My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE MIRACLE OF ARCHANGEL MICHAEL (Part II) (+ September 6th)
After this, the unbelievers devised something worse: a plan to destroy the Christian church to its foundation and usher in death for the righteous man. What did they contrive? Nearby the church of the Archangel, where the holy waters were located, from the left side, there ran a river name Chryssos. The unbelievers wished to divert the river so that the deluge might come down upon the holy waters and the church. They believed that by mixing the waters of the river with the holy water they could dissolve its therapeutic powers utterly so that the Christians might not drink and find healing. Having considered how this might be engineered, they cut off the first current of the river that it might flow into the holy waters. But, "Who shall tell of the mighty acts of the Lord? Who shall make all His praises to be heard" (Psalm 105:2)?" The river, as though it were animate, fearing the grace of the Archangel, straightway turned far over toward the right part of the church; and there the course of the river remains to this day, thus certifying the miracle. When those most profane ones beheld their unjust enterprise taking the opposite course from that intended, the words of the Prophet David applied: "The Lord scattereth the plans of the heathens, He setteth aside the devices of the peoples" (Psalm 32:10). The unrelenting pagans, nonetheless, conspired a second time; indeed, something more terrible than before, which we shall explain to you from the beginning.
Two great rivers gush forth from out of the east; one is called the Lykokastros River, and the other is called the Kouphos. They run separately in the direction of the church and then encircle it from afar, as an island. Then they converge and travel a long distance, as one river, until they separate in Lycia and pour out into the sea against the island of Rhodes. The devil, envious of all good, plotted to let loose the waters of these two rivers. He sowed in the minds of his minions that the rivers could be made to flood the church and the holy waters of the Archangel so that not even a trace might remain. This seemed very plausible to the pagans because the land where the church stood sloped downward. Thus, by employing the downward tendency of water, they could fulfill their aim. Now, at a distance from the church, there was a massive and high rock. The impious hewed the stone and dug down deep in one place so that the waters would divert and collect with great force. Then, after they dug huge irrigation ditches and fortified collecting basins, they close off the area. They damned the waters that collected by the rock until they were ready to break the seals of the gates. With malignant glee, they anxiously awaited for the water level to rise that they might discharge its mighty its mighty power against the church, the sanctified healing waters, and Archippos.
Night and day, men, women, and children labored to accomplish their murderous desire. The servant of God, Archippos, beheld the madness of the impious. He fell prostrate on the bare earth, entreating God and the Archangel Michael that the counsel of the ungodly might prove vain and unworkable against the strength and power of God. Archippos heard the clamor of the people and the roaring of the approaching waters.
Thus did the Saint pray, and a divine vision was made manifest. He heard a voice descending from out of the heavens and calling him by name, "Archippos." He was unable to gaze long at the vision of the Archangel and fell on his face to the ground. Then the one speaking said, "Rise and stand on thy feet and come here outside in order to behold the invincible might of God." Regaining courage then from the voice, he exited and beheld a fiery column which went from earth to heaven. He heard a voice from thence telling him to stand to the left side and not to fear. Then the Archangel raised his right hand and made the sign of the Cross upon the rock, the one above the church, saying, "Up to this point is thy flux." Then, with what appeared as a javelin in his hand, he struck the place mightily and sundered the rock form the top to the bottom. O Thy power, Christ God! We cry with the Prophet David, "The waters saw Thee, O God, the waters saw Thee and were afraid; the abysses were troubled. Great was the resounding sound of the Archangel, again, made the sign of the Cross, and said, "Funnel (χωνευθήτωσαν) the waters here." A great earthquake occurred and instilled fear. The Archangel subdued the raging flow and the thundering of the river. This phenomenon may be seen to this day. The rivers pour into the funnel in the rock which lies above the church, toward the vema (pulpit). Thus this place, formerly called Colossae, from then was named Chonae (Χώναι), a Greek word signifying the funneling of the rivers in that place.
Archippos continued living a God-pleasing life in that sacred precinct for 70 years. He was then laid to rest from the labor of his virtues and hastened to his beloved Christ rejoicing, even as the good cultivator sows with godly tears that he might reap the fruits of his toils in the joy of everlasting life.
To the glory of the Holy Trinity and the Chief Commander, Archangel Michael, a boundless number of wonders (miracles) took place daily at the place of the holy waters; which miracles, if we were to describe in detail, should make us appear to like him who wishes to count the stars or the sands of the sea. O Supreme Commander of the armies of Heaven, we, the unworthy ones, entreat thee, that by thy prayers thou dost ever surround us with the protection of the wings of thine immaterial glory! (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostomos
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God