HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY
He touched the Blood of Christ…
Experiences during the Divine Liturgy
Fr. Stephen Anagnostopoulos:
Father Anthony Tsigas was a priest at the Church of Prophet Elijah in the area of Kastella located in Piraeus (Greece). When the deceased Metropolitan of Piraeus, Chrysostom Tavladorakis was still alive.
One Saturday morning, as Father Anthony was performing the Divine Liturgy he reached the point where he had to Consecrate the Holy Gifts.
As he was on bent knees saying the Prayer, his hands were leaning on the Holy Table.
During the moment when he was about to get up in order to bless the Precious Gifts, a drop of Blood falls on his hand from up high; in fact, It spattered him!!
He was in a state of terror when he saw It!! Terrified as he was,he was looking at It and then he was captured by holy awe, fear; he was ecstatic and astonished,in other words he experienced various mixed, incomprehensible feelings that could not of course be described by Father Anthony. As soon as he got up he did not know what to do! He licked the Blood of Christ… he did not know what had come over him. Nevertheless, the Grace of our Holy God, after this miracle, made him look at the Holy Chalice only to realize that it was empty!
He had forgotten to fill it with wine. Next,when he looked at the Body he saw that It was in fact unpierced. That is to say, he had not completed the Holy Proskomedia.
The chanter continued chanting “We hymn thee, we bless Thee…” the priest told him to continue with a nod (there were not as many people since it was Saturday), he took the Holy Spear, pierced the Holy Bread and said; one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear,and at once there came out blood and water”.
Afterwards he filled the Holy Cup,then poured the wine and water,as usual, blessed it, made the sign of the Cross and after having completed all this, he was on bent knees once again in order to read the consecration Prayer, got up blessed the Precious Gifts and our All Holy God transformed the bread and wine-the way it is always done every time there is a Divine Liturgy-into the Body and Blood of Christ. Following the Consecration and the end of the Divine Liturgy, he consumed the Holy Cup cleaning it entirely.
Immediately after the Divine Liturgy which was held on a Saturday,he told Metropolitan Chrysostom all about his experience. The latter then took Father Anthony’s hand so that he could smell it. It had an inexpressible sweet-smelling savor!! He took it and started kissing it many times.
—My Bishop!, Says Father Anthony.
—I am not kissing your own hand he said,even though it should also be kissed, for you are a Celebrant of the Most High.
It does not matter if you are a priest and I a bishop. I have touched in you hand the Blood of God,the Blood of God!!!!!
I recall that after Father Anthony’s falling asleep the bishop narrated the story to me.
Since the bishop was very expressive,he stood up and said;
—Father Stephan, the BLOOD OF CHRIST!!, and started crying!
All this takes place during the Divine Liturgy!!
Christ is not hidden in the Precious Gifts (He is not concealed or simply
found inside,nor is bread and wine mere symbols of the Body and Blood of Christ,as the Protestants claim)moreover,it is not a simple but a mystical union of each believer’s soul with Jesus Christ.No! i could shout a thousand
In the real and true Conversion Christ and only Christ is present!
That is why we say “we eat and drink”and thus we become of one Body, of one Blood as well as Christ bearers and we are along with Jesus Christ whom we receive in us,of one body and of one blood.
We have the God-man Lord Jesus Christ “who abides in us together with the Father and the Holy Spirit”, as Saint Basil the Great confirms in one of
his Liturgical Prayers.
As a matter of fact,our eyes might see the bread and wine and our tongue
taste the bread and wine however,things are not the way they seem. I will dare say there are many who have not chewed, eaten, and swallowed
bread and wine but the Body and Blood, the Flesh and Blood of Christ, which is followed by an endless exaltation of their soul and generally a psychosomatic transformation which can only be made possible through
the Holy Spirit.
From the moment the Holy Spirit comes down upon us and celebrates the Most Immaculate Mystery,what we see and taste before us is what we actually believe in,what we venerate,what we worship,the true and real deified Body and Blood of Christ!
Taken from the book: Fr. Stephan Anagnostopoulos, Experiences during the Divine Liturgy