Editor's Note: This article was generated by machine translation, so our staff cautions the reader about possible inaccuracies that may have resulted from this. However, it was deemed worthwhile to still publish such a piece because of the intrinsic value of the message - which remains evident even in its translated form.
The Georgian early October morning of the 13th was gorgeous. It was special in some way. Nature clothed in bright colors, the wind not yet cold, and, as usual, the warm gaze of our dear elders, Seraphim of Sarov and Gavriel (Urgebadze), saw us off on our big trip to Belarus. At the Tbilisi airport, many people's eyes were drawn to the image of the elders. They came up, attached themselves to the icon, asked where we were taking the relics, and blessed our way. From the very beginning of the trip we felt the presence of St. Gabriel and his love for each person, regardless of religion or nationality. When the flight attendant saw the icon of Sr. Gabriel, he informed the captain, and two minutes later we and the elders were in business class on the plane.
- It is not good to carry such guests in economy class, - said the captain.
That's how our elders and we, the creative team of Gavriil's films - three Georgy, Otar and Konstantin, flew to Minsk. While we were still in the plane, one of the crew members asked us about the film and about our creative group, about the reverence for St. Gabriel in Holy Russia, and you could see in his eyes that he was immensely happy, listening to our stories about how people in Russia love St. Gabriel.
- How many of you are flying to Minsk?
- Five. Three Georgy, Otar and Konstantin.
- No, - the flight attendant corrects me with a smile, - there are seven. Seven: Mama Gabrieli and Seraphim of Sarov.
I had nothing to do but blush and reply, "Right..."
From Minsk, with the blessing of Archbishop Demetrius of Vitebsk and Orsha, we went to the Holy Intercession Monastery in Tolochin. Abbess Anfisa and her sisters were looking forward to our arrival to the monastery and we were waiting there for the big icon of our elders, which we had left temporarily in the monastery, not realizing that it would last exactly a year and a half. It was God's will, and so, apparently, wished the elder Gabriel. The amazing thing is that since January 27, 2020, the icon did not leave Belarus. And then, in 2020, what a miraculous way we brought the icon and the relics to Belarus! Wrong destination in the navigator, crossing the "wrong" border by mistake, a car inspection, a document check, and in the end - the glory of Mama Gabrieli. All, all the border guards recognized the icon of the elder Gabriel and helped us as best they could. And when we finally arrived at the border we wanted, how the head of the Three Sisters checkpoint helped us!
- I know your "Mama Gabrieli. He's a great saint that we love. The day before yesterday we watched a new film about him with my family.
When we found out that I was the author of this film, the head of the checkpoint told us:
- Guys, I see you're very tired and nervous. Your documents are fine, you just need to get everything done in half an hour. Here's my advice. Leave your car in our parking lot, I allow it, and you walk quickly to Russia, and come back slowly to us. If you go by car now, you will not have time to pass all the controls and collect the customs declaration in half an hour.
We obeyed and went to Russia on foot...
At one point we approached the "Three Sisters" memorial. And only then did we understand why the checkpoint and the memorial had that name. We were standing in front of the memorial. On our left was Russia, on our right - Ukraine, and behind us - Belarus... We were stunned then and all four of us, at one and the same moment pronounced the phrase of elder Gabriel: "My cross is Georgia and half of Orthodox Russia"...
In Tolochin, Abbess Anfisa told us that while the icon was in the monastery, there were many miracles, healings at the prayers of the saints. An instant healing was received by one woman from Orsha who came to the icon several times. Her leg was in pain, her knee cartilage was damaged. Doctors insisted on an operation, there was no chance of doing without it. Once again, when the woman came to pray to the Saints Gabriel and Seraphim of Sarov and venerate the icon, she knelt before the icon - and froze in astonishment. Her leg instantly stopped hurting. "I stand on my leg, it doesn't hurt... I start jumping, it doesn't hurt... I walk around the icon, it doesn't hurt...". And no surgery was needed. Great is our Lord Jesus Christ!
After visiting the Vitebsk diocese, we went to Bobruisk, to Tugolitsa. There are no words to describe the feelings we had when we approached the church and saw people lined up with icons and pictures of St. Gabriel. The abbot of the church, Father Fedor served a prayer service in front of the miraculous image. The most surprising thing for us was that people asked Father Fedor to conduct a night service. And so it was. Chants and praise in Russian and Georgian could be heard from a church full of parishioners.
There we also took a newly painted icon of St. Gabriel and the Holy Emperor Nicholas II. This icon was sent to our creative team by the servant of God Maria from St. Petersburg, the creator of the image. Having heard how St. Gabriel venerated the Passion-bearers and Emperor Nicholas II in the early 1960s, she developed a great love for them and painted this wonderful image. Miracles also happened with this image. Servant of God Irina testified:
"We really wanted to go to Georgia, to lay our hands on the holy relics of St. Gabriel. Unfortunately, due to unpredictable circumstances, my family and I could not make the trip. I prayed to Sr. Gabriel and apologized that I would not be able to go to him. Two days later my seven-year-old son told me about his dream. He saw some non-Russian grandfather in his dream who was holding a portrait of some Tsar and singing in an unknown language. I knew at once that it was the Elder Gabriel, having heard his sister Juliette in the movie talk about the veneration of Nicholas the Second by the Elder Gabriel.
I decided to search the Internet for an akathist to St. Gabriel and St. Nicholas II. And then I see that the icon of St. Gabriel and Seraphim of Sarov is traveling around Belarus. My husband, son and I immediately drove from Minsk to Tugolitsa, touched the relics of St. Gabriel and the icon. Suddenly, my son pointed to the icon and said: "There, they were in a dream... That's the grandfather I saw... Who are they?" We were stunned and leaned on the image, prayed, read the akathist, my son pressed hard against the icon and kissed the frame. We thanked God, left the temple and drove back to Minsk. It was only on the way home that we realized what a miracle had happened. My son had stopped stuttering. For three years, after the fright he had suffered, my son Vladimir had had a terrible stutter. We went to the icon, touched it, and God did such a miracle. My son hasn't stuttered for more than half a year now and speaks normally, without any problems!"
After visiting Bobruisk diocese, with the blessing of Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl, we went to Minsk, to the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. People came in droves to the icon and to the shrines of St. Gabriel. Many received comfort, healing, and joy.
One day a young woman came up to me and handed me a small package with some presents: "This is for you from the servant of God, Nadezhda, from St. Petersburg. When she explained to me who she was talking about, I immediately understood who was handing me the packages from St. Petersburg. This woman is about 35 years old, who 3 years ago shared with me one miraculous occasion through the prayers of Sr. Gabriel. In 2018, our creative team, with the blessing of Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, was invited to the Orthodox Public Forum in St. Petersburg. We presented the book "The Diadem of St. Gabriel the Elder" and showed our film about St. Gabriel. After the film, as usual, I speak to people and tell different stories from the life of our beloved elder Gabriel. I never prepare my word in advance, because I have learned that I need to tell the stories that Elder Gabriel himself prompts, which at that moment come to mind. One day after the film screening, I told the following story about St. Gabriel, which Father himself told in his lifetime:
"I served a prayer service for the multiplication of the Georgian people. At night I had a vision: several men came to me and took me somewhere. They went into a white building. The room was shrouded in darkness, not even the walls could be seen. When my eyes got used to the darkness, I saw many little children, stained with blood! They were lying on the floor. I stood on my tiptoes. Soon there was a thunderous voice: "It's coming, it's coming. I thought, "The commander-in-chief of those who brought me here must be approaching. The door opened and I saw the Blessed Virgin Mary with her angels! She approached me and said, "Are you the one asking for the Georgian people to multiply?" Then she pointed to the floor and said to me in a stern voice, "Gabriel! Do you think this is how the Georgian people can multiply?" Then she came out!"
After that, the elder Gabriel walked the main streets of Tbilisi and preached, "Women, don't have, don't have abortions!"
As God's servant Nadezhda told me, she went to the forum to buy an Orthodox calendar as a gift for her mother. Her attention was caught by chance by the beautiful singing that accompanied the credits of some movie. It was the credits of our movie "The Old Man's Diadem". Immediately after the credits I began to tell about the elder Gabriel, and Nadezhda decided to listen to my performance with a "Georgian accent. And she heard the story of the vision of St. Gabriel. Everything changed inside her. She testifies:
"I had then learned the day before of my pregnancy and, to my shame, unfortunately, was about to have an abortion. When I heard the story to the end, I jumped up and headed for the exit with quick steps. I don't even remember who, but as I was leaving, a stranger handed me an icon. I took the icon and went outside. It was an icon of the elder Gabriel. He was looking at me from the icon with his kind eyes, and it felt like he was blessing me. I came home, watched a movie about him, bought books and hagiography of the elder, and, of course, ironically decided not to have an abortion. So now I have a son who loves the elder Gabriel and an icon of him given to him by someone. That Constantine's words were prompted to him for me, there is no doubt about it, or maybe the icon was given to me, the sinful and unworthy elder Gabriel himself. Who knows?! Besides the elder Gabriel and, naturally, the Lord? To Him be the glory forever and ever, amen!"
After visiting Minsk, with the blessing of Archbishop John of Brest and Kobrin, we went to Brest, to the church in honor of the icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin. The abbot of the church, Archpriest Andrew, and the parishioners greeted us with much love. Daily prayers were served to the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov and St. Gabriel. It is impossible to count the number of people who came from Brest and different cities to worship at the shrines of St. Gabriel.
A few weeks after our arrival in Brest, one day a man came up to us, and it was obvious that he was very excited. His name was Mikhail. I calmed him down as best I could, gave him some holy water, and when he came to his senses, he told me.
"My wife and I have been married for nine years. We have no children, my spouse had some problems, we were treated for a long time, tried different treatments, went abroad, and just a few weeks ago a pregnancy test gave a positive answer. She became pregnant. We prayed to St. Seraphim of Sarov, knew about St. Gabriel, read his akathist, often read the akathist of St. Xenia of Blessed Mary and St. Barbara. The examinations showed that his wife had an ectopic pregnancy and it was time to act and remove the fetus. Otherwise, there was a great risk of internal bleeding. This diagnosis horrified us. We were so looking forward to our firstborn, and here was such terrible news. We double-checked with several clinics and all the doctors said the same thing. We found out that the icon of St. Gabriel and Serafim of Sarov and the relics of the patriarch are in Brest. We are from Grodno.
A few days ago my wife and I came to see the icon. When we came to the temple, the reliquary with the relics of St Gabriel was opened and they put it on the head of the parishioners. My wife and I put it on our heads and asked the priest to pray to the Lord and help us so that the fetus removal surgery went without complications, and the Lord gave us a long-awaited baby soon. When they put the cap on us, my wife and I both felt the fragrance. We went back home and at my wife's request we went to Minsk to have another checkup. And what do you think! She had no ectopic pregnancy! How it could have turned into a normal pregnancy, no one knows. Neither can the doctors, who themselves had done examinations before and recommended urgent surgical intervention. No one can explain. And why explain miracles at all! They really do exist, by our faith! And it's all a credit to the prayers of our beloved Mama Gabrieli!"
At that moment his wife also came up, smiling with tears in her eyes and thanking the Lord for such a miracle!
"When they put the cap of St. Gabriel on me," says Michael's wife, "I felt that he was standing over me and blessed me. In my mind I asked for help with the operation, but in the depths of my heart I wished that he would help me. Even though I did not dare, at one point I said, "Father, my dear, let it be as God decides! As the Lord wills...". And so the prayers of Father Gavril worked a miracle. It seems to me now that no one is happier than we are. Glory and thanks be to God for everything!"
When I heard this story and watched this believing couple rejoice, I could utter nothing but a mental, "Wonderful is God in His saints!"
Source: pravoslavie.ru (Russian)
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