“What’s the connection between the above picture and St. Dionysios?” – anyone would be entitled to ask. Well, that tree that my friend Dionysios is looking at in his garden in Peacehaven is an olive tree brought from the very pathway towards which St. Dionysios directed his brother’s murderer to escape those who were pursuing him.
And let no one dare say to me that olives can’t grow in East Sussex (in the southernmost part of England), when I touched such fruits here myself!
Obviously, there weren’t any olives in this very young (about six years old) tree but it was plenty of them in the other tree big olive trees that Dionysios has in his garden.
It’s most likely that outside the Orthodox world the uniqueness of a tree brought from a particular place in Zakynthos island makes no sense...
However, I am convinced that those who try to live their lives as they should within this only One Church of our Lord Jesus Christ would understand what a profound meaning all these apparently insignificant things can have.
For all of you – believers and nonbelievers – here is another little story of whose truthfulness my friend Dionysios is sure of, since a trustworthy person (his Greek godfather) told it to him.
In August 1953, a sequence of three massive earthquakes rattled Zakynthos (whose tourist attractions can be seen here), leaving most of its buildings in ruin. In the village where Dionysios’ godfather lives, two young boys were missing.
The searches through the ruins were to no avail, and, after a week of efforts, it was decided that a memorial service would be held for the boys.
Amazingly, during the service, someone brought two boys that had just been found. They were exactly the two children thought to be dead by then. The boys said that a wardrobe had kept them safe among the rubbles, which is not an uncommon survival scenario after earthquakes.
Everyone’s amazement grew further when the little survivors said that: “an old man dressed in black brought us food and water but he only gave us vegetables.”
A few days later, on August 24th, when the summer procession for St. Dionysios is being held (there is another one on December 17th), the family took the boys and went to thank the Lord by paying homage to the Saint.
When the boys saw the body of the Saint, they instantly recognized him, saying “That is the man who came to bring us food, it was him.”
Time and again, the Lord intervenes miraculosly, through His beloved saints, in our lives – if only all of us would believe what He’s been saying for the past 2,000 years!
And one could never judge but feel very sorry for those of us ready to believe any nonsense (enslaved by the sick “I only believe in myself” kind of mentality), and not the witnesses offered by children who would have no reason for making up such a story.
Oh, my Lord, why am I so tempted to believe that, at least very often (if not in all cases!), those who don’t believe children's encounters with saints, and dismiss what they say as mere stories are probably those who refuse to believe that unborn children are living beings and murder isn’t justified under any circumstances? For the prayers of St. Dionysios, please have mercy on Thy world!
[For all the episodes of this series, and all the posts on this blog go to/ Pentru toate episoadele din această serie şi toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]