My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True Lord, God, and Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
The Commemoration of the Miracles of the Holy Archangel Michael at Chonae
There was in Phrygia a place called Chonae (funnel), not far from Hierapolis, and in that place there was a miraculous spring of water. When the Apostle John the Theologian, together with Philip was preaching the Gospel in Hierapolis, he looked at this place and foretold that a spring would gush forth in it, a spring of healing water from which many would be restored to health, and that the place would be visited soon by Michael, the Great Archangel of God. This prophecy was very soon fulfilled: a spring of water appeared, which became known far and wide for its miraculous power. A pagan in Laodicea had a dumb daughter,, which caused him great grief, but the Archangel Michael appeared to him in a dream and urged him to take his daughter to this spring, that she might be restored to health. The father immediately obeyed, took his daughter and there encountered many people who had come to seek deliverance from various ills. They were all Christians. The man asked how he should seek healing, and the Christians told him: ‘In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, you must beg the Archangel Michael.’ The father made his petition accordingly and his daughter drank the holy water, and the girl was healed immediately and began to speak. Then this pagan was baptized along with his daughter and his whole household, and built a church dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
Living at that time in the neighborhood of the holy waters was a multitude of unbelievers who daily witnessed the Wonderworkings. Envy and hatred mounted in them on account of the miracles and the virtuous manner of life of righteous Archippus. Maddened by the holy man’s asceticism and struggles, they were speaking evilly of him. Then, one day, those pagans, of one accord, gathered together and, in a maniacal rage, charged against the righteous man. They intended to put him to death and utterly destroy the holy waters. While some were dragging Archippus by force and beating him, others were attempting to cover up and choke the course of the holy waters. But, a flame emitted therefrom and frightened all of them so that they left tunning, thus, they departed unsuccessful.
After this, they devised something worse: a plan to destr oy the church to its foundation and usher in death for the righteous man What did they contrive? Nearby the Church of the Archangel, where the holy waters were located, from the left side, there ran a river name Chryssos. The unbelievers wished to divert the river, so that the deluge might come down upon the holy waters and the church. They believed that by mixing the waters of the river with the holy water they could dissolve its therapeutic powers utterly, so that the Christians might not drink and find healing. Having considered how this might be engineered, they cut off the first current of the river that it might flow into the holy waters. The river, as though it were animate, fearing the grace of the Archangel, straightway turned far over toward the right part of the Church, and there the course of the river remains to this day, thus certifying the miracle.
The unrelenting pagans, nonetheless, conspired a second time, indeed, something more sinister than before. Two great rives gush forth from out of the east: one is called the Lykokastros River, and the other is called Kouphos. They run separately in the direction of the church then encircle it from afar, as an island. They they converge and travel a long distance, as one river, until they separate in Lycia and pour out into the sea against the island of Rhodes. The devil, envious of all good plotted to let loose the waters of these two rivers. He sowed in the minds of that his evil minions that the rivers be made to flood the church. and the holy waters of the Archangel so that not even a trace might remain. This seemed very plausible to the pagans, because the land where the church stood sloped downward. Thus, by employing the downward tendency of water, they could fulfill their aim. Now, at a distance from the church, there was a massive and high rock. The impious hewed the stone and dug down deep in one place, so that the waters would divert and collect with great force. Then, after they dug huge irrigation ditches and fortified collecting basins, the closed off the area. They damned the waters that collected by the rock, until they were ready to break the seals of the gates. With malignant glee they anxiously awaited for the water level to rise that they might discharge its mighty power against the church, the sanctified healing waters, and Archippus.
Mindful of how great the peril was that awaited him, Archippus, fell prostrate on the bare earth, entreating God and the Archangel Michael that the counsel of the ungodly might prove vain and unworkable against the strength and power of God. Thus, Archippus supplicated night and day. After ten days, the waters collected in abundance. It was about midnight when the godless broke the gates of the blocked-up waters. They chose that late hour to loose the turbulent waters, so as to surprise Archippus and plunge him into despair when both he and that holy place would swept away and submerged in the destruction. Saint Archippus prayed and a divine vision was made manifest. He heard a voice descending from out of the heavens and calling him by name, “Archippus.” The one speaking said, “Rise and stand on thy feet and come here outside in order to behold the invincible might of God. Regaining courage then from the voice, he exited and beheld a fiery column which went from earth to heaven. He heard a voice from thence telling him to stand to the left side and not to fear. Then the Archangel raised his right hand and made the sign of the Cross upon the rock, the one above the church, saying, “Up to this point is thy flux”. Then, with what appeared as a javelin in his hand he struck the place mightily and sundered the rock from the top to the bottom. The waters then halted and stood still, as a wall. The Archangel, again, made the sign of the Cross, and said, “Funnel the waters here.” A great earthquake occurred and instilled fear. The waters of the rivers forthwith poured down into that deep ravine. Thus, the Archangel subdued the raging flow and the thundering of the river. This phenomenon ma be seen to this day. The rivers pour into the funnel in the rock which lies above the church, towards the vema (pulpit). Thus this place, formerly called Colossae, from then was name Chonae, a Greek word signifying the funneling of the rivers in that place.
Archippus praised and glorified God and greatly magnified His minister the Archangel Michael for the miracle. He continued living a God-pleasing life in that sacred precinct for seventy years. He was then laid to rest from the labor of his virtues and hastened to his Beloved Christ rejoicing. To the glory of the Holy Trinity and the Chief Commander Michael, a boundless number of miracles took place daily at the place of the holy waters. [Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church]
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Divine and Glorious Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God