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A New Painting of the Appearance of the Cross In 1925

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  • Fr. Panagiotes Carras
    From: Metropolitan Moses Subject: A New Painting To: Date: Thursday, September 27, 2012, 8:03 PM The picture below was taken during a break
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 28, 2012
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      From: Metropolitan Moses <metmoses@...>
      Subject: A New Painting
      Date: Thursday, September 27, 2012, 8:03 PM

      The picture below was taken during a break at the meeting of our Holy Synod on September 5/18, 2012. The canvass is a depiction of the miracle of the appearance of the Cross over Mount Hymettus on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross according to the Julian Calendar, in 1925. This miracle has been called "A Divine Confirmation"  for all those who have chosen to remain steadfast in the Traditions of our Holy Fathers.

      The priest, John, who is depicted in the painting is buried in the courtyard of the Women's Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, which is in Metropolitan Chrysostomos' Metropolis. (Left to right are Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Attika, Bishop Gregory of Christianoupoleos and Metropolitan Gerontios of Peiraios.]

      An Account of the Appearance of the Cross

      In 1925, on the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the All-Honorable and Life-giving Cross of Our Saviour, September 14 according to the Orthodox Church calendar, the all-night vigil was served at the Church of Saint John the Theologian, which was then in open fields some distance outside of Athens. According to an ancient tradition the two young students from Cappadocia, Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory the Theologian, used to come to this place for prayers. By nine o’clock that evening, more than two thousand of the true Orthodox faithful had gathered in and around the church for the service, since very few true Orthodox churches had been left open by the civil authorities.  Such a large gathering of people could not go unnoticed by the authorities. Around eleven P.M. the authorities dispatched a battalion of police to the church “to prevent any disorders which might arise from such a gathering.” The gathering was too large for the police to take any direct action or to arrest the priest at that time and so they joined the crowd of worshippers in the already over flowing courtyard of the church.

      Then, regardless of the true motives for their presence, against their own will, but according to the Will which exceeds all human power, they became participants in the miraculous experience of the crowd of believers.

      At 11:30 P.M., there began to appear in the heavens above the church, in the direction of the northeast, a bright, radiant Cross of light. The light not only illuminated the church and the faithful but, in its rays, the stars of the clear, cloudless sky became dim and the church-yard was filled with an almost tangible light. The form of the Cross itself was an especially dense light and it could be clearly seen as a Byzantine cross with a crossbar toward the bottom. This heavenly miracle lasted for half an hour, until midnight, and then the Cross began slowly to rise up vertically, as the cross in the hands of the priest does in the ceremony of the Elevation of the Cross in church. Having come straight up, the Cross began gradually to fade away.

      Human language is not adequate to convey what took place during the apparition. The entire crowd fell prostrate upon the ground with tears and began to sing prayers, praising the Lord with one heart and one mouth. The police were among those who wept, suddenly discovering, in the depths of their hearts, a childlike faith. The crowd of believers and the battalion of police were transformed into one, unified flock of the faithful. All were seized with a holy ecstasy.

      The vigil continued until 4:00 A.M., when all this human torrent streamed back into the city, carrying the news of the miracle because of which they were still trembling and weeping.

      Many of the unbelievers, sophists, and renovationists, realizing their sin and guilt, but unwilling to repent, tried by every means to explain away or deny this miracle. The fact that the form of the cross had been so sharply and clearly that of the Byzantine Cross, with a crossbar at the bottom for a footrest, completely negated any arguments of accidental physical phenomena.

      That this fiery pillar of the cross was exalted in the heavens on the very feast of the Exaltation according to the traditional calendar has shown us unmistakably the way of faithfulness to our God. If any ask us what is this depiction of the cross or what is this “old” calendar, let us have a ready answer. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (Peter 3:15) He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

      I TOO WAS THERE [1]

      Eye witness Accounts of the Appearance of the Cross

      Over the Church of St. John the Theologian

      at Mt. Hymettus, September 14, 1925


      I was one of the men from the Police Institute who were sent to stop the vigil that night, some fifty years ago, at the country church of St. John the Theologian.

      The Old calendarists were keeping vigil there, because it was the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross.

      Since many people had gathered--more than two thousand individuals--we did not attempt to seize the priest as we had been ordered, but we sat down quietly in the nearby court and waited for them to finish.

      At about 11:30 at night, we heard a loud and strange uproar coming from the shouts of the multitude. Without delay, we ran to see what was happening --and we saw. The whole multitude of the faithful was in a state of excitement. Some were weeping and others, crying out “Lord, have mercy,” were kneeling and had turned their eyes toward heaven, and yet others were fainting, overwhelmed with great emotion. Then we too looked and beheld the marvel: an enormous radiant Cross, very high above the church, was illumining the whole area. At first, we were seized with fear, but immediately we came to ourselves, and forgetting the purpose for which we had been sent, we fell to our knees and wept like little children.

      Of course, it is superfluous for me to tell you that, filled with emotion, we attended the rest of the vigil to the end--no longer as persecutors, but as faithful Christians. In the morning when we returned to the Institute, we told everyone about the great marvel which we had been deemed worthy to see. Afterwards there was an investigation and all of us swore under oath that we had seen the Precious Cross clearly, high in the sky.

      John D. Glymis

      Retired Police Officer, 78 years of age

      73 Aristotle Street

      Peristeri [a suburb of Athens]


      On that night in 1925 when the Precious Cross appeared, I was making the last run with the tram which I was operating. I had reached Omonoia and was going around the square when I saw everyone looking up toward heaven and crying, “Look!-the Cross!-the Cross!” Immediately I stepped on the brakes and stopped the vehicle. I stuck my head out the tram’s door and I, the unworthy one, also saw the Precious Cross of Our Lord--may His Name be glorified; it was shining over Mount Hymettus. I don’t remember how long this lasted. I know only one thing the Precious Cross which I saw that night turned me into a different man. Since then, everyone in my family has become a faithful child of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians.”

      Athanasios Primalis

      Retired Tram Conductor, 80 years of age

      17 Kavales Street

      Nicaea [a suburb of Athens]



      They declared the praise of the Lord and His mighty acts and His wonders which He wrought.

      And He raised up a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel,

      Even those things He had commanded our fathers, to make the same known unto their children, that another generation might know,

      Even the sons about to be born, that they in turn might arise and declare them unto their sons,

      That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but seek after His commandments,

      That they might not be as their fathers, a generation perverse and provoking,

      A generation that set not their heart aright, and which kept not their spirit steadfast with God.  (Psalm 77)

      [1] These two accounts are from Ta Patria (July, Aug.., Sept. 1967); 82-84. (In Greek)
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