Saint Parthenios Bishop of Lampsakos, the patron Saint of cancer patients [Life and miracle].
Saint Parthenios was born in a village in Bithynia and lived during the time of Constantine the Great [324 – 337 B.C.]. He was the son of the Deacon of the church in Melitopoli. His father’s name was Christoforos and he taught Parthenios the orthodox Faith. He had a tendency to virtue and respect from his childhood. The way our Lord picked up the Apostles who were fishermen made him love fishing. Every time he cast the nets into the Apolloniada Lake or drew them out full of fish, he felt that he was working in one of the Apostle Peter’s or John’s boat.
He didn’t keep the money he earned from selling the fish for himself, instead, he gave it away to the poor out of love for them. He used to say: “Why do you thank me? I don’t deserve it. We are not strangers. We are brothers and sisters. What is simpler and more natural than a brother to help his brother?”
For this virtuous behaviour of his, the Bishop of Melitopoli, Philipos (or Philitos) consecrated him presbyter. Later the Bishop of Kyzikos Achillios (or Ascholios) consecrated him Bishop in Lampsakos. The virtue and respect he had within his soul was of such magnitude that God endowed him with the charisma of performing miracles in order to send away demons from people and to cure any disease. That’s why people with the accursed disease (cancer) turned to him. The Saint was mild, patient, hospitable, tolerant, the angel of peace, the one who encouraged the repentant, ready to help his folk. He passed away in peace. Part of his kara holy is kept in the Holy Monastery Makrymalli in the Holy Metropolis of Chalkida.
Saint Parthenios is considered the patron of cancer patients because he cured and continued curing many of them. When he passed away, the majority of his folk were pious Christians, effective members of the church of Christ.
* His name day is on the 7th of February.
The good prodigious Parthenios had a father named Christodoulos who was a deacon in the church of Melitopoli. Parthenios himself had nothing to do with worldly education but he showed such attention in listening to the Holly Scriptures that he was blessed with the Holly Grace from his childhood. He never revealed his virtue, on the contrary, he tried to conceal it as much as he could. When he was eighteen he made a start with miracles. He noticed from the beginning that his philanthropy was that obvious. Living near a lake he used to go fishing but neither did he use the fish for himself nor did he offer it to someone famous for some kind of favour. He sold them and the money he earned from this good trade was given to he poor. Thus, he gained for himself the honour of Holy philanthropy through the poor. Due to his plendid life and with other miracles he performed, he became an eminent person. Everybody was talking about him and only his name was enough to send away the demons. Philitos the Bishop of Melitopoli, a kind man and a lover of virtue, sent for him and after trying a lot and with much difficulty he persuaded him to be consecrated a priest “rounding” also his episcopate. Then on, the Holy Grace was shed on him more. He showed frankness to God, and because of the result of good life a number of miracles followed. God who sees everything brings to light the unknown and “sub rosa” that was achieved. That’s how he was made known through the miracles and managed in this way two things.
Saint Parthenios saves a twenty-year-old girl. The miracle has to do with a girl named Stavroula from Chalkida. At the age of twenty-six in September 1996 cancer attacked her. She, herself, narrates the miraculous way she got rid of him. When I was twenty-six a test showed that I had been attacked by a virus, which affects the cells around Cervix. The doctors cleared part of it with an operation. Three months later the test showed that I had been cured. After some time the same virus struck again. That time I decided to put my life in the hands of Saint Parthenios. I fasted for forty days, confessed, received Holy Communion and kept reading the imploring canon of the saint. From the first day I saw in my sleep three times a huge icon of Saint Parthenios coming and going. It was as big as the room and very bright. Waking up I sensed that the saint had heard me and stood by me. I didn’t stop being next to him. When I had the test again the answer was negative. The virus had gone leaving only some swelling. I thanked Saint Parthenios in tears and decided to continue praying with more faith. The following test showed neither malignancy nor any swelling. All this happened without any medication, any doctor, or any painful fierce treatments for cancer that the doctors apply nowadays.
Now I have him as patron, his icon hanging above my bed and once a week I make for his monastery to pray and thank him. In this effort of mine the two elderly nuns of the monastery helped me with their advice and understanding, fortified my soul so as to pray with more strength and armed me with patience and resignation. I thank them a lot. It is true as the elderly nun, Marian of I.M. Macrymallis assured us (efthuhs: Now it is a monk monastery). Stavroula is quite well. Now she is married too but never forgets her promise. Once a week she goes to the monastery, kneels in front of the Saint’s skull and thanks him for that big gift he had offered her. Thus she shows her respect, love and gratitude to the Saint.
Having set out the miracle concerning the terrible disease of cancer, we quote the full of risks account of Mr. Stefanos Stefanou a retired seaman who lives in Peiraia but was born in the island of Andros. He himself wrote us the story and now we record it without changing a word. There is none in this world who has …gone through any physical or psychological pain. All of us, some time in our life come to ask why there is so much pain in the world! Yet, we know that the sky is not always cloudless and the sea not always calm.
The sky is heavily clouded over, and then terrible downpours and thunderstorms burst out. The very black clouds of pain and the storms of tears overwhelm it.
I went through difficulties with the disease of cancer. It was Christmas Eve 1982 when the tumour was spotted in the large intestine. That time I visited the reverend father Porfyrios who encouraged me and said: “Go, have an operation and you will be cured”.
3.1.1983: I was operated in the large intestine and the histological test showed that it was a malignant tumour.
March 1984. Tumour in the left lung was spotted. I was operated on the 21st of March and half of the lung was removed. The histological test showed that it was cancer caused by the metastasis cancer from the intestine.
October 1984: Tumour was spotted in the right lung, I was operated again, and the histological test showed metastasis from the intestine.
December 1984: Going through check up, scanning etc. I was found again with cancer in the right lung.
I was operated, the histological test sowed metastasis from the intestine malignant cancer.
That time before the third operation I was told that there was tumour again in the right lung and that if I didn’t have the operation soon I would die in three months.
I was in London and had such pain in my heart that leaving the doctor’s office and walking to the hotel I watered the streets of London with my tears crying. “God there is no need to send rain. I have already watered London with my tears”.
I was so scared having the third operation in the lung and my pneumonologist, Stephen Spiro University College, insisted on having this operation made by the surgeon Peter Goldstraw in Boston hospital.
Surgeon Peter Goldstraw said that the operation would last 5 to 6 hours. I was carried to the operation table and one and a half hour later the doctor went out and said to my wife Finis.
She was scared to death because she thought that he had stitched me up without having operated me or I had died.
Yet, the world-wildly known lung surgeon, Peter Goldstraw, quietened her saying: “The operation has been carried out very well. During it my hands worked so fast that I didn’t understand how it was over so soon!”
The Great God sent his Saint and That very Saint operated me. It was again malignant cancer from metastasis.
In a year, December 1988, another operation in the right lung again. Malignant cancer from metastasis from intestine. For the fourth operation they told me that I had to stay in hospital 15 days. Because it was Christmas and much of the staff was having days off and because I was recovering quite well, I was sent to the hotel. To sum up I had one operation in the intestine and four in the lungs.
Though I have half the left lung left and three operations in the right lung, I have been living now for ten years with God’s help without dyspnoea despite the strength of lungs being so weak.
I keep crying out like Beethoven: “Omniscient God, give whatever you want, pleasant or unpleasant as long as it comes from your hand”.
Atheist’s soul salvation and a sign from Saint Parthenios of Lampsakos
Someone tells the following, very touching but very real story (2008)…
It seemed to be a usual day. Even much better than the previous day. The celebrations were a lot. Until the phone rang. CANCER. He said it that simple. He had cried a little before. “I am not sure”. “I have cancer Kostas” he said – Cancer is a tradition in our family – Three years ago father was attacked by this God’s love. He passed away on the 28th of October 2005 in “AGIOS SAVVA’S HOSPITAL” the very day of Saint Skepi. We praised God and thanked virgin who took him away that day – All this may sound crazy… praised GO because he took our father – But yes. Our father was an atheist. He had gone through occupations, Soldiers’ attack; he was barred from the school of Merchant marine officers because of his political views. He worked in the Construction Industry for 50 years. They called him atheist but simply he had no faith. He called himself an atheist and laughed until the day he felt the wounds of God. Until the time this denial of the supernatural saw God’s presence. I remember I took him to hospital by force. The doctor didn’t take much time to tell me it was CANCER. That simple. My father laughed and swayed the news paper “RIZOSPASTIS” nervously. He used to buy it early in the morning for fear it would be sold out. The CANCER lasted four years. Meantime, my father had an encounter with Christ through a miracle. We visited Saint Parthenios (Cancer patients therapist) and he tried to light the saint’s suspended-oil-lamp but it didn’t light. He thought of going to the car for another lighter. The moment he turned around the lamp brought out a huge flame. Father didn’t utter a word… we had all seen what had happened. He didn’t speak but he was almost ready. He apologised to God. On his last day he used to speak parental words without having had anything to do with them before. Father has passed away and now he is in the heaven with Christ. I know it, though I can’t prove it. Yet, I know it. The day he left for God was virgin’s name day – Symbolism – it is for some naïve like me. I remember, someone else passed away in the next room. His wife cursed virgin who took her husband away. But, we, in our room praised God with joy: somebody had left that vain world for his real homeland. – Isn’t that a reason to praise the Lord? –
B. WONDROUS EVENTS ON THE GRAVE OF SAINT PARTHENIOS IN LAMPSAKO
In Saint Parthenios biography that is written that on his grave: (it is in the church that the saint built when he lived in order to honour Christ) in Lampsako (Lampsakos is now a Turkish city called Lampseski) the Turks go and place the clothes of their sick children and their relatives on the grave so as the Saint to cure them from their diseases. The saint cures all of them, that’s why the Turks call him “Sasi Babai” which means “Gold Father”. They use the word “gold” because of his pale complexion on the icons. They love him the same as Saint George and Virgin because of the mercy on them. A muslin woman has taken it upon herself to light his lamp on his grave every day. If one day she forgets or neglects it, the same night the Saint comes to her sleep and reminds her of it…. (That happened in the 1980) Now we don’t know if this muslin woman continues it or somebody else has taken it over.
C. Being interested in Saint Parthenios, I heard the touching case of Vassiliki Mila, resident in Keratsini in Peiraia. In July 1998 after having gone through detailed tests she got aware of the fact that she was affected by the accursed disease (cancer) and even more the doctors informed her husband and children that the case was very difficult and perilous because the cancer that had started from a tumour in the armpit and had made a metastasis around it. They promised to do the best but the results might not be so hopeful. The chances of overcoming it were very few. The whole family was in despair. Vassiliki was hospitalized in the Anticancer Hospital in Peiraia named METAXA. There, she went through all tests and examinations and the operation day was very close. It was scheduled a Thursday on the 30th of July. At this moment the Saint go involved without being asked. Anyway, the family has faith and in this difficult time they turned to God for help.
God heard their prayers and sent the Saint to them. What more Saint Parthenios came by the family in a very touching way. He appeared the same night, I mean Thursday night, a week before the operation to two members of the family in a different way. The Saint was seen all alive by George, Vassiliki’s husband and her daughter – in – law Ageliki. Ageliki is a woman who grew up in the Lyreio Institute experiencing the love of the sister nuns we put down the stories which they told us in our radio programme “Miracles and Marvels” and which was broadcast on the 11th of February 1999 on the Church of Greece radio station.
“On the 23rd of July, a few days before my mother-in-law had the operation I saw in my sleep that I was going to Lyreio towards Saint Parthenios arm-in-arm with a nun from the Institute. The children were following us, all of us going to celebrate a mass… There were some cars in front of us and a monk was having the lead. I turned to the sister nun and asked her about the identity of the monk. She told me that he was the new priest called Parthenios. We arrive at the church and the mass started. My grandpa called my mother-in-law to the front of the Sanctuary and I stood next to her. He raised his hand, crossed her three times and told her: “Don’t be afraid you will get well soon”. Then he turned to me and said: “Your mother-in-law will get over it and I want you to celebrate a mass for her to receive Holy Communion”. Here is George’s story: well, as we were walking up with my wife and children I kept crossing my wife with oiled cotton. Then I saw Saint Parthenios leaning against the pillar outside the church and he said to me: “Come, we have been waiting for you”.
They saw the Saint all alive talking to them calling them to him. Here I have to point out that Ageliki knew about the Saint from the Lyreio Institute, but her father-in-law knew nothing about him, never had he seen an icon of his to know his figure.
According to his words, he made for Lyreio, saw the Saint’s small church so white and beautiful perched on a high hill but he had never entered. Yet, he saw the Saint in his sleep, his figure exactly as it is depicted in the icons in the church of the Institute.