I’ll never forget the time when you came home to tell us that you learned of an icon at a nearby Orthodox church that had potentially something miraculous happening to it. I don’t remember the jurisdiction, but I do remember you mentioning a saint of whom I had never heard. His name was St. Phanourious, and you explained a little about his history. The church was in dire straights financially and most non-Orthodox believed they made it up to get attention to save their church. I don’t know if you ever knew this (the beginning part at the time), but I just had to hop in the car to see it for myself. I remember not telling anyone that I did so, however, you always seemed to have sixth sense about these things.
Remember how you got up in the middle of reading the paper one night, hitting the sides of the recliner, and exclaiming “That’s it!” as you quickly got up to grab your coat to dart out the door. Much to our surprise (Mom, Jimmy and I), you took off in your car and raced off without so much as a brief explanation. Next thing we knew, in 10 minutes, you came back with Thena and Andrew pulling up in the driveway behind you. You just “knew” they were doing donuts in the store parking lot while running an errand; much to their chagrin, you were right. Glad it wasn’t me this time! 🤣
Anyway, I drove out to this church to see what this icon was all about. Although it wasn’t that far from the house, I had never even knew it existed. It was tucked away in plain sight. It was near the corner of two fairly busy streets, however, the building looked like an old-fashioned Protestant church that was very dark in color but in a charming chalet type of way. I slowly opened the door to the main entrance. Not a person was in sight. “Hello? Is anybody here?” My voice softly echoing throughout. No one answered. I hesitated to go any further wondering if I should wait for someone to come and give me permission to do so. But there it was near the solea on a podium by itself with nothing else around it. A sense of peace came over me beckoning me as if St. Phanourios was casually saying “Please come say hello!” I drew near rather quickly abandoning any fear I had of anyone scolding me by this point.
While approaching him, I noticed that this wasn’t the typical weeping icon. It was encased in glass, and there was a mist only around his halo and on the glass directly above it. The mist had a soft glow about it. I stared at it for quite awhile admiring the glow and marveling at the preciseness of the edges of the mist. I was amazed at how young he was! Little did I know how much he went through. (Now, as an adult, I marvel at him and his faith even more!) I decided I must go home because I had chores to do. I do remember telling you long afterwards that I went and thanked you for it. It’s sad that the church, along with its icon of St. Phanourios, disappeared without a trace. There never was any mention of it again within the Orthodox community. So, I never knew if it was accepted as a miracle or not.
This is one time my impulsivity worked in my favor. For the first time, I learned how to pray and feel comfortable praying to a saint for his/her intercessions. I feel very close to him. Most times, I find the item while in the middle of praying, if not within 5 minutes. I’m sure if the ADHD community had a patron saint, it would be St. Phanourios for all we go through in life! I do know that there are some items I still haven’t found. I know in my heart that it’s probably because I need to “work on some things” a bit harder or there’s some lesson I need to learn within each of those losses. Nonetheless, I know he’s looking out for me. And, I had never made Phanouropita until this year!
I mention it today because it’s been a week since I prayed for St. Phanourios’ intercessions for Mom. She was missing some very important paperwork that she needed to send out right away. I made her promise to make a Phanouropita with me if I said a prayer for his intercession for her. She agreed. She found the paperwork within a minute or two. However, we haven’t been able to make the Phanouropita. She was distracted a couple of days (part of her illness) but then became quite ill and I have been too ill at times. I have been waiting to make it with her so she doesn’t feel badly because I think she does want to spend the time together. I keep praying about it but have mixed feelings. So, I’m sure I’m too distracted by thoughts of the situation and not truly listening to the answer to my prayers. I’m still working on it though! I also wonder is it selfish to make another cake to help me with my situation? I have heard he answers prayers other than for lost items. Is it right to pray for health and getting back to work? Any work? Or should I pray to go back into teaching? If so, I should probably add praying for more strength! My mind and my will is still trying to take the wheel with all of these questions floating around in my head. Until then, I’m at a stalemate and know I must find patience and peace within myself before the answer comes. Until next time…
P.S. I receive nothing for this link. It put it here because it reminds me of the first icon I ever saw of St. Phanourios.