Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
N.Dramudianos relates a wonderful experience he lived in 1940, during the war:
Our regiment got the order to conquer a height for using it as a bridgehead. We made barricades among the rocks and after we finished everything it started to snow. It snowed for two days uninterruptedly so the snow reached even two meters height in certain places. We got stuck there and each one of us had food supplies in his bag for one day only. Because of the cold weather and the hunger we did not save anything for the next day and remained without food.
From that moment on it started our martyrdom. We quenched our thirst with snow but many died because of hunger. We spent five days and five nights in this way. We lost so much weight that we looked like some skeletons. We kept our spirit high but nature has its own limits. Some of us died. We expected to die in the same way for Faith and Homeland. Then our commander had a saving thought. He took out a paper icon of the Theotokos, he put it on an escarpment, he called us all around him and told us:
My braves, in this critical situation only a miracle can save us. Kneel down all of you and pray to the Holy Virgin, to the Mother of God to help us!
We all knelt down, raised our arms in the air and prayed ardently. No sooner we got up than we heard some jingling bells. We were surprised and put our hands on the weapons. We were ready to shoot.
After a moment we saw coming towards us a big mule with a huge load. We were startled. A stray animal to cross the mountain on a one meter high snow? This was quite unusual.
Then we understood: The Holy Mother of God guided him there. We thanked her and we sang in an undertone but from the bottom of our hearts: Our Lady Defender and other holy chants dedicated to her. The mule had an entire supply of food: loaves of bread, cheese, preserves, coniac and many others.
We experienced many unbelievable sufferings during war but this one remains unforgettable because it had no explanation. The Holy Mother of God gave the explanation herself.
From the book: The visions and miracles of the Theotokos, Holy Monastery Paraklitou