Old man Gheorghe Lazar helps a young Jewish woman give birth in Targu Neamt

Old man Gheorghe Lazăr, poor soul, used to say:

“Darling, think only of hell and death. Do not think of anything else, just that death and hell are coming. If you think of hell, you won’t end up there.”

He would go from village to village, weeping and reciting the Psalms, as he knew them all by heart. And wherever he went, people would follow him. Once, he came to the fair in Târgu Neamț on a Monday, and people lifted him onto a cart to preach. No one sold anything that day. While preaching and teaching the people, the whole fair came to Old man Gheorghe.

And it so happened that a young Jewish woman couldn’t give birth. It was her first time, and she was ready to die. Many doctors came because she said she couldn’t go on, she was dying. She couldn’t even scream and said she was dying. The Jews came to Old man Gheorghe:

-Old man Gheorghe, we are Jews.

– But dear one, what’s the matter?

– Our daughter is dying. Come to us, the doctor said there’s nothing more he can do, our daughter is dying.

– Dear one, let me finish my sermon.

– Old man Gheorghe, she’s dying right now, she’s dying.

– She won’t die until I arrive. And they waited until he finished his sermon, then a group of Jews followed him.

They said:

– But will you baptize?

– We’ll all get the Baptism if our daughter survives; she’s the only one we have.

The boyar was rich, a strong man. When they arrived there, a group of Jews around her, she was almost dead, unable to go on, they were standing beside her. But when Old man Gheorghe opened the door, he shouted:

– Come, open up to God and the Mother of the Lord.

Right at that moment, she gave birth. He came and made the sign of the cross on her head and said:

– Let it be for Christ.

– And she became healthy, and she and the child were baptized, and they named him Gheorghe, after Old man Gheorghe. At that time, 5-6 Jewish families were baptized in Târgu Neamț.

Father Cleopa

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