople. They used their sabers, long lances, and reflex bows that they might gain the advantage. The hierarch at that time gathered the faithful of the city, and they went to the Church of the Chief-Commander Michael, where they entreated God to be delivered from captivity to the barbarians. Then, when the Avars were about to enter the city, the Archangel Michael, like a flash of lightning, appeared in their midst. Out of their intense fear, many of the Avars fell prostrate on their faces, while others took to their heels and retreated. That same night the Archangel appeared to the khan of the Avars and said, "Leave quickly with all thy hos, otherwise tomorrow thou shalt die and thy soldiers with thee." The khan, terrified, that same night, departed with his entire army and returned to his own place.
The Preservation of the City of Akolia
On the Black Sea, the city of Akolia was under attack by the Saracens. They tarried long with their forces outside the city. Not being able to take the city, they decided to depart. There was, however, a certain traitor inside the city who informed against the Christians to the Saracen chief, saying, "The Christians have a church dedicated to the Chief-Commander Michael. It lies by the citadel wall. It is there that they supplicate God for His help, and for this reason you cannot launch an attack." The Saracens, receiving this piece of intelligence, set about making war machines to breach the citadel wall. After they had prepared their ropes, rolling battering rams, and catapults, they readied one large boulder to thrust against the narrow church. As soon as it was catapulted, the faces of the emir and his officers, who were responsible for flinging that boulder, turned backwards. Those wretched men wasted no time loading down the camels with plenty of incense, lamps, and oil. They also took silver from the bridles of their horses and went together to the Church of the Archangel Michael. They swore among themselves that they would never again come to Akolia for many years and that the city would come to no harm. After they had sworn this vow, their faces returned to their proper places.
The Archangel Michael at Colossae and Germia
The Archangel Michael is remembered also for the miracle he performed at Chonae, ner Colossae in Phrygia. He parched the waters of the river, which the infidels released against his holy shrine and Saint Hermippos. The commemoration of this miracle is on the 6th of September, where a full account is given. The Archangel’s large basilica in Chonae, decorated with mosaics, was a center of pilgrimage and great trade fairs.
Now also in Germia, a city in Western Galatia, below Mount Dindymon, the Archangel Michael wrought numberless cures. In 454 A.D., the consul of Constantinople, one Stoudios, was sick and near death. No physician could offer him a cure or any treatment. At that time, a certain man, named Goulio, who was from Germia, came to the capital. He visited the sick consul and began recounting how many miracles were taking place in Germia at the Archangel Michael’s healing spring. Even the little fish, with the aid of the Archangel Michael, were effective cures. As Stoudios listened to the account, he believed that God would help him.
In the company of other ill folk, Stoudios traveled to Germia. Straightway, as he entered that holy spring, he was cured. Not only Stoudios received healing, but also his entire traveling party. One of the members was suffering from glaucoma, and he too received a swift cure for his eyes. Stoudios, beholding the number of miracles taking place, then resolved to spend most of His fortune building a great church to the Archangel.
The Cure of the Monk Markianos and the Physician
At the time of the restoration of the holy icons, during the reigns of Empress Theodora (842-856 A.D.) and her son Emperor Michael III (842-867 A.D.), there was a certain monk, named Markianos, who was living at the Monastery of the Archangel Michael inside Constantinople. Whenever Father Markianos became ill, he did not take refuge in physicians and medicines. His only recourse was to fall before the holy icon of the Archangel Michael, who always cured him of whatever ailed him. It happened one time that the monk became gravely ill. According t his custom, he hastened to the icon of the Archaangel Michael seeking help. This time, however, the Archangel wished to test him, and did not render a cure. The relatives and friends of Markianos came and reproved him for not seeking medical treatment, but he would not listen to their counsel. Unbeknowest to Makarios, they contribed among themselves that they would seek out a physician on his behalf. They found one and learned from him the proper course of treatment and received medicines appropriate to Markianos’ condition. They were to administer them while Markarios was asleep. They, therefore, took the drugs and bid them in his head cushion, and waited until sleep should overtake him.
The night instead of Father Makarios finding rest, those waiting to administer the drugs fell asleep. Father Makarios, not being able to sleep, remained wide awake. It then appeared to him that he saw the Archangel Michael exiting the holy sanctuary of the church, being escorted by two beautiful and wondrous youths. He walked over to Father Makarios, as he lay on his pillow. Seeing the drugs, he said to the monk, "What are these?" The monk answered, "I do not know, O Archangel." The Chief-Commander then said to the youths, "Take these medicines and ut them under the pillow of the physician who concocted them." Markianos then observed the youths walking out of the church. The Archangel then took oil from the oil lamp before his icon. He proceeded to anoint Father Makarios, who was instantly cured. Father Makarios, sensible of the healing, kept giving thanks to God.
At midnight, the priest went to the church that he might chant the Orthros (Matins) Service. He found Makarios healthy and restored as before. That same morning, the priest was called to the house of the physician, who had become gravely ill during the night. The priest then recounted all that he had heard from Markianos. The physician, therefore, came to understand the cause of his sudden illness. He rose up, being supported by others, and went to the church of the Archangel Michael. He remained there all day, lying before the icon. By evening, he was cured, but he did not return to his house or profession. He decided to remain at that church and become a monk bequeathing all he had to that church.
The Finding of Water at Dochelariou
Dochelariou Monastery had a holy fountain named after the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. A miracle brought into existence this well. In the 14th century, during the reign of Emperor Andronikos Palaiologos, the monks of the monastery were compelled to fetch water from a distance of three miles. This caused many hardships and even sickness for the brethren. Monk Theodoulos, a builder at teh monastery, planned to lay large underground pipes to convey water. Then, on the eve before the work would commence, the two Archangels Michael and Gabriel, appeared to Theodoulos and said, "O man, why dost thou labor and exhaust the monastery in vain? Know this: Water is inside the monastery." As Theodoulos listened, it seemed to h im that he rose up and said to them, "I beseech you, show me where it is." Thereupon, they answered, "Come, and we will show thee." Then, the two Archangels took him by the hands and brought him to a spot where, today, a well is located.
Arriving at the indicated site, they took up digging tools and began to work. Not much time passed before the Archangels offered water to the monk. Theodoulos partook and found the water very sweet. Straightway, he awakened from sleep and called the brethren, saying, "In my sleep, this night, I beheld a vision wherein the t wo Archangels came and showed be where water is located on the monastery grounds. Therefore, let us dig in that place where they showed me!"
The brethren rallied and began digging. Forwith, a vein of water sprung forth. The monks dug deeper, and drinkable water gushed forth. They glorified God and His Archangels. The well exists to this day. The water is well-reputed to be sanctified; and those who drink with faith find healing from every sickness.
These miracles, brethren, which we have recounted are but few of the countless wonders performed by the Archangels. We have recounted these few which sufficiently glorify God and His Archangels. O Angelic hosts who stand befdore the Throne of God and ever hold chorus, O Archangels, and Angels, Principalities, Thrones, and Dominions, Six-winged Seraphim, and Divine and Many-eyed Cherubim, vessels of wisdom, Authorities and Powers Most Divine, pray to Christ that He grant our souls peace, great mercy, and His Kingdom. Amen. (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George