- Posted March 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
INCREDIBLE Miracles of God!
This shows that the saints love everyone, and help all. Even among Muslims, who donΓÇÖt even have saints, the knowledge that the Christian saint, the Greatmartyr George of Lydda, helps those who ask him, brings thousands to ask his aid and intercession. And he responds swiftly to help them. How much more will he aid and protect those fellow disciples of Jesus Christ who call upon him in faith, asking for his powerful intercession before God, and granting the gifts of healing and more through his prayers!
Some come barefoot up the hill which takes about 30 minutes to climb to the Monastery, others come with offerings of oil, candles, and sugar so that their lives may be sweet. Some do not speak as they climb up to the Monastery until they kiss the icon of St. George. They follow the services with hands lifted in the air holding lit candles. They ask priests for antidron to bring home with them for a blessing. They have great faith and respect for Orthodoxy.
On September 24 I witnessed at 6:00 AM four modern looking Turkish girls approaching the Monastery. I asked them for what purpose they came. They responded: ΓÇ£Faith in the Saint brought us here. It doesnΓÇÖt matter that we are Muslims. We prayed that he would help us. We have heard so much about the Monastery.ΓÇ¥
Oral came from Smyrna in order to venerate the Saint with her vow. She brought three bottles of oil. When I asked why she, as a Muslim woman among the thousands, visit the Orthodox Monastery, she responded: ΓÇ£It is not forbidden by anyone for us to believe in Saint George. Religions have one common agreement, the one and only God. We could be hiding within us a christian.ΓÇ¥
Of the many interviews I conducted that day with Muslims, the responses were basically the same.
A different answer was given by Antil however. He said: ΓÇ£Life in Turkey is difficult. The people need something to give them strength. They have turned to religion. They have been bored by everything so they seek help elsewhere. Why not Saint George?ΓÇ¥
And one Turkish newspaper reported: ΓÇ£Saint George has distributed hope to the suffering.ΓÇ¥
Testimonies of Monks From the Monastery
Hieromonk Ephraim of Xenophontos, who has lived for three years at ΓÇ£KoudounaΓÇ¥, is astonished with the faith of the thousands of Muslims who visit the monastery. ΓÇ£These people live with their heartΓÇ¥, he affirms, ΓÇ£Because faith is the sight and the strength of the heart, for this reason they can and they do experience our Saints.ΓÇ¥
Monk Kallinikos of Xenophontos, who serves as a priest, relates: ΓÇ£We are astonished with that which occurs here. Many times we see people who find the Lord with the faith of the Roman centurion.ΓÇ¥ To our question if the Saint responds to the supplications of the thousands of pilgrims, he replied: ΓÇ£During my three years here, we ourselves are witnesses of miracles, such as the healing of paralytics, mutes, and the giving birth to children.ΓÇ¥
We asked the monks at St. George to comment about their stay in Turkey, and they told us: ΓÇ£All of their behavior is perfect. From the highest ruler, to the lowest, they treat us with such respect that many times we wonder which would be better, to live in Christian Greece or Muslim Turkey. We should tell you that we go everywhere with the monastic dress and our experiences have always been positive.
Thus, St. George has become a place of worship for thousands of atheists, Christians, Jews, and especially Muslims, who with every means come to the island and bring their tamata (vows), and place them before the Saint, as they place their hopes in him. And the Saint shows that he does not judge and ΓÇÿimparts healingΓÇÖ to every faithful person.ΓÇ¥
The Sick Turkish Woman
A Turkish woman from Levkochori had a serious health problem. She had heard a lot about St. George and wanted to come [venerate], but they did not let her come into the church because she was Turkish. But this didnΓÇÖt deter her from remaining outside the church the whole night. In the morning they gave her holy oil from the vigil lamp of the Saint and she became well. After this, her husband gave many gifts to the church.
St. George Saves a Young Muslim Girl
A Muslim woman with her mother were taking a taxi for a long trip. The Muslims, as is well known, respect St. George very much.
On the road the taxi driver abandoned the proper course and began to show a threatening attitude towards the girlΓÇöthe women apparently were prayingΓÇöand at some point the taxi driver stopped the car and attempted to rape the girl. Immediately a police officer on horseback appeared, who ordered the taxi driver in a very powerful manner to the nearest police station. He went full of fear with the policeman, and the policeman on horseback went with him to the station, and issued a complaint for attempted rape. He signed the police book and left. When the taxi driver later came out of the interrogation, they looked in the book and said to him:
ΓÇ£There is no hope for you to escape! Do you know who brought you here?ΓÇ¥ Saint George
Note: These and similar miracles and sentiments do not at all vindicate the false religion of Islam, nor the terrible actions of some Turks against Christians, but the faith and love of some simple Muslims towards Christ and His Saints. Similarly, Christ found in the Roman Centurion greater faith than any in Israel (Matthew 8:10). And often, this presence of the Holy Spirit out of love not only acts to heal the bodies of non-Orthodox, but more crucially the souls, as many later embrace the light and are baptized Orthodox. May Christ grant us all repentance, that we all may be saved, and come to the knowledge of the Truth. St. George the Trophy-bearer, intercede for us all and help us! Amen.
More can be read here about Muslims at Koudouna.
Why Do Muslims Venerate Saint George? According to Archimandrite Damianos, overseer of the Holy Sepulchre, there are three reasons:
ΓÇ£1. His green garments, which for Muslims represents ΓÇ£lifeΓÇ¥ and for which reason they call him ΓÇ£the Green OneΓÇ¥;
2. Because many Muslims hear about and experience his miracles;
3. Because as a Trophy-bearer with a cape and sword he inspires a certain amount of fear and respect.ΓÇ¥
It is because of the great respect for St. George that none of the Orthodox churches dedicated to him in Turkey have been demolished, as well as churches dedicated to the Theotokos who also is greatly respected by Muslims.