At the end of the 11th century a monk named Luke lived for fourteen years on a Greek island called Thassos. The place he lived was later called Louka in his honor, but not before he constructed a church in honor of the beloved apostle St. John the Evangelist.
Later, seeking a more contemplative life, he moved to a secluded area with a cave called Potamias, and in the seventeenth year of being a hermit, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to him saying,
“Peace be with you.” St. Michael struck a rock and a healing spring gushed forth. St. Michael blessed it saying, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” St. Michael further said, “Drink from this source and build a temple in this place in my honor, where people will receive spiritual benefit and be healed of diseases forever!”
Frightened, thinking it was an evil spirit, Luke cried out, “Most Holy Theotokos, help me!” “Lord have mercy!” St. Michael reassured and calmed him saying, “Fear Not.” (The same angelic greeting made to Mary, Joseph, Zachariah, Daniel, Paul, and Mary Magdalene) St. Michael further encouraged Luke when he said that Luke would live three more years assisting the sick who came to the spring.
True to St. Michael’s words, Luke live three more years and then passed away. Many were healed via the miraculous spring. Interestingly, in the past, Thassos has been under the rule of the Thracians, Phoenicians, Athenians, Spartans, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and Turks.
In 1453 A.D. the Turks invaded Thassos. They decided to pollute the healing spring in order to deter those who came to the healing spring with their illnesses. As one of the men was about to contaminate the spring, he was struck dead and immediately the spring stopped flowing.
The next day, a priest, Fr. Demetrios found the dead body and the dried-up spring. St. Michael appeared to him saying,
“Go to my church and remove the impure body and cast it far away and go with the sick to the seashore where you will see a light in a cave; enter and let the sick wash themselves and be healed.”
The initial spring was at the top of the mountain at the Church and the new spring was directly below at the very bottom of the mountain. Essentially, St. Michael redirected the spring to exit at a lower location in the mountain.
Fr. Demetrios celebrated mass at the bottom of the mountain with the sick and waited for the heavenly light. When he saw the light, he cried out in fear, “Lord have mercy!” “Archangel help me!” To enter the cave, they had to get on their knees so to this day it is called Gonatais. True to St. Michael’s words, the sick were healed. Fr. Demetrios prayed and blessed the new cave with the new healing spring and journeyed back up the mountain.
When Fr. Demetrios reached St. Michael’s Church at the top of the mountain, he could see a wrecked ship and the dead bodies of the Turkish invaders on the seashore. (In Isaiah 37:36 the angel of the Lord acts in a similar way, “And the angel of the Lord went out and slew in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand. And they arose in the morning, and behold they were all dead corpses.”)
Healing miracles have continued throughout the centuries even until the present day.
The new healing spring is hard to get to so you can obtain the healing water from the gift shop at the Monastery of the Archangel Michael [Manastir Arhangela Mihaila]. If you do decide to climb over boulders and hike down the steep mountain it takes about two hours, and you will see signs alerting you of a dangerous descending slope.
The Monastery of the Archangel Michael is under the care of the Russian Orthodox Church, and it has sisters and priests each living in their own monastery. It has a museum where grateful people leave all sorts of offerings especially sabers and swords as a sign of their miraculous healings. There is a pilgrimage hotel for lay people to stay. Dressing modestly is a requirement and enforced.
“Nicky Casoli from Pataglia, from the island of Thassos, told how she came to the monastery on the day of the celebration of the memory of Archangel Michael and brought her sick daughter with high fever. She brought the girl in her arms to the temple, since the child could not even stand on her own feet. During the all-night vigil, despite the closed doors and windows, Nicky felt a noise behind her, a breath, as if the wind was noisy in plane trees.
Nearby stood a familiar old woman, Polikseni Petrida, who answered to Nika’s perplexity: “Great is the grace of Archangel Michael! After all, this is the archangel whom you prayed to now and asked for the healing of your child!”
When the liturgy ended, the sick girl rose herself, already without heat, in a good mood. She ate well and was completely healed.”
“The Gospel of Tzanopulu from Eiani Kozani testified to the miraculous help of Archangel Michael in resolving infertility. She and her husband were married for thirteen years, but they did not have children. The doctors they turned to for help ruled out any medical opportunity for Eiani to have a baby. When she and her husband accidentally read about the monastery in 2000, they decided to go there.
They venerated the shrines of the monastery, prayed fervently and confessed. Then they went to the source, despite the inclement weather. When they knelt down in the cave, they wanted to light the lamp that was there, but they didn’t have a lighter, and the matches found in the cave were so wet from moisture and water that it was not possible to light them.
The couple, however, for some inspiration tried one raw match – and it immediately lit up. They were able to flood the lamp – and this was the first miracle for them and a sign of favor with them of the Archangel Michael. The second miracle was that Eiani, who had suffered for a long time from severe pain in the neck, returning from the source, realized that her neck no longer hurt. These pains did not return to her for the past five years after the pilgrimage to the monastery. And the third miracle – they have a healthy four-year-old boy!”
“George from Thessaloniki recalled how in 1999 he and his bride were relaxing on the island of Thassos. Driving around the island, they stopped at the monastery of Archangel Michael, looked into it, lit candles, and then drove on. They decided to swim in the bay near the monastery. Only a few foreigners rested on the shore. The sea was very calm, but when George and his bride retired from the shore, strong waves suddenly rose, carrying the swimmers further and further from the shore.
George was a good swimmer and used all swimming styles, but he and his bride were carried farther and deeper into the sea, and no matter how hard they tried, they could not get a meter closer to the shore. At some point, the girl said to George: “I can no longer!” People on the coast were seen as dots, and the young man fell into despair that he could not save his bride and that both of them could die.
Suddenly, by some inspiration, George turned his head to the monastery and shouted: “Archangel, help us!”
And help came right away! The sea died down in a second, and the young people were able to swim quite calmly to the saving shore. They went out on the sand, completely exhausted, hugged and, catching their breath, immediately went back to the monastery to thank the Archistratig of the Heavenly Hosts for a wonderful salvation.
This incident was a turning point in the life of George. Since then, he and the bride, who soon became his wife, turned to God, began to go to confession and entered the life of the Church.
Returning home from Thassos, George opened the book of Paisius Svyatogorets – and the first thing that caught his eye was a line of thanksgiving to God. George decided to name his future son Michael. And indeed, now he and his wife are raising a daughter and son Michael.”
“Janis Feodoropoulos from the city of Volos told me that he was born with a serious blood disease. From an early age, almost every month he had to undergo a blood transfusion procedure, and he suffered greatly. In 1996, twenty-year-old Janis and his parents arrived at the monastery, where he earnestly prayed to Archangel Michael. One of the sisters of the monastery baptized him with an ark and a shrine.
Returning home, Janis felt that his state of health had greatly improved. To his amazement and to the amazement of his parents, his hemoglobin, instead of decreasing as before, began to grow to the right amount by itself, and then stabilized. Since 1996, Janis has never required a blood transfusion.”
[All miracles are from the Lazurnyibereg website]
THE END! St. Michael the Archangel Ora Pro Nobis!