Five miracles that happened to Saint Ephraim of Katukania

Experiencing miracles: narratives from Mount Athos

narratives from mount athos

Mysterious helper

Father Ephraim of Katunakia was working in solitude in a forest. He was pulling poplar stumps onto a trail. The stumps were for making prosphora seals. Suddenly, he felt an intense pain. His back hurt so much that he could not straighten it out. A young man appeared out of nowhere and helped him pull all the stumps to where they could be loaded on a donkey. When the work was finished, he vanished as quickly as he came. Only once did the man say his name: Theodore. He disappeared, and left the elder guessing: was it Theodore of Tyro, or Theodore Stratelates?

A companion out of nowhere

Elder Ephraim was on his way to Xenophontes Skete on an obedience. He had set out from Daphne and wondered how he would reach his destination without knowing the terrain.

In the middle of his journey, he met another hieromonk, a neighbour from Katunakia, who was also walking to a skete and said he knew all the trails. When they reached Ephraim’s destination, the hieromonk vanished into thin air. Elder Ephraim was speechless. In amazement, he exclaimed, “Glory to You, O Lord!”

An intercession from a patron saint

Father Ephraim suffered from extreme sea sickness. Once he found himself aboard a sailboat travelling to Karunakia. The sea was very rough, and the captain decided to wait out the storm in the sea. But Ephraim’s attack of sea sickness was worsening. He went decisively to the captain and commanded, “Moor at Karoula!" The captain had no choice but to listen.

Suddenly the storm ended, and the sea became perfectly calm. The boat moored, and Father Ephraim disembarked, together with the other monks. There was even time to unload it.

Surprised, the captain said, “Father, your patron saint must be a wonder-worker!”

Sweet chants from heaven

Elder Ephraim was having a conversation with a hieromonk. "Today, extraordinary endearment reigns in my heart. As I was praying, I heard chants of untold beauty from Heaven. I loved these sweet sounds with my heart and my whole inner being. I loved them so much that I could go for days without any food. I asked the Divine Grace to tell me who was singing. And the grace replied: ‘They are the brothers of Theodosius. Incessantly, they sing hymns that bring to God the souls of the people who have been saved.’"

Evidence of the Holy Theotpokos’ ever-presence

Elder Ephraim once said: "The Theotokos is with us at all times, but somehow we cannot get our minds around it. It is not beneficial for us to see Her, or we might fall into pride.” But the Elder himself has encountered Her. She was going around the cells and said how pleased she was with all the brethren.

To people who came to him with their sorrows, he recommended praying before the miracle-working Panagia Gorgoepikoos icon of the Mother of God. He had turned to this icon multiple times and received help from the Most Holy Theotokos.

How powerful is the prayer of an Athonite monk?

Many people asked elder Ephraim to describe the power of the prayers of the Athonite monks. The elder himself asked God multiple times to show him this power. Finally, he saw during a night prayer the arrows of light rising to heaven and streams of fire flowing upwards from the monasteries.

July 22, 2022
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