The announcement of an unexpected pregnancy
A highlight for many is the visit to Jacob’s Well Monastery where Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink and offered her “living water”. Some years ago, together with the late Archimandrite Mark Manolis, a girl travelling with our group wanted to confess her sins and ask for forgiveness. Upon finishing her humble confession, Father Mark from Dionysos turns to her with a radiant smile and tells her that she is pregnant.
– No, father! I am not pregnant. I am expecting my period any moment now, she replied in mild shock.
Upon arriving at the hotel, she told her husband what her spiritual father had told her and he rushed to the nearest drugstore to get a pregnancy test and guess what it was positive! When the child was born, they called it Fotini, after the Samaritan woman to whom the church at Jacob’s well is dedicated. At this point, I find apropos to make a short mention to the late Hieromonk Markos Manolis at St. George parish church, in Dionysos, Attica (at the foot of Penteli Mountain, near Athens), I met hieromonk at the age of 23. The heights of his ascetics and self-sacrifice were unparalleled. He never slept and was always there for his spiritual children. A great many of his spiritual children had seen him walking above the ground during the Holy Liturgy. When he first saw me, he called me by my first name. I had never known him before. How come he knew my name? His great humility and abstention from sleep and unceasing prayers had opened his spiritual eyes and he was endowed with the gift of foresight. He was one of the most militant adversaries of ecumenism, spiritual leader of the “Orthodox Press” newspaper, but above all a true spiritual father and leader of many spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ in villages, towns, hospitals, jails around Athens and in Athens itself. Hieromonk Markos Manolis possessed the power of foresight which had been validated on multiple occasions . Personally speaking, he had foretold my future encounter with my husband two years before his departure from this world. In fact, he gave me an exact account of what he would be like and believe it or not it was was bang-on. In 2012, I met my husband in Jerusalem who had come with his parents to celebrate the Holy Easter. I immediately felt a charge running through my body as I knew instantly this man would become my husband. However, from what I learned he was living in Cyprus where he was freelancing. The odds of anything happening between us were rather short as he had given me the impression that he had no intention of pulling up roots any time soon. After a stint in England and Scotland, he had decided to start afresh in Cyprus. So, upon learning about his plans, I gave up hoping. But as soon as I was back on terra firma, I contacted a holy father from Jerusalem to tell him the news. I was disappointed that I would never see that man again. But the monk’s words were surprising :
-Happy engagement, my daughter! Your tidings are glad, he responded and he was proved right. Within two months, he proposed to me and dropped his promising career at University. His colleagues response to the news of resigning was along these lines:
-What has come over you? Has anyone cast a spell on you? This continues to be an in-joke between me and my husband up to this day. We shall never forget the beneficence bestowed upon us by our Lord Jesus Christ!
The book is due out in January
A due thank you to my spiritual Father and guide for blessing me to go ahead with the book. Also, a heartfelt thanks to my friends Vasiliki from Patras, Athina from Athens, Agapia, Zafiria, Agoritsa from Grevena, Sofia,Elias from Toronto, Vasiliki from Salamina, Marina, Dimitris, Anastasia from Chalandri, Martha, Kostas from Crete and Despina who helped me both tangibly and intangibly to finally make this book a dream come true. God bless you all!!! Also, a huge thank you to my beloved husband who has been in for the long haul!!!