Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
I heard this story from the hieromonk Teophilact from the Monastery of the Caves from Pscov, not long before the year 1980. It was related to father Teophilact by a high rank officer from the military marine, this happening making him to return to faith.
In his youth he was the captain of a torpedo ship saling on the Pacific Ocean. One day his ship went in recognition. The weather forecast was good and there seemed nothing to worry about. But in a short time a black cloud showed up at the horizon and this started to spread out quickly. A strong wind started to blow fiercely. An unexpected storm burst. Huge waves started to clash on the ship and this was shaking over and over. The water flowed to the engine and the ship remained without it. And that meant the death of all people.
The captain was not a timorous man but the fear of death started to take hold of him. He was not alone and had the responsibility forn the entire crew. What to do? All of a sudden the words of his mother crossed his mind. She told him many times: Pray to God cause He saves the men wherever they might be. And the words of the grandfather of an old sea wolf: Who was not on the sea never prayed to God.
The captain hadn’t got into a church since he was a child. He joined the Comsomol (The Union of the Communist Youth) and then he did his military service. He didn’t even know how to pray. But he cried from the bottom of his heart: God save me, God save me!
And the miracle took place immediately. He saw an old man walking on the waves on the righside. He was wearing priestly clothes. The captain noticed the face features of the old man. A small beard and a sparkling gaze. The old man blessed the ship with both his hands and suddenly the wind ceased and the sea calmed down. The storm stopped and the captain was still out of breath. He promised to himself that at his return he intended to go to the first church to light a candle as a sign of gratefulness for his and his crew’s salvation. But at that time all the churches had been destroyed in the Far East.
However soon he got the opportunity. He was moved to Leningrad. Being in a tramway he saw a church with five spires. He got down at the next station and went to the church. It was the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas. He entered the dim church, took a candle and looked around to see where to light it and saw the icon of an old bishop. He said to himself: I’ll light the candle before the icon of this old man. Then he went closer to the icon and looking at it carefully he saw that the man from the icon looked like the old man who stopped the storm from the Pacific Ocean.
`Whose is this icon?` he asked a woman who was cleaning the church.
`What do you mean?` `Don’t you know that this is saint hierarch Nicholas, the protector of the sea travelers?` answered the woman.
This miracle is related by father Teophilact in his book: „This Happened in Our Time”, „Pravoslavia” magazine from 22.05.2014.