The story of an everyday Saint in my hometown!
In a small town in northern Greece, there lived a blind girl named Aspasia. She was orphaned, very poor and abandoned by all. That’s why she grew up without being able to learn letters.
She was about 18-20 years old when a preacher of the metropolitan area passed by and saw her, took her with him and put her in the School for the Blind in Thessaloniki, so she learned reading through the blind system. Then, after learning to read braille well, the New Testament, written in the same scripture, was given to her in braille.
So the girl started reading it by touching it with her fingers. And as she studied it, she both learned what Christ was and what He did for her personally as well as for the whole world. And as she learned, she was so peaceful and so moved. The pain of so much tormenting years passed, softened through the study of the New Testament. And not only this, but filled with joy and peace. Flooded by happiness. “I found the joy” she said. “Now the eyes of my soul opened! And if the eyes of the body are missing, I do not mind. With the eyes of the soul I can see the whole world. ” She saw the light of God in every Divine Liturgy. (We who are “open-minded” are seeing this Light?).
But once she suffered a terrible skin disease that even touched her hands, which were “burned”, so she lost the touch of her fingers. She could no longer read the Holy Bible nor any other sacred book.
Her sorrow and her pain was indescribable. She was crying day and night. She had lost the ability to take power and joy through the Holy Book. But she had a prayer left. Because when she was in Thessaloniki, at the Blind School, a monk from Mount Athos taught her how to say “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. So she did a lot of prayer for Jesus Christ to give a good solution. And God answered.
One day she gladly took the Holy Book, the New Testament, and brought it to her mouth, to kiss the letters, which these letters convey to us the wisdom of God, redemption and salvation. And then she discovered something strange: She understood she could read the letters with her lips! And her life was replenished by joy, which was again given to her by the study of the word of God. And through this paradoxical study, praise came, thanksgiving came, the living prayer came.
She was studying and then praying with tears for those who had the same problems with physical disabilities and diseases, and especially prayer for those who were blind of the soul from sin. Through her prayer she saw the throne of God and begged Him and prayed to Him for the poor, the orphans, the unemployed, the homeless, for all the sick. For the good and bad, for the good and the wicked, for the righteous and the unjust, but also for those who continue to offend the world … for the lords and the beginners. All of them are enlightened and all of them can see the true Light, Christ, the Savior of the world!
One day she got sick. She confessed for the last time and communed the Holy Mysteries. And she asked for the New Testament, said to open it to her lips.
Aspasia stretched out her hands and held it firmly, but she died. Her relatives, according to divine providence, opened it to the first chapter of John the Evangelist. And constantly repeating the words “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God”, she raised her little soul high in the sky, while at the same time flooded her room with an unspoken sweet fragrance.
She is a silent saint!
Source: PROTOPRESVYTEROS STEFANOU K. ANAGNOSTOPOULOU. Piraeus 2011.
PUBLICATION OF ISICHASTIRIO “TO GENETHLIO TIS THEOTOKOU”, SERGOULA DORIDOS 2011