The Blood of God!

One Saturday morning, when father Anthony served the Holy Liturgy, reached the moment of the sanctification of the Holy Gifts. While being on his knees and was saying the prayer with his hands leaning on the Holy Table he tried to get up and bless the Holy Gifts, when a drop of blood fell from the heights on his hand, splashing it all over. He saw it and was shaken.

He got up troubled, watched it and a holy fear, a shaking, amazement, many mixed and indescribable feelings overwhelmed him. He got up and didn`t know what to do. The Blood of Christ was on his hand. He got lost. But the Grace of God after this miracle made him look at the Holy Chalice and saw it was empty. He forgot to pour wine. Looking at the Holy Lamb he noticed it was not pierced meaning that the Proskomedia was not complete.

The psalter from the pew continued:

We praise You, we glorify You…He made him a sign to prolong the chant. There were only a few people as it was Saturday. He took the Holy Kopis (Spear), he pierced the Holy Lamb and said:

`One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.`

After that he poured wine and water in the Holy Chalice according to the custom, blessed them, made the sign of the cross over them and after he finished all these he knelt down, he read again the prayer for sanctification and God transformed the bread and wine as it happens at every Holy Liturgy in the Flesh and Blood of Christ. After the transformation and the end of the holy service he consumed the Holies and wiped the Holy Chalice. Immediately after that Liturgy he went to metropolitan Chrysostom and related to him what had happened. The metropolitan took his hand and smelled it. A rare fragrance was coming out of it and then the metropolitan began to kiss it for many times.

`Your sanctity`, cried father Anthony.

`I don`t kiss your hand, although it must be kissed too as you are a servant of the Most High One and it doesn`t matter that you are a priest and I am a bishop. I touched by your hand the Blood of Christ, the Blood of God!

I remember that after the death of father Anthony, the metropolitan told me this story. He was deeply touched. He stood up and said:

`Father Stephanos, the Blood of God ! And he started crying.

This is the Holy Liturgy!

Excerpt from The explanation of the Holy Liturgy – Priest. Stephanos Anagnostopoulos, Editura Bizantină.

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