In a termination hearing, one of the last big trials, the Prosecutor Liberis Papandreou told me the following, when he noticed a cross around my neck. He also showed me a cross that he wore around his neck and told me the following:
“This cross saved my life. Without this I would have been dead in the Winter of 1943. It was the period when anyone who fell into the hands of the Germans and brought to the torturers, on the road Merlin, did not leave except to go to the cemetery.
During this time I also was arrested. I was accused by a senior official of the Municipality of Piraeus – a German organization – and a Mayor of a Settlement of Piraeus as a General Prosecutor of the Communists, because these two men I had arrested for the abuse of food, which was intended for the hungry. My refusal, in which I denied any “blame”, infuriated my investigators.
For this reason I was brought to be tortured. On the third day of my martyrdom I was lead into a spacious room. This was hell on earth. Inside paraded five giant torturers, each of which exhausted all his powers upon me. Slowly I started to feel that soon I would be dead there.
After the huge torturers, I was taken by the investigator himself. In a furious moment he took me with both hands by the throat and began to squeeze. I felt that I would die of asphyxiation. He used all his power and I was freed from his hands. Immediately I tore my shirt for my chest to breathe. I had not even thought about what I did. At the same time I noticed my torturer become pale. He turned white, more white than the wall of the room. He tried to lift his hands but could not succeed.
He then began to cry… Yes, crying like a frightened baby! He then came near me, leaned on my chest and kissed this here cross! I confess that I could not believe what I saw with my eyes.
After a little while he called out to be brought a glass of water. With this he washed, with his own hands, which now could move, my wounds, and after he sat me on a chair to recover. He then left to return to several colleagues, to whom he recounted the following:
‘Once this man opened his chest, lightning flashed before my eyes from this tiny cross. This flash formed a fiery “nein” [German for “no”]. Now that I’ve recovered, gentlemen, I can say that God is close to the faithful.’
Then he returned to me and said:
‘I would ask you to offer this cross to me to protect me from this unjust crisis. Not from death, because I do not fear it. But I’m not worthy, I do not believe in God like you. Because if I believed…’ and he stopped short the sentence.
So, my beloved one, it saved me from certain death thanks to my faith,” said the Prosecutor Liberis Papandreou.
From Ν. Καπιτσόγλου, “Θαύματα που γίνονται σήμερα”, περιοδ. Κιβωτός, αριθ. 21/ Σεπτέμβριος 1953, σελ. 347.
2. The Cross of Preveli Monastery
This miraculous relic constitutes the “Palladium” of the Monastery and is associated with many miracles especially related with eye diseases. It’s a big silver cross (Dim. 0.56 x 0.25) with wider points at the ends and protruded decorative buttons and tokens in a wire working process. The Baptism of Jesus Christ is shown from one side. The Father on the upper part and the Angels beside the points of the cross. On the other side the crucifixion are the symbols of four Evangelists. A big crystal is attached to the handle of the cross and in the perimeter of the cyclical base the donation inscription appears: “The Fatigue And Hard Work Of Abbot Ephraim, Whom The Lord Saved From Hell Fire”. The cross demonstrates the level of folklore silversmiths in Crete had during the second half of 18th century, when the active and energetic Abbot Ephraim Prevelis lived. The cross is kept in a shrine in the main church of the Monastery.
The Cross was carried in the front line of every battle thus greatly encouraging the fighters. In 1823, in the unequal battle against the Turks at Amourgeles, in Monofatsiou province, the Holy Symbol was lost. The Cross was found at the end of 1823 in the hands of Genoese sailors, who had purchased it in Heraklion. According to the legend, they returned the Cross to the Monastery when their ship simply stopped in the water, in a a quite mysterious way, while sailing in the Libyan Sea near the Monastery of Preveli, and was able to proceed only after the precious relic was given back. In 1941, German officers removed the Cross from the Monastery and attempted to send it to Germany. The airplane though which would transfer the Holy Symbol away could not take off. They put the Cross in another airplane without result, the second airplane could not start. They attributed this event to the Holy Symbol, so a few days after the looting, the Cross was back in its position. It was also September 13th, the eve of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the feast day of the Monastery.
3. The Hodja Who Became A Christian
According to reliable sources, a well-known Hodja of Egypt with his family abandoned Islam and were baptized Christians. As he says, it was because of a miracle.
The former Hodja, now a Christian convert, said that his daughter was suffering from an incurable disease. They went to every hospital and saw many doctors where they lived in Egypt, and even travelled abroad. They would recommend treatment, but did not have much hope. Indeed they would inform the desperate father to take his daughter home since there really was no treatment. The Hodja prayed daily to Allah for help.
A close friend saw the father’s grief, and offered to put a cross on the pillow of his daughter. On hearing this proposal, the father responded: “It is not possible for me to do something like that…, I will not sell my faith.” The idea however began to occupy his thoughts. Without telling anyone, he bought a cross and placed it on the pillow of his daughter. The days passed and his daughter entered a comatose state, losing all consciousness. The whole family and the people of the area served by the former Hodja waited for her death. The desperate father day and night sat next to her, crying. Inside, as he confesses now, there was a hope that something would happen.
One evening as the depressed father held the hand of his daughter, he saw the cross that was on the pillow to emit a bright light which spread all over the bed. Initially he thought that it was a dream or something wrong with his mind because of his sadness. However, the light he saw was obvious. Suddenly he saw his daughter getting up from bed and saying: ‘Dad, I am hungry, bring me something to eat.” The Hodja could not understand what had happened. He went to the kitchen overjoyed. The voices roused his wife and the neighborhood. Soon the house was crowded. He told and re-told what happened. He spoke about the miracle of the cross. He even phoned his friend who had proposed to put the cross on the pillow of the daughter and thanked him.
Neighbors and friends tried to ascribe the miracle to Saint George, who is accepted by Muslims. But he knew the power of the cross. He experienced the miracle. The daughter no longer had anything and physicians aware of the situation did not believe their eyes when they saw that the new tests did not show anything. A few days after the miracle the former Hodja had made a decision. He told his wife he would become a Christian. She initially was against this and thought of the persecution that will follow the entire family by Muslims. “They will kill us” she said. But he was already on his way. He notified her that they leave permanently from Egypt. “We will be baptized and live in another country.” So it happened.
However, the news of his entering the Church of Christ, was widely circulated in the city he served, and to Muslim clergy. Today, the former Hodja and now Christian convert studies theology. For Muslims today, he and his family are outlaws. This is why we cannot publish more data.
Source: mystagogy Translations by John Sanidopoulos