Liturgy of St. Basil

Many years ago, before 1940, on a Sunday during the Great Lent, at a church in Volos, a priest was performing the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great.

A young boy by the name of Johnny, about 10-12 years old, was helping in the altar.

The pious priest was performing the Liturgy.  When the time came to sanctify the divine gifts, he knelt down and raised the gifts up, resting his hands on the altar table.  He looked up and remained kneeling for a long time.

The chanter sang, “We praise you…”, once, twice, a third time.  The congregation was moved and kept their heads down, as was the practice back in those days; they did not kneel down back then.  Many people started to weep, because the priest would not say, “Especially for Panagia…”  The chanter who stood at right told someone to continue singing “We praise you…” and entered into the altar.  He saw the priest kneeling thus, in ecstasy, and Johnny down on the ground, passed out.

The chanter came out, went back in to the altar from the other side, poured water on Johnny’s face to revive him, and at the same time that Johnny got up, the priest did so as well.  The chanter handed him the senser and the priest proclaimed, “Especially for Panagia…”  This took about twenty minutes.

Later, the people asked the chanter what happened, and he answered:  “I don’t know, it seems that the priest was in ecstasy, and Johnny was passed out.”  They then asked Johnny, but he wouldn’t say anything!

Then a young woman pressured him into talking; she wanted to be a nun, and later became the Abbess at the monastery at Portaria (Panagia Odigitria).  Her name was Makrina.

Johnny told her that St. Basil the Great, whose Liturgy was celebrated that day, came down escorted by a host of Angels in glory.  Johnny could not bear the sight and passed out!  That’s all it was!

The chanter did not see anything else, Johnny was the only one who saw him.  We don’t know if the Saint said anything or if he only wanted to be present at his own liturgy.

We have no other information, except that this even occurs at every Divine Liturgy.  Only our own human eyes, our sinful eyes are not capable of seeing this!

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