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Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189091
06/12/05 09:44 AM
06/12/05 09:44 AM
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Posts: 10,896
USA
Alice Offline OP
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Glory to our Ascended God!!!
>
> This is "The Miracle in Syria"
>
> Compiled by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, Boise, Idaho USA
>
>
> In December 2004 a Saudi Arabian man, a Moslem, appeared before
> several new agencies to relate the following incredible event he
> experienced and which changed his life (this story appeared on TV, the
> Internet, radio, and was circulated in newspapers, magazines, and
> pamphlets throughout Saudi Arbia, Syria, Palestine, and evidently in all
> neighboring countries.
>
>
> Some years ago, this man married a very rich Moslem woman but
> sterile. As the years passed, and despite all their efforts and
> significant medical expenses with many doctors, they remained childless.
> The man's parents suggested to him that he marry a second woman, while
> upholding his initial marriage (as the local laws permits up to four
> concurrent marriages).
>
>
> Being exhausted, worried, and downhearted, he did not accept his
> parents' advice but rather chose to vacation with his wife in Syria.
> There, they hired a limousine with a driver who would serve as tour guide
> fro all their site-seeing excursions throughout Syria. As the vacation
> progressed, the driver noticed that the Saudi Arabian couple was
> experiencing bitterness, pain, and grief. Having gained familiarity with
> the couple, the driver cautiously asked them whey they appeared to be so
> unhappy-was it perhaps because he was not conducting the tour to their
> satisfaction?
>
>
> The couple confided to the driver that the source of their
> unhappiness was their inability to have children. The driver who was also
> a Moslem, then told them that in Syria the Christians, specifically the
> Orthodox Christians, have a monastery named Panagia Saidraya (Arabic word
> meaning Our Lady) and that many people who can't have children take
> refuge to Her miracle-producing icon. They go to the monastery and there
> they are given to eat, the wick form the lamp which burns before the
> miraculous icon. And then the "Mary" of the Christians gives them
> according to their faith, what they wish for.
>
>
> Becoming excited, the Saudi Arabian and his wife asked the driver to
> take them to the monastery "Saidnaya" of "The Lady of the Christians" and
> said that if we have a child, then I will come back and I will give you
> $20,000.00 US and, I will give the monastery $80,000 US. So they went to
> the monastery and did as they were instructed. Later they returned to
> their homeland and after some time the wife was found pregnant. In a few
> months she gave birth to a charming baby boy. It was truly a miracle of
> Our Lady Theotokos.
>
>
> Now, as soon as his wife gave birth the Saudi Arabian man wanted to
> return to Syria to uphold the promises he had made. Upon his return he
> called the same driver and asked to be picked up at the Damascus airport.
> But the driver was cunning and wicked and he persuaded two of his friends
> to go to the airport with him to pick up the rich Saudi Arabian man and
> to take his money and kill him. So they picked up the rich man at the
> airport and he, as they drove, without realizing that they had planned to
> kill him, told the friends of the driver that he would give them also
> $10,000 US each.
>
>
> These men still not satisfied, deviated from the route to the
> monastery and went to a deserted place and proceeded to slay the Saudi
> Arabian man and to cut off his head and other parts (hands and legs) of
> his body into pieces. Blinded by passion and overcome by the horrific act
> that they just committed, they put the man's remains in the trunk of the
> car rather than just leaving him there. After taking his money, watch,
> and all that he had, they proceeded to find another deserted place to
> discard the remains.
>
>
> Then on the National highway, their car broke down and stopped in the
> middle of that road. The three men got out to determine why the engine
> had stalled. Then a passerby stopped to help them but they, afraid that
> their terrible act would be discovered, pretended that they did not need
> any help. But as the passerby motorist was leaving, he noticed blood
> dripping from the rear of the vehicle and he called the police to
> investigate because the scene and the three men looked suspicious. The
> police came and they saw the blood under the car and on the pavement so
> they ordered that the trunk be opened.
>
>
> Well, when the opened the trunk, lo and behold, the Saudi Arabian man
> lifted himself out, obviously and amazingly alive and in good health,
> saying to them "Just now this PANAGIA finished stitching my neck, right
> here (showing them the area of his Adam's Apple), after first stitching
> up the rest of my entire body". Seeing this, the three criminals
> immediately lost their minds-becoming like mad. The police handcuffed
> them and as they were being taken away to an asylum for the insane, the
> criminals started raving that it could not be possible that the Saudi
> Arabian man whom they killed, beheaded, and dissected could yet be alive.
>
>
> The Saudi Arabian went to a medical facility to undergo examination
> by doctors and medical examiners who confirmed and attested that the
> stitching was done very recently, thereby validating the miraculous
> event. The stitches were, and still are, obvious. When the Saudi Arabian
> came out of the car's trunk, he had the appearance, literally, of just
> having been refabricated (put back together) to which he continuously
> confessed that they PANAGIA had rejoined his body and resurrected him
> with the help of her Son.
>
>
> Immediately after this, the Saudi Arabian called his relatives to
> come to Syria and they all went together to the monastery of Panagia
> Saidnaya and offered up prayers, praises, and glorification, and instead
> of the initial gift of $80,000 US (which was promised), he gave $800,000
> US to the Theotokos.
>
>
> Today, as this man relates the details of that overwhelming miracle,
> he starts his narration with "When I was a Moslem this happened to me"
> this indicating he is not longer a Moslem, as neither is his family.
>
> This miracle stunned with awesome surprise the entire Arabic/Moslem
> nation and all of the Middle East.
>
>
> "LIVES LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD OF HOSTS"
>
> (Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher, Patriarchate of
> Jerusalem)
>
> By Father Ignatios, Abbot
>
> Holy Monastery of The Shepherds
>
> Bt Ahur-Bethlehem
>
> GREAT LENT, MARCH 2005
>
>
> Submitted and compiled by Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
>
> Boise, Idaho
>
> USA
>
> Eve of the Ascension of Lord, 8 June 2005
>
> Glory to God for all things!
>
> Most holy Mother of God, save us!
>
> Peace to your souls!
>
> Humbly In Our Lord God,
> +Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
> Who prays for you!

www.serfes.org

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189092
06/12/05 10:01 AM
06/12/05 10:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,930
Irondale,AL
Pani Rose Offline
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GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!
PRAISE YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST
AND YOUR LIFE GIVING HOLY SPIRIT!

TALK ABOUT TOTALLY MIND BOGGLEING! I BELIEVE

My dear brothers and sisters we are children of the Resurrection. Let us live what we believe. Hold our heads up and look straight in the eyes of unbelievers and say HE LIVES.

Pani Rose

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189093
06/12/05 10:23 AM
06/12/05 10:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 949
Bucharest
Marian Offline
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Glory to God for all! Slava lui Dumnezeu pentru toate!

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189094
06/12/05 10:38 AM
06/12/05 10:38 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Irondale,AL
Pani Rose Offline
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Alice, which article did you find that under on the page?

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189095
06/12/05 11:12 AM
06/12/05 11:12 AM
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I am skeptical of this story.

Having studied things like this for several years, there are key factors that I look for that are defiantly missing. The events seem too shallow. Certain spiritual elements are missing. This may be in the telling since I do not know the original story.

It feels to me like it was manufactured for the reason that this man wanted to become Christian (for some reason) but needed a 'divine' event that would satisfy other Muslims - as being his reasons.

Muslims fairly easily believe in this type of happening (very physical miracles) and Jesus is considered a prophet - so the moral of the story in the telling is that this was “the Will of God” that he become Christian due to the overwhelming string of miracles involved. In other words “It is not my fault I became Christian”.

Notice that the narration contains elements of his personal physical protection and divine revenge – if anyone messes with the man regarding his conversion. Both elementns being rather drastic and radical (resurection on one hand and life time hell in prison) this is a rather sharp warning to others.

Notice that the amount of money increases three times – and in proportion to the rise in miraculous things as they unfold. This fits with certain Islamic radical beliefs which portray heaven on earth comes when all people live governmemts based upon Muslim law. That every man will have seven virgins to make love to is taken very literally by certain groups but most importantly these very literal and earth concepts of heaven are not refuteated by moderates.

Notice that sutures (surgical thread) was used for this something necessary to facilitate greatest of all miracles – a resurrection. May I point out that such a physical media is congruent with the Islamic concept of angels which attributes to the angelic – supernatural but physical bodies.

If I were to want to present evidence of having been dead and put back together – one might cut through the skin all around – at limbs – without cutting deeper into muscle, view nerves, etc.. and then sew that up all around. Only a doctor examining under the skin could tell how deep the lacerations really were. The ordinary man would have to take the word of the story teller.

Notice that the story contains the elements of “If you harm me – God will take revenge on you.”

There are two probabilities here and the first one I gave is the more likely (this was concocted as a divine reason why the man and his family are now Christians). And we should not judge too harshly his motives because for a Muslim to convert to Christian (an apostate religion) is a death sentence in hard core Muslim areas (if not by murder at least by economic and personal persecution). Simply being a Shiite (a minority throughout the Muslim world except in Iran) means that if any one kills you – there is no religious repercussions and civil laws against murder will be lenient to the killer – if he is charged under civil laws – at all. Something a kin to killing a ‘niggar’ in the deep South during the 1930’s.

For this man (Muslin turned Christians) it is better for him that he was fooled by things that he did not understand – than he voluntarily decided for no good reason – to become Christian.

To tell you the truth, I hope he gets away with it wink

Of course I could be wrong and the story can have been fouled up in the retelling so as to become more – physical – and miraculous – each time it was repeated down the line. Who knows?? Not me.

I would have to know more to make a better judgement.


Real mircles have happened in the Muslim world regarding Chritinaity. My judgement is that the Stigatist of Damacus (an Orthodox woman venerated by Muslims also) is absolutly genuiune. And of course the Zietung apparitions were absolutly genuine yet taiolr by God to to be recied by the Muslim mind.

Just my personal opinon based entirely on the story so far.

The second probability to the story is to invite Christian mony into the area. Pilgramages to the monastary. This would not have been the idea of the monastary - but an ideal concocked by local merchants. Such a thing is fine and 'wise' to do in these places. Justified by the tourisn it brings into the local merchant community. A wink of the eye and a flow of money into the shops from the 'foolish' Christians. It is OK - in the mind of some - to use Chritians in that way - they are 'dumb niggars' and everyone else will just laugh (and get wealthy) at the way they were tricked.

-ray


-ray
Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189096
06/12/05 11:15 AM
06/12/05 11:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,896
USA
Alice Offline OP
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Dear Pani Rose,

It was actually forwarded to me by someone. I know of Father Serfes, so I linked his page. I haven't searched the site yet to find it.

Let me know if you do! smile

Alice

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189097
06/12/05 02:49 PM
06/12/05 02:49 PM
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California
Elizabeth Maria Offline
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I wonder what SNOPES has to say about this. I dislike that organization because even true events appear as fiction. Some people cannot read the word "True" and assume that everything published there is fiction or urban legend.

Frankly, miracles like this have happened. Did you read the life of St. Matthew and the other Apostles which is published by Holy Apostles Convent in Colorado?

THE LIVES OF THE HOLY APOSTLES, 2001
ISBN 0-944359-00-0

Lazarus and many others were raised from the dead by Christ and the Apostles. Read the Holy Scripture. Once a person is dead, it takes a Divine miracle to get the body functioning again.

Unfortunately, we life in an age of disbelief.

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189098
06/12/05 04:16 PM
06/12/05 04:16 PM
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Irondale,AL
Pani Rose Offline
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I searched Snopes before I went to Divine Liturgy this morning for it, and could not find anything.

I remember Archbishop Raya+ of blessed memory, telling us about St. Nicholas and I thought of it immediately when I read the story. I also went to the link Alice posted but was not able to find anything in the amount of time I had.

To St. Nicholas, there was a town where a number of the children had gone missing, and the parents were frantic. They had searched everywhere and could not find them. So the parents went to St. Nicolas for help. Soon he went to the town butcher shop and spoke with the butcher there. He said he had no recollection of the children. The next day St. Nicholas returned to the butcher shop and ask the man again as to whether he remembered the children. Again the man gave an emphatic no. So St. Nicholas went on his way, to return the next day, upon the butcher denying he knew anything about the children, St. Nicolas walked over to the pickle barrell. Raising the lid, (Oh if I could only tell you this the way Saiedna did) he told the children to hurry and come out. That their parents were very worried about them and waiting at home for them to come. Two of the children came out very happy to return to their parents. The third child came out complaining loudly that he did not want to return, that he was happy with Jesus. St. Nicholas told him, he must go home because his mother was very upset and it was not his time to go to heaven yet. So he came out and scampered quicly home. The butcher was arrested for butchering the children, you see he had dismembered the children and thrown them in the pickleing juice.

As Elizabeth said things like this have happened before. I want to give it to my priest, and send it elsewhere, but I do not want to do so before it can be verified.

I believe that it can be done just as easy today as in Christ's time or even St. Nicholas day. Miracles are not for those of us who believe, instead they are for the building up of the Body of Christ.

"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you." John 16:12-15

Pani Rose

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189099
06/12/05 08:49 PM
06/12/05 08:49 PM
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Knoxville, TN
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byzanTN Offline
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If a person is blessed with actually seeing, or in some way experiencing a miracle, it is easier to believe it happened. In fact, you know it happened. When you don't see it yourself, it becomes more of a problem. How do you verify miracles that you didn't see or experience? Is there a result that can be observed or measured? Do you take someone else's word because you believe the source to be credible?

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189100
06/12/05 10:20 PM
06/12/05 10:20 PM
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Alice Offline OP
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Dear Pani Rose,

My friend says that this story will be on Archimandrite Father Nektarios Serfes' wesbsite quite soon. This Archimandrite has a pristine reputation for devout piety, so I have no reason to question the validity of the story. If it is good enough for this devout hieromonk to believe, it will be good enough for me!

On the other hand, these 'phantasmogoric' miracles which are quite prevalent in tales of miracles involving icons and saints from Southern Italy, through Greece, and throughout the Middle East are hard to swallow for the Western ear and mind. Thus, I understand Ray's skepticism.

It takes a bit of cultural tweaking to get used to them, but if one is a person of faith, one realizes that God works differently in different cultures. Western Europe is not immune to these....One could also say that Western 'stigmata' for instance, are also a hard pill to swallow for many.

As a younger person, I had always disliked these miraculous tales that I had heard when visiting Greece and miraculous pilgrimage sites, as I thought them macabre and medieval at times and depressing at other times, yet I did not discount them. It also took a while to get used to the silver replicas of body parts (that had been miraculously cured through the saint of a special icon), which one sees adorning icons throughout churches in Greece which had been given in gratitude by the person who was healed. However, all these signs ARE from Heaven, despite being culturally different signs than our Protestant mindset feels comfortable with, and they do inspire the people to greater faith and belief. They serve a purpose in the particular cultures and God knows it.

Many of the miraculous stories of intercessions of icons and saints through the ages which I have heard or read in Greece (including stories from Mt. Athos) very much mirror the story above.

In Christ,
Alice

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189101
06/12/05 10:50 PM
06/12/05 10:50 PM
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White Plains, N.Y.
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Zenovia Offline
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Dear Ray you said:

"Muslims fairly easily believe in this type of happening (very physical miracles) and Jesus is considered a prophet - so the moral of the story in the telling is that this was “the Will of God” that he become Christian due to the overwhelming string of miracles involved. In other words “It is not my fault I became Christian”."

I say:

If God wanted to do something that would encourage Muslims to convert, wouldn't 'He' do it in a way that Muslims would accept. We must never judge God's love and how He shows and adapts that love in a way that each culture would understand.

I recall reading a book on the martyrs of the coliseum. It was very hard accepting the stories because they all seemed to copy one another, and even worse, some were too 'phantastic' to be true.

Yet I always knew in my heart, that Christianity could never have grown to the extent it did without spectacular miraculous events. Events such as animals refusing to eat the martyrs etc.

Can we find anything else that would explain why people would be willing to sacrifice their very lives for Christianity.

If those past events in pagan Rome seemed repetitive and therefore unbelievable, (of course the Protestants threw them out and discounted them all), it was because they had occurred over a period of 300 years. Quite a long time.

What might seem believable to us, can sometimes appear strange to others and visa versa...But then again, isn't our God all encompassing.

Then again, there is that one thing in the above story that is unbelievable. That is the part that it would be told in Muslim newspapers. We mustn't forget though, that the Muslims do believe in our Theotokos.

In Christ,

Zenovia

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189102
06/12/05 10:53 PM
06/12/05 10:53 PM
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Alice Offline OP
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P.S....OOPS! SORRY!

Only the first paragraph was really meant for Pani Rose...the rest was a general commentary...I know that for Pani Rose my commentary was like me preaching to the choir! shocked

Alice, who is embarrassed if she inadvertently offended Pani Rose.

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189103
06/12/05 11:10 PM
06/12/05 11:10 PM
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White Plains, N.Y.
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Zenovia Offline
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Dear Ray,

To continue my story about fantastic events, I have heard that the Muslims also believe in Saint George. Who knows how many times he has been seem fighting them when his name was invoked by devout Christians.

I recall that in 1923 when the Greek soldiers were overtaken by Ataturk and the Turks proceeded to massacre the Greeks of Asia minor, an event concerning Saint George had occurred.

My grandmother at the time was the caretaker of a little church dedicated to him. When entering the church she was overpowered with the smell of 'ether'.

Realizing that it was supernatural, she called the local priest. He blessed the church and they all wondered what it meant. Well they didn't have long to wait. Shortly after the wounded and deseased soldiers arrived at that very place.

Which also takes me to a story I read in a book written during WWI. It seems that the German army in Belgium was faced with a force led by either Saint George or the Archangel Michael, depending on who one invoked.

The tale continued to say that when the wounded Germans themselves were asked, they said that they were unable to proceed because of this supernatural army.

In Christ,

Zenovia

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189104
06/12/05 11:16 PM
06/12/05 11:16 PM
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Posts: 10,930
Irondale,AL
Pani Rose Offline
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Alice,

I really do believe what is in that post. I have no doubt, but to pacify others, it is good to have the verification. I guess in a way like an antique, 'the prominance.' I had printed it off the computer this morning to take to Father and my husband said he wanted to pray about before hand. So I just thought if I could varify it on his website then that would help.

Like I said, I instantly thought of the story Saiedna shared with us. Saiedna Raya was so awesome, he always had a teaching to let you know what the day was about for the Divine Liturgy, before he began the celebration. Then as he progressed, if something came to him he needed to expound on, well he did so that anytime during the Liturgy you would get another short teaching. Then of course there were always the most awesome of homilies, tremendous amount of meat to chew on. Then he entered into the beauty of the Eucharist.

But, I think my first exposure to him was the teaching on St. Nicholas and the missing children. He was always larger than life in my eyes. Thanks be to God.

Byzantine said if you see it. Well Scripture says the woman at the well believed because of what Jesus told her about herself. Others believed because of what she said, she shared her miracle without others seeing. Then they heard him themselves and they believed because they saw for themselves.

Miracles truly have to do with decernment, going to someone who you trust the decernment of. One or more who through prayer, reading of the Scriptures, and decernement say yes. This is why the Church is so careful when proclaiming saints, to be certain of their miracles for those of this earth. AS with anything we must verify through those who have grown in the Triune God whose decernment we can trust, especially clergy (which certainly seems to be the circumstance in Alice's original post) and possibly those people have observed our growth. This way you are not an island unto yourself, but coming together with the Body of Christ we understand what happened.

God is constantly calling us through the Trinity, the invisible breath of God to believe - yet we must take our beliefes to the heart - the place where we know that as Eliah sitting hearing the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit, he knew it was God...
"There was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before God, but God was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but God was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle breeze. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle..!' (I Kings 19:11-13). In another translation it's even more striking: instead of the gentle breeze there is "sheer silence" (NRSV). Other translations say, "a still small voice," or "the sound of a soft breath” or "a quiet whispering voice!'

Re: Miraculous story about a Muslim, the Theotokos and a miracle! #189105
06/13/05 01:02 PM
06/13/05 01:02 PM
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Posts: 1,180
California
Elizabeth Maria Offline
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In the Old Testament, there is this reading which is read during Great Lent about the dry bones.

Whenever we have a deacon or reader who can sing this passage properly, it sends chills down my spine.

Dry bones come to life. This is a foretaste of what will happen at the Resurrection when we will all gather together in the sky to meet Christ.

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