We often say that the Lord protects widows and orphans. This is the absolute truth, for the Lord truly is their protector and sometimes shows them particular and extraordinary signs of His mercy.
Reverend Sisoes describes the following occurrence: “It happened when I was in the skete with Father Macarius. Once we left it and went to gather some crops. One widow working next to us was weeping bitterly. Venerable Macarius summoned the presbyter of that village and asked him, ‘Why is that old woman harvesting behind us incessantly crying?’ The old man replied, ‘Her husband took gold from a certain man for safekeeping and soon died a sudden death without telling his wife where that gold was hidden. The owner of the gold now wants to take her children into bondage.’ ‘Tell her to come to us during the midday rest.’ Macarius told the presbyter.
When the widow came, the elder asked her, ‘Why are you constantly crying?’ She told him about the gold taken by her husband. Macarius said, ‘Come and show us the place where your husband is buried.’ Taking the brethren with him, he went to the cave where the deceased was lying. When they arrived there, the venerable said to the woman, ‘Go to your house for now.’ When she left, the monks began to pray. After the prayer was finished, Macarius, calling the dead man by his name ‘Onesimus’, said to him, ‘Where did you hide the gold that you have taken for safekeeping?” Coming to life, the dead man answered, ‘I put it under the board of my bed in my house.’ The elder then exclaimed, ‘Sleep now, until the universal resurrection.’ Seeing this, the monks fell in horror at the saint’s feet. The latter said to them, ‘Forgive me, brethren. This has nothing to do with me, for I am nothing. God performed this miracle for the sake of the widow and her orphans.’ The widow found the gold at the place indicated by her husband, gave it to its owner and freed her children from slavery.”
Truly, brethren, the Lord is a protector and breadwinner of widows and orphans! Look around you: here and there we see dying fathers leaving their young children without a penny, and we think that these children are doomed. But in reality the opposite happens. As if on someone’s invisible instruction, kind people always appear who take care of these orphans and bring them up as best they can. Who sends these benefactors to orphans? Where do they come from? The answer is simple: God sends them, and they come from Him. “I repeat that it was not I who performed this miracle,” said Macarius, “but God for the sake of the widow and her orphans.”
Let us remember this and try to be, as it were, messengers from God Himself and executors of His will in relation to the unfortunate widows and orphans. Let us open our hearts to the unfortunate widows, wipe away their tears and become like fathers to their children. Amen.
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