Recent Miracles of St Nicholas the Wonderworker

by Fr. Victor S. Potapov, Rector, Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washington, D.C.

The myrrh-streaming icon visited the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 1999 and again in April, 2000. The following experiences were shared with the congregation before the icon came the second time.

Icon on display
The icon prepared for veneration

I would like to share three inspiring testimonies with those of you who will not be able to attend services in our Cathedral on April 7-9th [2000], which will be celebrated in the presence of the Holy Myrrh-Streaming Icon of St. Nicholas. Allow me to introduce you to three individuals dear to our hearts: Tatiana, Christina and Alexander and describe the great and wondrous mercy shown to them by the Lord through the prayers of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. In June 1997 my parishioner Tatiana was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer—Non-Hodgkin’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma and was given 18 months to live. Tatiana is in her 50’s but looks much older than her age because of numerous chemotherapy treatments. Her weight reached a mere 82 lbs.

In February 1999, Fr. Elias Warnke came to Washington with the Holy Icon for a three-day visit. I wanted to take the Icon to Tanya’s home and serve a moleben, but she categorically refused, insisting that she would come to church to pray in person. It was heart wrenching to observe her, literally a living skeleton, dragging herself to church and fervently praying before the wonder-working image of St. Nicholas. Two days later, Tatiana went to her physician’s office for another session of chemotherapy. The doctor examined her and to his amazement discovered that the cancerous tumors in her lymph nodes were gone. He was completely at a loss for an answer but told Tanya that she should go home and rest for a month from further chemotherapy treatments. A month later Tatiana returned to her doctor. He ordered blood tests, a CAT scan and other tests. All of the results were negative. The doctor was perplexed, because what he encountered was medically impossible. He told Tanya that she was in total remission. That was a year ago. Since then the handmaid of God Tatiana is regaining her strength and looking forward to joining us for common prayers of thanksgiving for God’s great mercy.

The next person I want you to meet is Christina, a non-Orthodox 30-year-old American of Dutch extraction. Christina was stricken with a rapidly spreading cancerous brain tumor, which grew to six centimeters. The size of the tumor made surgery impossible. In the Winter of 1999, shortly after Fr. Elias’ visit to Washington, one of my parishioners gave a piece of myrrh-drenched cotton swabs to Benedicta a German-American acquaintance, who in turn gave the swab to Christina along with a medallion of St. Nicholas, blessed with the Holy Myrrh. Christina began anointing herself with the myrrh, which she kept next to her bed and put on the medallion. In December, Christina underwent another CAT scan, which showed that her tumor had shrunk by 30%. On April 4th of the this year, Benedicta, having learned that the Icon of St. Nicholas would once again be visiting our parish, called my matushka and joyfully reported to her that a recent MRI of Christina showed that all traces of cancer had disappeared. Christina and her friends plan to come to church this weekend and join us in expressing thanksgiving to God.

Finally, the case of Alexander, a 40-year old immigrant from the Ukraine. He and his family came to the United States in the 80’s. In November of 1999 Alexander was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. On December 10th, 1999 Fr. Elias was in Washington with the Icon of St. Nicholas. On Dec. 11th he allowed me to take the Holy Icon to sick parishioners, among whom was the gravely ill Alexander. A few days before he had 2/3 of his liver removed. Alexander lost a lot of weight and looked terrible. I put the icon on his bed and proceeded to serve a moleben, during which he and his wife Olga prayed fervently. Following the prayer service I confessed Alexander and gave him Holy Communion.

A month ago Alexander attended services at our Cathedral. I could barely recognize him. He has regained 35 lbs. since December. He told us that all traces of cancer were gone. He has resumed his job. His physicians are at a loss to explain his cure. Alexander is presently writing a detailed testimony of his experience and plans to include in it details of how in 1990 his wife Olga was cured of late stage melanoma by the Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Holy Theotokos. Alexander and Olga will also join us in church to give prayerful thanks.

On April 9th, following Sunday’s Slavonic liturgy, we will serve a special moleben with special petitions on behalf of the servants of God Tatiana, Christina, Alexander and numerous others who have been blessed through the intercessions of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The Holy Church of Christ has bestowed upon St. Nicholas the title “wonderworker” because his whole life was one continuous spiritual wonder. All of the miracles he has wrought are manifestations of great help for and defense of the defenseless. Wondrous was his ability to combine a principled stance in matters of Faith, a defense of Christ’s Truth and a condescensive love for people, manifested in his continuous desire to help those in need. The heart of the believer is drawn to St. Nicholas’ meekness and love for others. Already during his earthly life he was called “the father of orphans and comforter of sufferers.”

Truly, glorious is God in His saints!

Fr. Victor S. Potapov

History of the Icon


By Fr. Victor S. Potapov, Rector, Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Washington, D.C.

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