A Family's Stories from Limassol

Two accounts told by Sylvia Leonidou-Onesiphorou

Embossed silver icon
Saint Nicholas
St. Nicholas Center Collection

Nicholas Appears in the Night

My grandfather, the father of my mother, was named John Kyriakides. He served the small Church of Saint Nicholas in Limassol, as a sexton for more than thirty years. He was an honest, sincere, humble and good man who loved the Church very much and had a great devotion for Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was always his protector and helper.

The Holy Metropolis of Kition (Limassol belonged to the Metropolis of Kition then) granted my grandfather one of two houses that were near the church, where the Parish Center is today. He lived there with his wife Helen. The priest lived in the other house with his family.

One winter night, when rain came and went, there came a big storm. It was chaos. Thunder was heard from afar and lightning ripped the sky from east to west. Great desolation and deep darkness reigned everywhere. There no lights, no moon, no stars, because the sky was covered with black clouds.

My grandfather had lain down early. The midnight hour passed. My grandmother suddenly heard him get out of bed and hurriedly put on his old jacket, ready to go out of the house. Immediately my grandmother began called out, "John, where are you going at this hour?" My grandfather replied with a calm and gentle voice, "Don't be afraid, Helen. Saint Nicholas came and told me his silver icon dropped to the floor in the church and I'm going to pick it up."

Despite the exhortations of my grandmother for him to not go out on such a fearful, rainy night, my grandfather quickly went to the church without losing any time.

After some time he returned soaking wet drenched like a duck, but satisfied. He was in fact correct. The silver icon of St. Nicholas was on the floor of the church, just like the Saint had indicated. Grandfather had picked up the icon with great respect and placed it back in its permanent position. After crossing himself three times, he venerated St. Nicholas and locked the door to the church. He returned in the rain to his bed to continue his sleep. He was delighted and happy now that he had done his full duty.

Saint Nicholas Appears To A Pious Christian Woman

My mother Chrystalla Andrew died on 2/3/1992. She was a very quiet and faithful wife and grew up in the old homes of the Church of St. Nicholas.

One summer afternoon in 1985, while sitting and talking on the porch with my father Andreas Leonidou and my little sister Angela Leonidou, my mother suddenly got up from her chair, opened her arms and shouted, "Welcome, welcome! Come in." Her face glowed a little strangely and seemed very happy. The others who saw and watched her movements and heard her words said they did not understand and couldn't explain why she did what she did.

After a few minutes she sat down quietly in her chair. Concerned, the others asked her what was wrong and what happened. Then my mother said naturally, "Didn't you see the three bishops who came to our house? Here with us was St. Nicholas, the Apostle Luke and the third I did not recognize. All three were dressed in the garments of a hierarch. I told them to come in, but St. Nicholas told me that they were all in a hurry. Just at that moment St. Nicholas blessed our house and told me not to be afraid and that all will be well. All three smiled at me, they left the yard and proceeded toward the Church of St. Nicholas. You didn't see them here? Why are you asking me?"

My mother at this time was awake and had her senses. My mother was a very positive and honest woman, and said with confidence and enthusiasm that which occurred that summer afternoon in 1985.

By Sylvia Leonidou-Onesiphorou, from Mystagogy. Used by permission.

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