The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Poustynnik — 17


St John the Russian


Release the relics! Christ is Risen! Day #17

I am blessed with many relics of the saints in my Icon Corner so I am never alone: I am surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).

We heard the Gospel, John 20:19-25 at the Great Vespers of Love last Sunday, the Sunday of the Resurrection, in eight languages!

The opening verse begins” On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the Disciples were”…….

The doors were shut, yet Jesus came and stood among them and said to them , “Peace be with you!”  The doors to our homes are closed, we are shut in, during this pandemic lockdown state, yet Christ comes to us and enters to bring us His Peace.

 However, in a real spiritual sense, we have to open the door of our heart to Christ.

In the Victorian picture by Holman Hunt “Jesus the Light of the World, “our Lord is pictured with a lantern knocking on the door of a cottage, but there is no door handle on the outside- the door has to opened from inside. Once the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts we become infused with grace and peace.

Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit we must realise the consequences of this for all the ages, not just for our life here on earth.

‘Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?’

I Corinthians 3:16.

 Release the relics!

 Ezekiel 37

37 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”


 Such fragments of dust charged by bliss

 Are containers of the Father’s love;

Buried in the fertile soil discovered,

Absorbing truth, exuding faith

Transforming earth through a heavenly kiss:

 Retrieve the Relics.



St John Maximovich



Whose is their face, their image, seal?

Where the provenance for holy bones?

Who lie beneath false moons, fake stars and Creation’s groans;

Christ is their home, their being and their source

To sing His grace in symphonic tones.

 Relocate the relics.


 Those precious few who acquired the Light, hard won;

 “He that has the Son has life” we read.

The blind and lame find their way home, following

The plough, that turns the turf to the Sun;

Revive the seeds, reform the rebellious one.

 Re-illuminate the Relics.


“Can these bones live?” asked God to his exiled flock

 Lifeless in the war strewn sand, upon a human threshing floor

  Prodigal flesh awakes when ground is dug

“He was lost and is found” in a Father’s hug

Time to rewind the mortal clock!

 Reinstate the Relics.


Today we seek Elisha’s bones, to find his power,

Iridescent in poor cloth and marrow veiled to

Smell the fragrant odour surfaced;

Share that which imbues a holy residue

Who could resist such a sweet-scented flower?

 Redistribute the Relics.


St John the Chosevite

A double portion of Elijah’s spirit clings to those who seek

 The Incarnation and the promise of the Christ.

No frame to hold yet by Spirit borne,

These bones yet live

and grant new structures to the weak:

 Restore the Relics.


St Nektarios Pentapolis

Collect the dust! The Lord it was who shaped us men

Dried up are we, bleached white by the scorching sun

Open the door and let Christ in

And our bones will live again!

Your bones will live again!

 Resurrect the Relics.


St Dionysios

 Speaking of the miraculous power of holy relics, Saint Ephraim the Syrian relates the following concerning the holy Martyrs:

“Even after death they act as if alive, healing the sick, expelling demons, and by the power of the Lord rejecting every evil influence of the demons. This is because the miraculous grace of the Holy Spirit is always present in the holy relics.”

Eν Χριστώ