Many times in our lives, as conscious Orthodox Christians, we call upon God and His Saints. So a family from Cyprus did just that. They were known from televised appeals from two years ago , in search of a graft donor for a surgical procedure for their son, Andrew, who was suffering from Leukemia. The parents found a graft donor and prepared to travel to the United States for a delicate surgical procedure, known as a bone marrow transplant. We remember the agony of Vasou Vasiliou from Lemesol and the daily appeals to our Lord Jesus Christ to save his child.
Before the surgery, the parents heard about the miracles at the monastery of St Marina in Andros and they sought the Saint’s blessing. On the phone, the Abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite, Fr. Kyprianos, promised that he will pray to the Saint and wished for the parents that St Marina be present at the surgery. Carrying with them the prayers of the Abbot, Fr Kyprianos, along with their steadfast faith and the aid of St Marina, the parents went to the United States along with Andrew.
After going through routine preliminary pre-operative procedures, Andrew entered the hospital to undergo the very serious and delicate operation. A little before the surgery, a woman appeared to the surgeon who was going to operate on Andrew. She said that she was a doctor and asked if she may observe the surgery because she was the personal physician of Andrew. The discussion of the woman with the doctor showed how knowledgeable she was in medicine and it did not leave any doubt in the surgeon’s mind of whether the woman was a doctor. However, he did tell the woman that it is prohibited for her to be there as an outside physician and how it was a practice of the medical team to not allow others to participate in such delicate surgeries.
However, the woman’s persistence overcame the initial unwillingness of the surgeon. He asked her to leave her credentials with the office and to enter into the operating room. The Saint did in fact enter into the operating room and did not simply observe but actively participated in the surgery of young Andrew. On many occasions the woman gave direction on how to proceed in the operation. All went well and the doctor upon thanking her, left the operating room.
The Vasiliou couple ran up to the doctor to find out what happened with the surgery. He told them: all went well. And he added: I do not understand why you came to me for this procedure, when all along you had such a good doctor? The parents surprised by his response, responded that they did not bring any doctor and that they did not know what he was talking about. The surgeon, however, when he came out from the operating room, told the parents that Andrew’s doctor remained with the surgical team inside the operating room. Therefore, she had to be around there somewhere and they wanted to meet her.
To no avail, however, they searched to find her. The doctor had disappeared… They thought that she had left and at the recommendation of the doctor, went in the office to inquire who this female doctor was, in order to thank her. They figured that perhaps a doctor from Greece or Cyprus became sensitized to their plight and traveled to the United States in order to participate in this procedure. With amazement they affirmed that the unknown female doctor had signed with the name: Marina from Andros. They did not believe what they saw. They stood for a brief moment in awe at this miracle of St Marina.
Tears of gratitude and happiness filled their eyes. They remembered what the venerable abbot of St Marina’s Monastery had told them: Go to America and I pray that St Marina will be in the operating room with Andrew. Speaking to the media about this true miracle, the parents conveyed their indescribable happiness over the success of the surgery and the restoration of Andrew’s health. From then on they pledged as a family to visit Andros on the Feast Day of St Marina annually. They continue to do so until today.
According to a monk from that monastery with whom we spoke on two occasions, in the years that have gone by since then, the Vasiliou family makes the trip from Lemesol to Andros every summer in order to give thanks to St Marina for saving Andrew. Hence, miracles worked by the Saints of our Orthodox Faith have never been lacking from the life of the Church. May our Almighty God and Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen our faith with the miracles of the Saints.
-Translated from the Greek original (available at orthodoxia.gr) by John Athanasatos
A graduate of Long Island University, College of Pharmacy, and Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, John works to share the richness and beauty of the Orthodox Faith with the wider community.
Want more from Y2AM? Subscribe to our email list and get weekly tips for your spiritual life every Saturday!
BONUS: Y2AM has released a brand new ministry training course. And check out this week's "Be the Bee" below for more on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent: