Sunday, September 8, 2019

Miracle Before Icon, Mother of God, “Quick to Hear”

An eight-year-old girl who was deaf and mute is reported to have been miraculously healed last year before the She Who is Quick to Hear” icon. This ancient icon is one of the most well-known miraculous icons of the Theotokos, (which means Mother of God, the name used in the Eastern Orthodox Church as a title of the Virgin Mary.)

The icon is kept at the Dochiariou monastery on Holy Mount Athos, a mountainous peninsula in northern Greece that is the spiritual heart of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Mount Athos is an important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism with 20 monasteries where monks have been chanting psalms there daily for centuries. 
She who is "Quick to Hear" ( Panagia Gorgoepikoosin Greek), is an ancient painting of the Blessed Virgin that hangs to the right of the entrance in the monastery. The story of the icon’s miraculous properties, according to Orthodox Wiki, began in 1664. A monk named Neilos used pass in front of the icon holding a lighted torch which he needed for his duties. One day, he heard a voice tell him, “Do not come past here with a torch, leaving smoke on my icon.”
The monk ignored the request and became blind. Neilos then would stand in front of the icon, pleading for the Theotokos to forgive him and heal him. The third time, he heard the Blessed Mother tell him his prayer had been heard. She also told Neilos that the monks should have recourse to her for all their needs and that she would hear them speedily. Since then, her icon became an object of pilgrimage and many miracles have been attributed to it. 
The miracle last year involved an 8-year-old girl who had been mute from birth, according to the Greek Orthodox news site Every year, on September 6, the icon is brought to the Sohos monastery to allow others to venerate it, especially since women are banned from Mount Athos
The nuns at the convent had advised the mother to take her daughter before the icon and pray to the Mother of God for her daughter to be healed. According to a nun at the monastery named Thekla, a woman from Larissa, Greece came with her 8-year-old daughter to venerate the Mother of God. She told the nuns that her daughter was mute. 
The mother explained that she had read about the miracle of the young man from Skopje the previous December [2016] who spoke in front of the icon for the first time in 18 years. He had stood next to the icon and suddenly cried out“Mother Mary, give me my health.”
The mother explained,  “I want to ask her to do the same for my daughter.” As mother and daughter venerated the icon, the little girl gazed at the image of the Mother of God, and for the first time called out her own name of Raphaela. Her mother burst into tears and witnesses were amazed. 
When Raphaela and her mother returned to the monastery the next day, she ran up to Mother Thekla and continually repeated her name, saying she was doing so because she had never been able to speak before. 
May we all trust in the Blessed Mother’s intercession for us, just as she interceded to her Son at the Wedding at Cana and continues to instruct us to do whatever Jesus tells us to do.  Mary, Mother of God, Theotokos, “She Who is Quick to Hear,” please pray for us, for our country, and for our Church, that all may grow in holiness.   
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