courtesy of Holy Trinity Monastery | Orthodox Life 1/43 Jan-Feb 1957 pp 20-22
Another Letter from Harbin about Miracles

I am going to describe still another miracle. On the night of the Transfiguration of our Lord the late archpriest Thaddeus Seeny appeared in a dream to the Chinese priest Anikita. He appeared in the altar together with Father Anikita, they put on their priestly vestments, opened the Main Gate of the Altar and went out to bless fruits. Father Thaddeus said to Father Anikita that they ought to wait for the archpriest father Michael Pachomov, and he came immediately after this. Father Michael actually was sick at the time and died twenty-four hours later. Both Father Thaddeus and Father Michael were very respected pastors. Who can say that Father Michael ever refused anyone in his pastoral duties. Where the poor were, there he was, and he died among his spiritual children. Both of them were the peoples' favorite pastors and they served for 30 or more years at the same place and almost simultaneously departed into eternal life. The people deeply grieve their departure. The ranks of our clergy are thinning… And so, the Lord has called on the heathens to help out the impoverished material means of the churches. During this year some of the churches had to close due to a lack of material means, poverty only remained. The Lord gave miracles and even heathens believed and accepted Christ and many Chinese donate large sums of money, began to place candles in the churches and bring flowers into churches:—they support the sanctity of our churches.

And now I'll tell you of a miraculous occurrence, a lesson for us sinners. A woman, apparently not very religious, during the liturgy when everybody goes up to the cross—and everybody went up to the Golgotha Cross, which was being miraculously restored, with marked awe—decided to test the cross with her hand to see if it was newly painted, and when she went up to the cross she touched the Golgotha image with her sinful hands. And what do you think? She came home—and became insane! Such is the lesson of wisdom before us! The Golgotha Cross was not entirely restored—as far down as the feet the original darkness remained, extending up to the level of the knees—as if there for the purpose of showing what was before and what is now.

In the "Moscow barracks", in the church named in honor of John the Baptist, eight large icons were restored and numerous small ones also—so that they now appear as no painter could ever create them. They seem actually alive—they only lack speech! This small church has now become so beautiful—it seems as if it was just built.

The restoration continues in the cemetery: I was in the cemetery today and what do you think? A neglected grave, the cross there is barely standing up, and on this cross an image of St. Nicholas was restored—completely new paints appeared, the vestment is dark red and his face glows like a sun—what a miracle! The icon was completely rusted, everything on it was worn away with age—and now, thanks to God's benevolence, the icon appears as if it was just recently created—isn't this a miracle? And next to this an icon of St George the Conqueror is being restored. Not only in the cemetery—in homes icons are also being restored, one simply becomes overwhelmed at the sight of this!

The old church of the Annunciation—you already know how it was restored inside and what an effect this had on the Chinese… I'll describe the restored icons. They became unusually beautiful. The iconostase glows like a sun. The icon of the Last Supper above the Main Gates of the Altar is very beautiful —the effect it has on one is that the table cloth is snow-white with an indescribable rosy glow. The Virgin Mary and the Saviour—their colors are such that no painter could match or equal them—they are heavenly in quality. The colors also seem to be miraculously changing before one's eyes—now they seem this color and later they look different. Of the Apostles especially wonderful and beautiful is Apostle and Evangelist Luke. And from the corner Bishop Innokenty walks towards one and seems alive—it seems as if he is about to say something —wonderfully beautiful, and when one enters the church he seems to be standing there alive and about to preach a sermon: "Repent!" I also want to tell you about the cupola. Within the cupola is God-Jehovah. This is something almost unbelievable! When it was restored the Chinese became frightened. It appeared to them that sunlight was radiating from the cupola and from the dust and soot God-Jehovah was revealing himself like something from Heaven. This cupola was so old that it was full of cracks and the paint on it was almost completely peeled away—and suddenly from these ruins, from this soot, the Lord arises in all His grandeur! Now it suffices only to hold ones glance on His Countenance for a few minutes—the effect is unforgetable: it seems He is about to part His lips and speak to us sinners. One of my friends could not endure this glance. The light was such at first, one archpriest tells me, that when he entered he was certain that the icons were illuminated by electric lights—and what turned out to be the case when he came closer? The old sockets from the lights were renewed and glowed with an unusual brightness. The effect is such, that light is radiating from them at the place where there once were electnc lights. Of the Chinese who were present at the miracles six were baptised. Evidently the Lord is calling on other peoples.

The letter from Karagand Kogastan informs us of a great miraculous apparition. In the evening suddenly the sky became bright, azure, and in the sky were see crowds of people—it was difficult to tell who they were, and later the Virgin Mary appeared with the infant Christ—she wept over her people. Many fell to the ground and prayed. What this vision is—nobody is able to explain.