Once a pious priest…

Once a pious priest served the divine liturgy on the feast of saint Demetrius, for whom he had special veneration. But since it was in the middle of the week, there were just a few Christians in the church.

The liturgy went on and reached the moment when the holy gifts were to be sanctified. Yours from Your very Yours, he bent his head and read the prayer: We offer to You this spiritual worship. Then he straightened himself and said: Make this bread the precious body of Your Christ. And what is in this cup the precious blood of Your Christ. Amen, amen, amen. In that moment a frightening lightning come out of nowhere…probably from the apse of the Holy Altar. Or maybe from the church steeple? From God the Almighty. He had no idea, he didn’t realize.

What he saw and felt was that the lightning came and struck the Holy Table and split it in two, but without touching the Holy Gifts…Then he got stunned and speechless. In great astonishment and holy fear saw that everything around him was bathed in the undying light of the eternal sun of the triune Godhead. He could not describe to me the unprecedented feelings that overwhelmed him. What kind of divine lightning was that? And what did it aim to show, to seal, to reveal? And then, in spite of his inner stupor, he cried from inside, but that cry came out without being heard: Lord, You are the true God, the Savior of the world! We praise You and bless You, he was saying and the protopsalter continued the prayer, but how could that blessed priest collect himself? In the end he entered the Holy Altar to see what was going on. And in the prayers of the protopsalter everything went back to normal again. The priest raised himself, he took the censer alone,  put incense and said trembling: Especially for the most holy, pure… and all the rest.

After this shocking incident, for some time, if he didn’t have any child at the altar, the priest went out of the holy doors and said out loudly: “Hey, you, kind man, come here in the Holy Altar!” “Stand by me and kneel down!” He was overwhelmed, as he discovered himself, by a holy fear that such frightening things could happen again and he as a sinful man made of dust could not bear to live them once again.

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