Saved from Shipwreck
Told by a monk of Grigoriou Monastery on Mount Athos
“In Beroia, Macedonia, there is a Metochion of Grigoriou Monastery. One or two times a year, always in the summer, we visit by sea in a small boat from the Monastery. One time I was traveling with two brothers to the Metochion. But between Cassandra and Pelion there was an unusual calm even though we rowed steadily. The annoying lull got me thinking of an inevitable great evil. My anxiety was high, though without reason. It was something like a premonition. The brothers begged me for all of us to take a break from rowing so we could rest. However, I urged them to speed up, as if something was leading me away from imminent danger. We had to reach as soon as possible the coast between Pelion and Olympus. A slight breeze helped us considerably. We reached the shore, we disembarked, and we pulled in the boat.
“Meanwhile a cloud appeared above Pelion, which grew increasingly dark. It was a harbinger of terrible evil. What a terrible outburst followed! A rare windy storm, a stove pipe as they say. As we arrived all the residents gathered, and they were amazed and perplexed, looking at us while crossing themselves. They confessed that Saint Nicholas rescued us. We stayed a few days, equipped ourselves, got food, and departed.
“What a spectacle we saw as we returned! Everywhere we passed: shipwrecks. All the ships anchored in the ports of Livas and Garbi were stranded or submerged. The entire southwest side of Cassandra, Sithonia and Athos were affected by the storm. As we reached the Monastery we saw a shocking sight: the Litochorino ship full of timber was submerged.
“Avoiding any comment, I can only emphasize the vague anxiety I felt as we went. Was it not a profound and vivid intervention of the Saint?”
Adapted from Archmandrite Cherubim, Contemporary Ascetics of Mount Athos, Mystagogy.