My beloved the benevolent
Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing
I wish you all a blessed fast through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of Light, the fast which carries her blessed name. This fast ends on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. We ask for her acceptable intercession before her beloved Son that He may have compassion on us, forgive our sins, lift the pandemic from the world and grant peace and joy for all.
In the midst of the current pandemic that the whole world is suffering from, we feel many restrictions that limit our movements, gatherings, our work and our church services. Many spiritual services currently cannot be performed in the church and are limited to liturgies, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Even the services that can be performed at church have restrictions in terms of the number of people allowed to attend; and when we do attend, we must abide by many precautions.
These circumstances reminded me of another one of the Virgin’s Feasts: the feast of the Virgin Melting the Iron. Our church celebrates this feast on the 21st of Paoni. As mentioned in the Synxarium, St. Matthias the Apostle went to preach at a city named Bartus in Asia Minor; many believed, but the rest went to the governor who ordered the arrest and imprisonment of St. Matthias along with many Christians. St. Matthias and those who were with him prayed to God to save them from prison; so God sent them His mother St. Virgin Mary on a cloud from heaven. Upon her arrival, she prayed to God that the iron be melted like water to save St. Matthias and those who were with him from their iron handcuffs and the iron prison gates. God responded to her prayers and the iron in the prison were melted as well as the iron of the city; St. Matthias and those with him escaped. When the news reached the governor and he found out that the Virgin was the reason, he sent and asked for her; when she came, he asked her who melted the iron? The Virgin answered him that our true God Jesus Christ melted the iron. The governor was astonished and asked St. Mary to cure his sick son who was demon possessed; the Virgin prayed and the young man was healed and sat calmly and reasonably. The governor rejoiced and believed with the rest of the city in our Lord Jesus Christ; St. Matthias the apostle baptized them. The governor asked St. Mary to change back all the iron to its former state; the Virgin prayed to her Son and the iron was restored to its previous state.
We see in this miracle:
- God’s amazing capabilities that surpasses all understanding:For as Christ our Lord through the Virgin’s intercession turned the water to wine at the wedding of Cana of Galilee to help the wedding family who ran out of wine, He, through the intercession of the Virgin, melted the iron like water to save His trusted apostle St. Matthias and those who were with him in prison. No matter how tough and strong the chains, they melt before God’s work. Therefore, we trust that no matter how tough the restrictions surrounding us these days, God is capable, through the intercession of the Virgin, to melt them and free us from every restriction so we can serve Him freely and honestly.
- St. Matthias, when he found himself bound in prison with the group of the believers, prayed with them to God to release their chains. They did not try to remove their bonds themselves but felt and believed in their hearts that what is impossible for men, is possible with God. Thus, while we are in these special circumstances, we must lift our hearts to God with trust and without doubt.
- Truly, the restrictions are many and strong, and the human mind can become helpless in the face of this pandemic and virus which seems to have no end; but God can eliminate it, for He is the healer of our souls, spirits, and bodies. God works when we ask Him. When Christ asked the disciples to give the crowd food to eat, they thought that they would go out and buy food; but they found the number exceeds five thousand men for which 200 Denarii is not enough. Even if they had enough money, where could they get enough food for this number in such a deserted place. When they searched among the multitude hoping to find food, they did not find more than five loaves and two fish; they said, this not enough for this number. The disciples thought of many solutions, but they failed because they forgot that Christ is in their midst; and He alone is capable of feeding the multitude. Sometimes, we think too much and forget the important truth of needing faith. Remember, that Christ is in our midst as our God promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matt. 28:20
- This miracle shows us the power of the intercession of St. Mary to her beloved Son; thus, while we are fasting the Virgin’s Fast, let us pray vehemently and with confidence, asking the intercession of the Virgin the Mother of Light, as she is the faithful and trusted intercessor. Let us put our needs before her, confident that she will present them to her Beloved Son, so He can release all our restrictions and grant us joy and peace.
May the Lord bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs.