Eugenia met her soulmate after she prayed to St Matrona of Moscow. The happy couple were expecting a child when the head of the family turned 33. It was the time when he came to God. He was baptized, confessed and mourned his sins, kneeling at the altar. And then he died from a blood clot shortly after his baptism…
Baptism Just before a Sudden Death
There is a woman in our parish, named Irina. I like her a lot, but we don’t talk much, although we’ve known each other for a long time. Yesterday we suddenly had a long conversation. Irina has three granddaughters. The eldest is named Eugenia and the younger ones, Masha and Dasha, are twins.
“I remember being worried about Eugenia.” Irina said, “She was 25 years old when she started partying with the wrong crowd and began to smoke. Many of her friends were already married, but she would say, ‘Oh, anyone would marry me.’
But no one did.”
Irina prayed for her granddaughter and once she invited her to go to the Intercession Monastery, to pray to St Matrona of Moscow.
“At first Eugenia said ‘No’, but later she agreed. ‘What should I be doing there?’ she asked me. Well, I told her to pray and also to write a little note with her prayer request and leave it at the relics.”
Following the old tradition, many people bring such notes to St Matrona when they visit the shrine. It is certainly the prayer that is important, but for some reason there are always similar traditions in such places
So, Irina and Eugenia went to the monastery with their note and prayed there to St Matrona. Two months later, Eugenia was already married to a wonderful young man, also named Eugene. It was on the feast of St Matrona of Moscow (May 2) that their firstborn son came along. Without thinking twice, they also named him Eugene; a kind of an “Eugenic” triad.
Time went on, and Irina was worried that neither her granddaughter nor her husband had come to faith. Eugenia was already pregnant for the second time when Irina began to attempt talking to Eugene about faith. At first he was deaf to her advice. Eugenia was also aggravated, “What are you bothering him for?!” she would say.
So, Irina decided to stop. As a last resort, she left the Gospel in their home, in case they would like to have a look at it. A month or two later, Eugene called Irina and told her that he wanted to be baptized.
“Imagine how the Word of God touched his heart,” Irina told me.
At first she wanted to bring him to our church, but Eugene refused to come. He found a priest and a temple where he had already been attending services.
He was baptized, and wept bitterly for his sins in the altar where they had allowed him. Then he received the Holy Communion.
A week later Eugene died from a blood clot. He was alive and fit when he entered the elevator but arrived dead. He was 33 years old, the age of Christ.
Consoling the grieving family, the priest who baptised Eugene told them, “You would see how clean his spirit was before God if you saw him repent on the day of his baptism. He will be praying for you now.”
The second son was born without him. After that Eugenia began to go to church.
A Child’s Prayer
Masha and Dasha were born prematurely. They were both small, a little over a kilogram in weight. The midwife was receiving Dasha first, and it went very unsuccessfully; she twisted her leg and was sure that the girl was dead. But she was still breathing. Masha has made it out with less difficulty, and everything was fine with her, while Dasha had to undergo three operations in order to somehow fix her leg. When she was four years old, a tumor appeared on it. The doctors could not explain what it was, but they said it was urgent to cut it out. Irina was afraid of the surgery. She kept asking the doctors if it could be avoided, but they insisted.
Irina went to church to talk to her priest about this. She was ready to resort to the services of some woman who “healed with prayer.” The priest said that he would never bless anything like this and sent Irina to the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra to ask the venerable for a blessing.
It was a cold winter, but despite it being -26 Celsius outside, Irina persuaded her atheist husband to take them there.
“It took us forever to find parking, and it was a long walk in a freezing temperature. We were standing at the relics of the venerable praying when Dasha asked, ‘Grandma, will the saint heal my leg?’ ‘He will, for sure!’ I answered.
On that day it was also the feast of the Venerable Naum of Radonezh. We managed to go downstairs and venerate his relics as well, before we headed back. ‘Grandma, won’t I need to have an operation now?’ ‘No need, girl.’ My husband got angry, ‘Why are you fooling the poor child?’
Three days later, the doctor said that Dasha had no tumor. It wasn’t my prayer that God heard, but Dasha’s.”
I believe in miracles too and I know that everything is possible for God. Irina and I talked some more later. She told me that although it is the Lord Who heals, that does not mean that there is no need to go to doctors. The Lord blesses them. Prayer and faith do not exclude medical treatment. God will figure out the way to help us, but it’s our job not to go to extremes.
“We prayed and we believed, but we were ready for the surgery. In our case it was not needed but for others, the miracle could happen with the help of doctors. Glory be to God for all things!
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds