Why the Church Prays for Springs of Water


My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,


"The principal things for the whole use of man's life are water, fire, iron and salt, flour of wheat, honey, milk, and the blood of the grape, and clothing. All these things are for good to the godly: so to the sinners, they are turned into evil" (Ecclesiasticus 39:32-33).

"...What gift is as necessary for us as water?" says the hieromartyr Hippolytus of Rome. "Everything is washed by water, and nourished, and cleansed and irrigated. Water moistens the earth, produces dew, enlarges grapes, leads the grain to ripeness...What more is there to say? Without water nothing visible to us can exist; water is so necessary that while other elements have their dwelling under heavens, it [water] obtained for itself a place above the heavens. The Prophet himself testifies to this, crying out: "Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and thou water that art above heavens" (Psalms 148:4).

The Church, with an ardent prayer, appeals to the Lord to summon water, sweet and plentiful, from the depths of the earth. Well water is not ordinary, for "the digging of a well" is accomplished with special prayers of a priest and sanctified with a special ceremony. "Grant unto us water in this place--sweet and tasty, sufficient, therefore, for our needs, and safe for consumptions...", thus prays the priest, who is the first to start digging the well.

A special prayer is said again over a well that has been dug: "O Creator and Fashioner of all things...send down Thy heavenly blessing on this water in this well, and by Thy Divine, powerful and mighty arm banish from it every contrary action and activity of the devil...And unto all that shall take and drink of it, and shall wash with it, grant that it be for health and for the transformation of every suffering and infirmity, and for the healing of every sickness...".

Ordinary well water becomes an object of devotion and a wonderworking (miracle working) object at that, "water for the health and transformation." A multitude of springs, wells and sources are known, where through the prayers of Saints, flows water possessing greater blessing than the water of Bethesda of Jerusalem. Not only drinking this water but also even immersion into water of these sources brings a multitude of healings and miracles.

The Church has always conducted and today conducts the blessing of water of public springs, rivers and lakes. This water flows into reservoirs and then into the water pipes of our apartments. It may be affirmed that there is not a single stream of water in the world, that has not been sanctified, spiritually fertilized by prayer made beneficial, and consequently, that is not Life-Giving and saving to people, animals, birds and earth itself.

If we always acted as the Church and the Logos/Word of God taught us, then these beneficial gifts of the Holy Spirit would always be poured out on us, then every source (of water) would be a source of healing of infirmities of the body and soul, every cup of water would serve for cleansing, and enlightenment, "water for the health and transformation," Holy Water. But this does not occur. One becomes sick from water; water becomes a dangerous, lethal and destructive element. What of tap water--even holy water does not help us!

Are the prayers of the Church powerless? When God intended to punish the world with water, He said to Noah: "The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth...And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die" (Genesis 6: 13,17). These words can be applied to our times. One should not be surprised that water does not heal and does not bring benefit. What is so surprising, when the highest Mystery, the Divine Eucharist--the Body and Blood of Our Lord--serves many not for salvation, but for condemnation..." "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body" (I Corinthians 11:29).

Miracles and healings do occur in our days, but only to those what are deserving of the wonderworking action of Holy Water, who receive it with living faith in God's promise and in the prayer of the Holy Church, to those who have a pure and sincere desire for change of their lives, for repentance and salvation. God does not work miracles where the only want to be seen out of curiosity, without sincere intention to utilize them for salvation. "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it..." (St. Matthew 16:4), says the Savior about His unbelieving contemporaries.

In order for Holy Water to bring benefit, let us take care of the purity of our souls, of the light in our thoughts and deeds. And let us lift up this prayer in our minds and in our hearts every time we come to contact with Holy Water. (Source: Translated from Russian by Yulia Gray, 2005).


Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom


With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George