The Sisters of Saint Elisabeth Convent see bringing the joy of Christmas to people as their mission. This is why, every single year, when the Nativity season begins, they travel all around the world to participate in various Christmas markets. Unfortunately, this year it is not possible due to Covid travel restrictions.*
At the markets, our Sisters meet many new people, speak with them, offer them advice, share with them the Orthodox faith, and even sing Christmas Carols! Every Sister who has ever been at one of those markets has at least one story about a miracle that she’s experienced.
This is exactly why we decided to write a series of articles about those miracles for you to read this Christmas season!
The first miracle story of the series comes from Sister Larissa, who has participated at a Christmas Market of Luxembourg a few years in a row. She told us a particularly heartwarming story of a miracle that happened right in front of her eyes.
“This miracle happened at a Christmas market in Luxembourg. We were presenting a big selection of icons, crucifixes, holy oils and other things at our chalet. One day a woman came by. She asked for advice. Her mother was sick with cancer, she had to get surgery soon. The woman was depressed.
I talked to her and told her that the spirit needs to pray while the body is being treated by doctors. I advised her to get the icon of the Mother of God called Panagia Pantanassa as well as some holy oil. I told her to pray and to attend church services. The woman listened to us, got the icon and left. We always have a lot of people asking for advice just like she did, so we didn’t think much of it.
One year later, we came back to the same market. The woman came by and said, “I don’t think you remember me, but I visited your chalet last year when my mother was very sick. You advised me to get an icon and to read an akathist to the Mother of God. Thank you very much for your advice, it helped tremendously! I started to go to church, to confess, and receive Holy Communion. I pray regularly now. I read the akathist every day together with my mother. And the most important thing is that my mother had surgery, and she doesn’t have cancer anymore!”
We were so happy to hear that! 5 minutes after the woman left, one of our sisters went to check our donation box and found 1,000 euros inside. We started to tear up when we realised that the woman donated that much money to our Convent’s ministries out of gratitude for the advice that we gave her.“
This is how simple advice can change people’s lives for the better, make them truly find God and start following Christ.
We hope that this story inspires you to take time to go deeper into your Christian faith this Christmas season. It is the perfect season to spend more time with God, pray more and try to be more kind and loving to your neighbor, spreading the joy of Christmas with everyone around you.
Christmas is all about the great joy of our Saviour Jesus Christ being born. This hymn, which the Orthodox sing on the Christmas day, explains the meaning of Nativity:
Today, the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One!
Angels with shepherds glorify Him! The wise men journey with a star! Since for our sake, the Eternal God was born as a Little Child!
(Troparion of the Nativity)
*PS - You can visit our Christmas market online by clicking on this link.
On 2 June, 2019, the church in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco was consecrated. Among our guests was Bishop Emeritus of the Russian Church Abroad Michael (Donskov). He shared with us his childhood memories of St John.