In the journal “The Way, The Truth and The Life”, in the column of monastic chronicle, we have published records of many miraculous healings and spiritual consolations that pilgrims felt after the prayer in front of the Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina. The journal is not published any more, however with God’s mercy miracles still occur.
ABOUT MIRACULOUS HEALINGS
Just as the Theotokos’ spring of water with a healing power does not dry out even in the warmest months of summer, in the same manner God’s mercy continuously fulfills the souls of those who come with hope and with faith to the Holy Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina. The new testimonies of thankful pilgrims will be published on the Monastery of Lepavina internet web site. With God’s help, we will publish them again in the journal. As an introduction to this column, we quote the words of His Eminence Metropolitan John (Pavlovic) from the book “The Miracles of Theotokos of Lepavina.”
In the Bible – in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testaments, many events were described, which are above the natural laws, and those we call miracles. In the Middle Age scriptures, miracles of Saints were described: Holy Napkin or Christ Not Made by Hand, Shroud of Turin, The Vail of Veronica or Miraculous Healing of King Avgar, miracles of Saint Nicholas, Saint Apostle Peter’s Chains, miracles of Great Martyr George and miracles of many other Saints. In the lives of Saint Simeon the Myrrh flowing, Stephen the First-crowned, Domentian, Theodosius, Archbishop Danilo II, Gregory Camblaka…-we can read very beautiful testimonies of miraculous events in their lives, which are similar to those described in the Bible. Our historians and medical doctors wrote about miraculous healings in the books dedicated to the lives of Serbian people. The Prologue of Ochrid of St. Nikolai Velimorovic contains complete yearly calendar of Saints’ lives with many miracles. In His Nomology or the study about laws, bishop Nikolai stated all of his sayings about God’s Law, and when God wants, every law made by Him can be removed; God can change them as He wants. (…)
Apologetics, the theologian study of proving God’s existence, contains nomological proof which indicates that God sets the laws in the world, in the universe, in the mater, in the living beings. Person who looks analytically the case with the water may notice that the water is disobedient and that water does not conform to the boundaries of physics’ laws. Water changes from liquid to vapor when heated, and freezes and expands in the cold. Then, students ask their teachers in schools: “How is that possible when we know that every object expands on the high temperatures, and shrinks on the low temperatures.” Is that not a miracle?
We often see that! Only these words can be said for consolation as an answer. This is a very hard and responsible topic and it is not easy to give a complete and satisfactory answer, especially to those who are inclined to burthen themselves with occultism, astrology, magic, tarot cards, fortune-books, psychics, palm reading, fakirs and dervishes, spiritual séances, somnambulism, black magic, evil eye, and so on.
In the healing prayers, which we call prayers of spiritual medicine, when the Priest prays to God for all believers that suffer from the evil spirits, he is doing exorcism (he expels evil spirits from those who allow the evil spirits to possess them). The Priest prays to God, the Most Holy Mother of God, and to the Saints to expel the evil spirit from the ill person, from all the parts of his body, from inside and outside, he prays so that God will dispel satan to the bottom of the hell, in abyss of the hell, because it is hardest for the evil spirit to be in the place where he cannot seduce people, this is true for one or for a legion of evil spirits.” This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29) said the Savior.
If we are distressed and if we suffer, if we have bodily or soul’s illnesses, we should pay attention to the words of Saint Apostle James: “Is any sick among you? Let him call among elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shell save the sick, and the Lord shell save him up; and if he has committed sins, they shell be forgiven him.” (James 5:14, 15) If it is so hard for us to believe, then we should cry to God with the father of the sick young man from the gospel: “Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
His Eminence Metropolitan John (Jovan) Pavlovic
A group of pilgrims from Belgrade and Vrshac came to the Lepavina Monastery. After the Holy Liturgy and the prayer in front of the Miraculous Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina, brothers and sisters together continued their spiritual conversation at the table of love in the monastery dining hall.
Among other things, it was possible to hear several testimonies about miraculous healings…
Father Dojchilo: I am grateful to the Most Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and to Father Gabriel on generous hospitality and for welcoming us to this sacred family. In brief, let it be to you according to your faith. Do you know that with one drop of oil from the vigil lamp, if you believe, miracle can happen? Woman from Hanan, who had blood leak for 12 years, had such a faith and believed that if she just touches Lord Jesus Christ’s robe, (because she heard that Jesus performs miracles) only if she touches miracle can happen… That, we can associate with us, with the Hananitian woman’s faith, if we just come to Lepavina, to kiss the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God and to say: “Please, have mercy on me, the sinner!” However, we need to come and pray from the heart; not just with our tongue. We need to weep with a whole heart, because our Lord said:”You shell love the Lord, your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind.” (Matthew 22:37) We have to weep with tears, only then I am certain in the miraculous healings.
Theotokos helped this brother. I deeply believe that it happened because he and his entire family had faith. The rest of you; I hope that you came here with faith today. Unfortunately, some of you come with questions….with “what if’’ or “but” you should not start the journey from Belgrade at all. We shouldn’t go without faith neither to Ostrog, nor to Lepavina, nor to any other holy site. But that curiosity is our reality. Once again I am saying, you have a chance to make sure of miracles. Miracles happen every day. We are that kind of people, however the entire humanity as well simply seeks miracles, but miracles occur every day. The greatest miracle in the history of humanity from the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ until today is the Holy Fire in Jerusalem. The Holy Fire descends on the Jesus’ grave for one hour, when candles light on the Grave and among some faithful people…There is no greater miracle! The biggest miracle is that our Lord, two thousand years afterward, descends merciful dew and does miracles. There are numerous miracles in Kievsko-Pecherskaya Lavra, with Nectarius of Aegina, with Siluan Athonite, with John of Russia whose holiday and celebration of holy relics come to venerate million or two million people. If we just have faith, nothing is difficult. Miracles will occur in your home as well, if you truly pray and cry from your heart. But if we do not pray because (I talk about this for hours in the bus) TV program is more important, idolatry, Spanish series, thoughtlessness….then there is no God’s help. If we give our heart to any earth-lasting weakness, passion, then miracles will not occur. We have to give our heart to God. We have to believe truthfully and to pray genuinely to the Holy Theotokos. She is the one who helps us the most, in these days. With Her help we can come to the resurrected Lord. I felt and experienced that in Stjenik, and I want to tell that to all of you. You should find Acathists to the Most Holy Mother of God and you should pray to Her with strong faith, on the knees and with tears. That is the faith, and that is the prayer. Let the mercy of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina be upon us, and with all Orthodox Christians, and with all christians, and with all people on this planet.
Once again, I am thankful to Father Gabriel on this generous hospitality and monasticism. Let the Most Holy Mother of God be with us, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen
Testimony: I am very thankful to Theotokos on this mercy and to Father Gabriel… I accidentally received the journal and directions for pilgrims to Lepavina last year. I did not know for this monastery, for its importance…. At the moment when I received the journal on the desk (one clergy by mistake sand it to me), the tears overspread me, and I started to cry. The girls who worked with me (I have a store in Novi Sad) asked me what happened. I said: “I do not know, something in me, I have to call and to go to Lepavina.” I called Alexandra, and she told me that she does not know if she will have two more seats…Then I called my daughter-in-law and I said: “Please, we have to go”. There were two more seats, and we came. I thank Theotokos, and Father Gabriel on prayers. After a month, my daughter-in-law told me that she may be pregnant. I went with her to the doctor, and the doctor said: “Yes, it looks that she is pregnant, but come again in one week”. In a week we went to see the doctor. Since she was going to the doctor, I wanted to see the doctor, as well. We went and doctor said: “Young woman, you are pregnant; you will have a baby”. I said that I would like to be examined as well. The doctor said that everything was okay.”I am very happy right now, you will not see me in the next five years; I have to feed my grandchild.” She said:”Then, let me examine you in greater detail…The God himself told me to look over again; you have to go to surgery immediately. You have a cancer.” She called one more doctor, and the other doctor confirmed that I have to go to surgery right away. ‘The God himself send you to us today, because you did not come to regular examinations” said the doctor. I had the surgery…Thanks to merciful God and to the Theotokos, and to Father Gabriel; I recovered easily, like I never had the surgery. And my grandchild was born. I do not know what else to tell; besides I am very happy and I want you to believe in God from all your heart.
Testimony: My name is Mirjana Bozic. I am from Beshka. I am visiting our monasteries in Srem, however frequently I go to monastery which has our Theotokos Three Handed Icon, to Father Dorotei. Since I plan to travel to the Holy Land on 19th of this month, I went to Mother Abbess Anastasia (in monastery St.Petka) to talk to her. I came here by surprise, but I wanted to come to Lepavina, because I heard from the Father Urosh and his wife about healings from Miraculous Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina – and when I told to the Abbess that I will come to you, she started to cry and said:”My child, I am receiving monasteries’ journals from them, and if I am in any sort of trouble, it is enough to take journals in my hands and I immediately feel better. Please, take this envelope to Father Gabriel and give it to him personally, give him my thanks for journals and ask Him to pray for us”. They are there so alone….I went to pilgrimage to the Theotokos Tree Handed in Solun, Greece. His Eminence Metropolitan Atanasije (Jevtic) took us there. We had some difficulties when we arrived on the Macedonian border. Macedonians did not want to let us pass, because Metropolitan needed to take off his robe, only then, he could pass with the rest of us. The Metropolitan said: “No, I gave my vow to God for this; I can give my head, but not my robe”. They took him away, and he continued his path with the airplane. And he, thanks to God, met the Theotokos Three Handed…When we arrived, we were late, I saw with my eyes: mother came with her son; there was no doctor that they did not visit because of him. He had a closed hand, and surgeons did not want to take a risk and perform surgery.
She said:”I came, and if the Theotokos Three Handed does not help, I don’t know who else can.” All of us look at that from the side, I was curious because she was talking very believably and impressively. She walked with her son and the rest of us followed her. The abbot, who was near the Icon of Thetokos Tree-Handed, passed boy’s paralyzed hand over the icon. Third time when he passed the hand over the icon, the hand opened by itself. There was no sight of sick hand anymore, it looked like the hand was normal all the time. When we went out, the woman cried and said:”No one can deceive me anymore; just God, the Holy Mother and the Saints can help.” We stayed there. There were many healings, which we saw with our eyes…
(…) I feel great mercy wherever I go, but when I came over here and when I came close to the Holy Mother….I felt like somebody lighted me up, I shook completely. I thought that if I stood up I will knock down on the ground. I kneeled and I prayed to Her. When I turned, I felt relief and peacefulness. I prayed for all who asked me to pray for them. The Most Holy Mother hears. In that moment, I felt like I am flying, and that I was with all who asked me to pray for them, and that they were in spirit with us. I had to kneel, but I felt that I was not kneeling. I am merciful to the Holy Mother and to you. May God give you a long life…
Testimony: (…) my brother, who lives in Munich, operated his spinal column four times. He had pain in his back and I called to hear how he was doing. His wife Kata told me: “Stanko has to go to surgery.” “How is that possible, who will perform surgery on his spine for the fifth time?”I said.”It is over, he cannot walk, and he cannot hold his urine and he cannot do anything…”she said. While I was talking to her, I was crying. I continued to cry after the conversation as well. In front of me was a phone book. I don’t know why, but I looked at the Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina, which was placed on the wall from the moment I got it…While I was crying, I took the phone book. When I called Father Gabriel, it seemed like he was waiting for me. I called and said:”I need to talk with Father Gabriel.” He said:”It is me.” “Father Gabriel, my brother has to be operated for the fifth time. He operated his spinal column for four times. Last time, he hardly survived.” He answered me:”He won’t be operated.” My brother already went to X-ray examination, the papers were ready, and he had to go to the hospital the next day. “But his papers are ready,” I said. Father Gabriel repeated:” He won’t be operated.” I thanked him, because I was not able to talk anymore, I would cry loudly, so I just said: “Thank you, please, pray for him.” I called the next day. My sister-in-law answered happily. Otherwise, she was not like that. It was not known what would happen after too many surgeries. “How are you?” I asked. “I drink coffee” she replies.”With whom?” I asked. “With my husband” she said. “Isn’t he in the hospital?””No, he is not, and he won’t be operated.” But I feared to tell what happened. “Oh, please…””Here he is; he will explain to you better.” And I ask my brother, won’t he be operated. He said:” I went to the doctor, he took out my records and wrote down directions; we talked about the operation - what will happen. All of a sudden, he looked at me, took the paper and ripped it and said:”Stanko, let us use injections for little longer. Then, we will see. “Those are some sort of warm injections. My brother did not have surgery on his spine since then. Not long ago, he went to a rehabilitation center. He walks. But there was time when he was not able to walk, and to hold his urine and he had pain. Today, he walks, he travels, and he even works a little bit. You see, he was not operated even though everything was ready for surgery; he just needed to take the papers and to go. I am so thankful to the Holy Mother of God, and Father Gabriel. May God let him live long and pray for us sinners.
Sister Tankosava: Father Gabriel, do you have temptations, may we help you with our prayers?
Father George: You pray for yourselves and for me, and for the entire fraternity of Lepavina…We have temptations too. As a joke I say that when we read the prayers, (sometimes here come four, five or six buses) all those little demons flee to the woods, desolately places and rocks, and then they return from the woods and jump around here… That is the reason why we need to pray constantly in monasteries, and you need to pray for us…
Father Dojchilo: Father Gabriel is telling you that we need to pray all the time. Not just when we come over here; we come, we pray and that’s the end. So, you have the book of common prayers, morning prayers, evening prayers…That is important. To believe with all your heart, and to pray all the time. And to pray with your spirit. Not just to read, but to pray as you did today in the Church, with your spirit. Then, you will see that your life will change, how God and Theotokos will help you. Your life will change completely.
Sister Tankosava: Our Father Gabriel and Father Dojchilo and other honored Fathers; they all pray for us. However, they are humans too. And they need our prayers also. It means, we cannot just pray: “Help us Father Gabriel, but the Most Holy Mother of God help our Father Gabriel and all monks in the Lepavina Monastery, so that we will have someone to open the monastery door for us, to have where to come and to have someone to pray for us (…).
Source: Magneto phonic recording of personal testimonies from 2006.
TESTIMONY #2. April 17th, 2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
I write this letter in the name of my daughter Dushanka. She had a relationship with a man which lasted five years. That relationship came to an end. After the break up, she became very sick. She told me that she went to see Imam (Muslim religious leader) with that boyfriend. She was young, and she did not know why she even went to see him. She could not sleep, nor eat afterwards. She told me that her mind is anxious and that she feels she will have psychological breakdown. I did not know what to do. I recalled that Dushanka received a ring from that boyfriend. I had it with me. I took the ring and I placed it on the Cross that my daughter had in the apartment. With God’s help, she was able to sleep for a little while that night. At the midnight, she woke up in tears, screaming:”Mom, take me to the Church. Imam, whom I met with the boyfriend, died and I will die too.” I was frightened; I could not think; I did not know what to do. I sat down, I prayed with tears, asking dear God to help us. God provided help. I found your phone number in one book from the monastery. I was distressed and I called you on the phone. In addition, I was diagnosed with cancer at the time. All in tears, I left a message on the answering machine, stating what was happening. After a few days, my daughter went to the neurologist. Now, she takes the medicine and she feels better. The ring she got I took from the Cross and left it in the monastery. I never took it back. I am thankful to you from the bottom of my heart because you saved my daughter Dushanka and myself.
I will come to the monastery when I get a chance, to thank you personally and to venerate our Holy Theotokos of Lepavina.
Ljubica i Dušanka
TESTIMONY #3. April 17th, 2008
Reverend Father Gabriel and all of the monastic family! First of all, I want to thank to the Most Holy Mother of God and you because you helped me in my illness. I was diagnosed with a cancer on my thymus that progressed to the third degree.
I came from Austria to venerate the Theotokos of Lepavina and for your prayers. Unfortunately, I am not from religious family. I venerated the Holy Theotokos and I prayed to the best of my knowledge. When I stood up on my feet, I looked straight at Holy Theotokos’ eyes. Real human eyes watched me from the Icon. I was frightened and I did not believe myself. Once again, I looked at the Icon of the Holy Mother of God of Lepavina and the eyes were real. After that, I returned to Austria. I did my laboratory blood tests. Doctors could not believe it, but they could not find anything in my blood analysis. I went to the hospital. The surgery was very complicated and lasted for three and a half hours instead of one hour and a half. Doctors removed my thymus and lymph glands. During the surgery, doctors damaged the vocal cord on the left side of my neck. I spoke with difficulty and I had to return to the hospital for additional therapy. After three days, I returned home. I had to sleep individually because of the therapy.
First night, I had a dream that the wall, which was across the bad was covered with colorful leafs from the trees. A small window opened on that wall. The Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina smiled at me and then She disappeared. I told that to my husband and to my daughter. When I recovered, my husband took me to the monastery again. As I was getting closer to the monastery my heart was beating stronger and tears came from my eyes like a rain. Other pilgrims watched me with wonder, but I was not concerned about that. Second time, when I returned from the monastery, I felt like something was puncturing my neck with a pin. After that, I felt that stitches from the surgery opened up. I cough so strongly that I taught I will lose my breath completely. After that my voice sounded better. Dear Father Gabriel, now I know that I am healed because of the Miraculous Icon of Holy Theotokos and because of your prayers. I was healed in the Monastery Lepavina. I am thankful to dear God, to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, to You dear Father Gabriel, and to the whole brotherhood of the Lepavina monastery. Now, I can talk as well as before my illness and I feel good.
TESTIMONY #4 Ljiljana B. Belgrade
My initial idea of writing to you was to honor you and to ask for your prayers for the health of my family. However, something else happened that I want to inform you of. When miracles occur we should share them with otters.
On the April 6th, 2000, I went to the Church to buy your journal “The Truth, the Way and the Life”. It was a 6/99 issue. That day I had a lot of responsibilities, so I just looked through the journal. The day after, on April 7th, I lightened Vigil lamp in front of the Icon of Saint Nicholas, our patron Saint, and in front of other Icons in our home. It was the Annunciation. My husband and my sons went to work while my daughter-in-law and I stayed at home. Then, I took the journal to read in quiet. I took out all brochures about miracles of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and about Father Gabriel’s prayers, which were placed inside. When I finished reading one of brochures, I passed it to my daughter-in-law and said: “If possible, we could write to Father Gabriel to send us a copy of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. What do you think?” That afternoon, my husband and I decided to go to the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God (on the Boulevard). The Church was filled with people. The Liturgy was performed by seven priests. After the Liturgy and the anointment with the holy oil, one of the priests informed us that we will get the holy oil and the blessed flour so we can take them home for the health of our families. While my husband prayed in front of the Icons, I went to buy candles. In the crowd of people I spotted a woman with a folder under her arm. Accidentally, I looked at her hands, and I saw the Crown of the Theotokos of Lepavina.
I stopped the woman and I asked:” Do you hold the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina?” She answered:”Yes”. I asked her:”Where did you buy the Icon?”(I taught that she bought it somewhere in the Church). She told me that she received it as a gift and she continued her way. With candles in my hand, I tried to find my husband and again I saw the woman with whom I spoke. I stopped her, with excuse, and asked where she found the Icon. The woman briefly told me that she had many temptations and that she contacted brotherhood of the Monastery of Lepavina. One of the monks brought her few Icons. Two of them she took for herself, and the rest she brought to the Church.”You can have one,” she told me”but please promise me that you will hang her on the wall and that you will not put her in a drawer.’’ And she told me that all of them were blessed and that it is not necessary to leave them in the Church for blessing. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart. I was confused, but happy at the same time, because I got the Icon. When I got home, everybody was surprised. Was this an accident or a miracle, you can decide by yourself. After few days I framed it in a big golden frame. Beautiful and dominant Icon of the Theotokos of Lepavina (34X43) is shining together with the other Icons in my apartment.
Ljiljana B. Belgrade
Rajko Dujmic, the ex-leader of the “New Fossils” band, who had cancer, was healed in the Orthodox Monastery. For two decades, Rajko Dujmic was a person in charge of “New Fossils”, the band which was liked by all generations in the old Yugoslavia. Million fans remember him as the author of the following songs: “Hey, my Sasha…”,”Milena, Generation”, “For Good, Old Times”… In addition, Rajko collaborated with the following bands: ”Dirty Theater”, “Silver Wings”, “Steam Dolly”, “Airport”…Long ago, in 1989, his song “Rock me Baby” performed by the band “Riva” won on the Euro song competition. This year, he watched the competition as a former participant and laureate. He said:”Production improved a lot, but the music quality went down. In 1988, when the “New Fossils” band was sixth on the list, the winner was Celine Dion! The next year, we imposingly won with “Riva” band. At this year’s competition, Serbian song had melody. Remaining bands relied on acrobatics and scene. It is encouraging to see Joksimovic perform in his native language, not in English. His performance was very good.
How do you comment 13th place of Croatian debutant?
I think that song deserved better place on the list. Not because I am from Croatia, but objectively.Our song was slow, without special effects and that is the reason we did not get better place.
In your life, you signed 1,821 songs and you want to cash their issuance in Serbia. Did you use the attorney in Belgrade?
- Of course. My attorney Ljubisa Zivadinovic will help, because I own author’s rights on songs which were performed in Serbia and Montenegro. I expect it will be a lot of money. But, I also expect to face challenges in obtaining my rights.
Why the band “New Fossils” does not exist anymore?
- We were the band that played positive music. When the war started in the Balkan, it was not ethical for us to play because the people we knew were dying. I was born in Yugoslavia and I used to be friend with everybody. I could not laugh, while people were killed.
However, the song “My country”, which you compose, is featured as a patriotic song?
- That song was casted at the moment of the first airplanes’ alert in Zagreb. It was written to wake up people’s feelings, so they would not devastate any country, our country, my country. Purposely, that song was composed to be universal, so the country could be Croatia, but also Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia…
In meantime, you won the battle with very dangerous illness.
- I had a colon cancer which was big as a man’s hand. It was three years ago and here I am; I survived. That is not a result of the medical efficacy, but the miraculous healing that happened in the Orthodox Monastery of Lepavina from the Miraculous Icon of the Theotokos of Lepavina. Medicine could only eliminate the cancer surgically. After that, the cancer could show up again. The only hope for me was to pray to God, whom I thank for being still alive. I have problems with my heart, too. It does not bother me, but I cannot have too many frustrations.
Certainly, you must have had a lot of stress during your carrier…
- I have played and worked as a musician since I was thirteenth. I have been in this business for three decades. There was a lot of stress and betrayal from the closest people. Mostly, I was left by the people whose support I needed the most. In addition, I survived personal tragedies when two former members of the “New Fossils” band died – Djurdjica and Moka. I loved them a lot. However, I had Vlado Kalember as a friend who initiated and founded “Four Aces” band in which I currently play…
July 20th, 2004
TESTIMONY #6. Sister Vojislava, Austria 04.08.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel, I visited Monastery Lepavina today. I wanted to talk to you. That was a big wish, from both my mother and me. Unfortunately, we were not able to see you. So I have to talk to you this way, in writing. My mother is very sick and she wanted me to speak with you. Therefore, I told her that we had a conversation. Please, forgive me. I could not disappoint her. My problem is that my friends use magic against me. I fought that battle for a year, without knowing what the problem may be. Everything in my life went upside down. From the moment I started drinking the water with the healing power from the monastery’s spring I felt better. The water helped me a lot. However, this battle is very difficult. I do not know if I can fight it alone any more.
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to explain. There were a lot of lies. Many people prosper in life that way. Yesterday was especially hard for me; I felt that magic so strong. However, I am trying to be strong. From the moment I visited your Monastery, I felt that my strength returned. Something changed in my life. I thought that I lost everything, the most important thing in my life…
I never practiced magic and I do not want to. God saved me. Although I went through hard time I think that I won. I stayed with God. I saved my positive character and my good soul. I will continue that way in good and fair manner. That is my big wish and I hope that my life will improve.
Sister Vojislava, 04.08.2008
TESTIMONY #7, Zoran, Milja, Vidoje, Milan and Marija, 04.08.2008
“It is truly meet” (Dostojno jest) to say thank you for your prayers in front of the Miraculous Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina. I am going to write very briefly about Milan’s reaction.
On Sunday, around 6PM, he took away the bandage from the injured right leg and threw it away. “What are you doing?” I asked him. “I had it for long enough” he replied…Same evening, around 10:22PM he took the soccer ball and started to practice… “I do not feel any pain, it is gone” he said. I asked “When did the pain stopped?” “I do not know; I feel like I was never injured. I could play today…”he replied. He went to soccer practice without bandage on Monday. The coach and the doctor asked him: “Bist du veruckt?” which means:”Are you crazy? Where is the bandage?”…
He explained that the pain disappeared. They could not believe it:”It is not possible that the pain disappeared. The pain from that kind of injury lasts for days.” But, thanks God, it is possible…
Again, I would like to ask for your prayers in front of the Miraculous Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina.
Zoran, Milja, Vidoje, Milan and Marija
With the greetings “It is truly meet” (Dostojno jest)
TESTIMONY #8 Sister Jelena Djukic, 07.08.2008
I wrote you about my little nephew Vlada in the past. Even though he is only two, an oppressive illness came upon him. Therefore, I asked you to pray to God for this little soul. Meanwhile, I wrote to you about his recovery. But today, I can tell you that this boy is completely healthy. The doctors said: “The treatment that he was on took the victory over the harsh illness.” But I think, Father Gabriel, God looked upon this little child and heard your prayers. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and to wish you long and healthy life. Regarding donation to the monastery: the number of the monastery’s account I gave to my aunt. She promised that she will send the donation these days (Radmila Novakovic from Belgrade). In addition, my husband and I will send a donation for the reconstruction of the Monastery.
God be with us,
TESTIMONY #9 Sister Dubravka, Vancouver, 20.08.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
I would like to write to you about my lost wallet and how I got it back. I believe that I found it because of your prayers and the prayers of other brothers and sisters in Christ from the Virtual Forum of the Monastery Lepavina.
One late afternoon, I went to the bank to verify the balance on my business account. I took the wallet in which I had personal documentation, bank card, and the check of $300 written on my mother’s name. When I exited the bank, I walked down the Davey Street. I stopped next to the window of the Starbucks Coffee Shop, which sells coffee and cakes, but I did not enter.
At the end of the Davey Street the ocean beach starts. There is a marine sea-port for sport and recreational boats. I walked by the beach, and I know that I carried the wallet up to the Cambei Bridge. I stopped there for a moment; I rested with the wallet on the fence and I looked down at the water and rocks covered with mussels. I could see everything because of a low tide. I walked away from the beach and set down on a bench for a short period of time. Then, I continued East and to the end of the gulf. I walked through the wood, and I set on a log briefly. Then, I came to the Convention Center, where business conferences were organized. I have been there for business purposes. I was curious why a dressed up doorman stands in front of the building and why old Chinese and Japanese gentlemen, as well as their wives, go there. I entered inside and I realized it was a Casino building. I understood why colorful lights shine from there in the night. These lights remind on Tokyo, London, and Honk Kong. I exited the building right away. My mood changed. I was angry little bit and I felt cheated.
I did not stay more than 10 seconds in that Casino; I went out as soon as I realized that it was a Casino. I have never been in a Casino before that or after that.
I do not remember if I had the wallet at that time. The wallet was the only thing I carried, but I stopped thinking what I was doing. After I left the Casino, I passed through the wood and I set on a log for fifteen minutes watching a boat, which reminded me on a pirate’s ship. I thought about constructing similar boat to that one, one day. Who knows, maybe? Anyway, I stood up and I went home. I live on the Crescent Street, on the West side of the town. On my way home, I realized that I lost my wallet. I quickly returned to all the places where I was and I tried to find the wallet, but I could not find it. I could not recall if I left it on the bench, or dropped it in the ocean, or somebody stole it quickly in the casino, or I left if on the log. I could not find it anywhere. I returned to the bank, I blocked my account, I voided the check, and I ordered a new bank card. So, nobody could rob me. But I had my driver’s license, SIN, Health Insurance card, and the most important I had around twenty laminated Icons, not bigger then 5cm in that wallet, including small Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina, Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Elijah, Saint George and many others.
I called my mother who tried to help me by asking me all the details. However, that did not help. She told me that I need to report the lost wallet to the authorities. However, I did not want to do that, nor I thought that I would not find it. I thought that whoever finds the wallet will return it to me because of all those Icons and documents with my name. My mother told that to her friend who promised that she will pray for the finding of the wallet.
The days passed away, probably 10-15 days. That day was Friday morning. After a long time, I logged in the Virtual Forum of the Monastery Lepavina. I was so happy because all participants welcomed me back and Father Gabriel blessed me. That afternoon I went to visit my mother for lunch. When I returned, I found policeman’s message on the door. They found my wallet, they wrote the report with a file number, and they left a phone number for me to call.
I called the police the same evening, but they told me it was placed in a special division (depot) where they keep lost and found things. I went to the office of the Central Police building, on the Main Street, but the police officer explained to me that it is too late and that I will be able to pick up mu file on Tuesday, due to the long weekend for the holiday. I called my mother and told her everything. She almost yelled at me because I was not patient. I told her that I contacted Father Gabriel and others on the forum and that I believe that I received blessing and help that I needed. I did not have doubts at all. As soon as I hanged up, the policeman called me and asked if he can bring the wallet with his partner to my house in thirty minutes. They indentified me to assure that the wallet was mine. After twenty minutes, two very friendly policemen came and gave me the wallet with suggestion to check if all of the documents were inside. I told them that I canceled my bank card and checks. But when I opened the wallet, all documents and all Icons were inside in the right place.
The wallet was found by a police officer and everything was in the best order. Everybody was happy and I realized that the wallet was found because of the Father Gabriel’s blessing and because of the Miraculous Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina. The wallet came to me immediately after I contacted Father Gabriel. The Holy Theotokos helped me. I called my mother and I told her that God and Holy Theotokos help us as soon as we ask them in prayer, without concerns for Canadian holidays and my carelessness and awkwardness.
God be with you. Father Gabriel, please pray for me, because I will always need mercy of the Holy Theotokos.
TESTIMONY #10, Sister D., 08.25.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
First of all, I want to thank the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and you dear Father Gabriel. My name is D. I am married and I live in town O. We have two sons. Originally, I am from Bosnia.
Since I was one year old I was entrusted to my grandmother. She took care of me for five years, because my parents had just moved in the town K. It was hard for them to take care of me, because they had many other obligations. I am from the working-class family. I was baptized when I was eight. My grandparents took me to the Church for the Baptism. My parents, burdened with many obligations, completely forgot and did not attend the Baptism. I am sorry to say this, but my parents never had time to devote to faith because of their work. However, they respect the God’ law and celebrate the Christmas and the Eastern.
My mother is mentally ill person and that illness has lasted for years. From the early ages I remember her excessive anger and hysteria in fights with my father. My father is good and compassionate person, who still lives with my mother and still fulfills all her wishes, so there is no quarrel in the house. Otherwise, the house becomes real hell. When I finished the school, I started to work in the same company where my mother worked. My story begins from here. I had only seventeen years. I was young and inexperienced. Anyway, woman named H. worked with my mother. With God’s help I realized that she was not a good person.
One day when I was going to work I had an accident. The same day a sheep, which was not ill, died in my grandparent’s house in Bosnia. I started to suspect that something unusual was happening. That woman came to visit me in the hospital. Two years later, on the same date when I had the accident, I came to work. That woman fell down on the kitchen’s floor in front of me. The rest of our co-workers took her out. She was pale blue like a death. When she recovered a little, she called me to sit next to her and talk with her. Among many people who were around her she called me, even though we were not that close. I started to cry; I prayed and I ran away. I did not work that day. The same night, I had a dream. I was dreaming that I had a fight with that woman, who was dressed in black Muslim dress. A glass fell down in between us and did not break. These months, I was trying to get pregnant without success. A week later I got pregnant. In addition, a few days after that event, while I was working I felt something pinching me in the arm. When I checked my working-coat, I found finger nails in the sleeve.
I felt terrible. I thought that I was going crazy. Shortly after that, I stopped to work because of my pregnancy. I stayed home, far away from the evil. I think that woman was guilty for the behavior of my mother. For years, only two of them work in the morning shift.
My wedding did not go in the best order. My parents-in-law do not like me because I am Orthodox, but I do not worry about that. Most importantly, my husband loves me and respects my religion as well as I respect his. The birth of my son I remember as something really special in my life. After that, problems started. My mother-in-law wanted to be mother to both her son and my son. When we needed her to help us she was not interested to help. My parents-in-law and I started to fight. My husband stepped on my side. They returned to Slavonia, to the place they lived. Little by little, I forgave them everything. My husband and I went to their house for a few days. Everything was perfect, however one day I saw my hair in my mother-in-law hands. When we returned home, I thought about that and I was afraid. Problems started again. Disagreements started again between me, my husband, and my parents-in-law, because they offended us. Our boy became intolerable child, disobedient, aggressive, and a troublemaker. Even today, he acts the same way. Because of inexperience and a lot of problems with our lives and property (our car burned on its own and ashtray exploded for no reason on our table…) we went to Imam (Muslim religious leader). Now, I feel sorry because we did not go to the right door, God’s door. I thought Imam will help us. My husband, as always, supported my plan and was next to me. Ah, what a big mistake I made that day. I repent I ever went there. He lives in Bihac. We were supposed to visit him three times for séances. For that service, he took from us three hundred Euros. My cousin drove us to the first visit to that evil person (if I can call him that way). He said that the Imam helped him a lot, so he will help me too. When we got there, Imam started to speak something on Arabic, or who knows what language. I trembled. He asked my husband how he was feeling. He said well. When he asked me how I was feeling, I was crying and whimpering trough my teeth. I felt terrible.
After that, he put lead in water and placed it above our heads. He mumbled something on Arabic. The only word my husband and I understood was the word “shaitan”. He gave us that water to drink and to use for washing ourselves, without using the towel. While mumbling, he recorded something in writing. Even now, I tremble when I remember that. He could not do anything to my husband, because he is strong in his faith. However, I gave myself totally to this, thinking that he was doing well to us. In one moment during séance, he burned the paper on which he wrote something. He told my husband and my uncle to hold me and gave me that to inhale.
Oh God, it is hard for me to explain what happened after that. That moment was described to me by my husband and my uncle. I could not remember that part. I felt sleepy and then I felt that my chest would explode. I started to snarl, to twist my eyes, to talk with a man’s voice, my body turned blue and I started to scream, my teeth came out. Imam ran away from the room, leaving my husband and my uncle to calm me down. He returned when I stopped, he looked at me and said loudly: “take her out, take her out”. My husband asked him why that happened just to me and to him. He told my husband that he can provoke that in him too. He placed my husband next to the wall and started to talk to him on that language, again repeating word ”shaitan”. I felt I was going to fell down. When he asked my husband how he felt, he replied that he felt well. Later on, my husband told me that he prayed all the time the Lord’s Prayer. I was sleeping on my way home. That night my husband and I could not sleep. I was so afraid. That night, something loudly broke in the wall of our apartment and woke up our children. From that moment, fear, disorder and unbelief entered our lives. My husband continued to support me, even though he was tired of everything. We went to second séance. My whole body and my soul were resisting going there. I was vomiting and I felt disturbance. When we got there, we again got that water and the same writings. There were talismans that waited for us. He gave us some writings which we were supposed to burn and to inhale. My husband asked Imam how is that possible that he does not feel anything while I respond to the séance. He asked him that because at the beginning of the first séance’s, while reading something from a book, Imam diagnosed that black magic was on both of us. Imam told my husband that he is stronger than me and that I have tougher kind of magic. My God, I was in a big mistake. I started to withdraw from everything; I was afraid of everything, even from my youngest son. I withheld from my husband as well because I was afraid and had many phobias.
We were supposed to go to the séance for the third time, but my husband felt it was enough. He called the catholic priest in our house. In the conversation with him, I realized my sins. We gave him everything, the water, Imam’s writings, and talismans.
That night we prayed with him in our house, which he sanctified. He told us that he was happy because he saved his flock. Later on he told us that he called catholic bishop and told him what happened. The same night he destroyed everything and went to church to pray for our salvation. We felt a big relief, but after few weeks new problems started. My husband quitted his job and moved to another company because he wanted a higher salary. He started to go on a wrong path; now he went out every night. Our kids are still young and the older son is very disobedient. It was a hard time for all of us. I found salvation in prayer. Dear God heard me. He wanted me to come to the right door and to ask for your help, Father Gabriel and from the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. As you know, the oldest son dreams that he is chased by a wolf. He covers his body with blanket when he sleeps even in the warmest times of the summer. My husband had the same dream until he was twelve. I did not believe in those stories and how afraid my husband was, until that wolf attacked me one night. That was something in-between the dream and the reality. I know that the wolf was jumping on the bed and tried to come under the blanket while I was pulling the blanket over us in panic. I woke up all wet. I told everything to the catholic priest. He came again and we prayed again together. We were successful. I forgave my parents-in-law for not congratulating the birth of my youngest son and for offending us often. We went to visit them in Slavonia. My husband told me that there was a Monastery close to Orahovac. He asked me would I like to go. Thank God we went. In the Saint Nicholas’s Monastery, Father John welcomed us warmly. We told him everything. He prayed for us and we confessed our sins. He told us to go to the Monastery of Lepavina on our way home. I did not know for that Monastery and for the Miraculous Icon of the Theotokos. My husband did not go to his home town for two years because he was in quarrel with his parents. While we were there he was going out with his old friends and came home drunk and upset. My parents in law were happy to see him quarrel with me. However, he listened to me and that night he did not go out. I was sick, until I felt the Mercy of God. On august 13th 2008, we were in Lepavina. Since we were in the Monastery Lepavina I have not been sick. The frightening dreams stopped. My husband realized that his new job and the people around him were not good. He quitted and returned to his old job. We realized that the whole family was losing although he was paid better. My husband has changed and he loves us as before. However, the older son is still disobedient and aggressive and sometimes it seems that he wants to do evil purposely, especially when we light the incense. Therefore, we ask you Father Gabriel to pray for us, so God help you. I hope to see you soon. I wish you peace and all the best.
Greetings to Monastery Lepavina and to all who serve there
TESTIMONY #11, Sister V, 08.25.2008
For the past four years, we have been coming with a group of pilgrims from Vienna to the Miracle - Working Icon of Theotokos of Lepavina. More than ten pilgrims were miraculously healed with the prayer in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I am going to describe a few of those healings:
1. A married couple from Negotin could not have children for nine years. They went through many medical treatments in the country and abroad, but without success. Then brother N. came with us to the Monastery Lepavina and asked Father Gabriel for advice. Father Gabriel asked him where his wife was. On his answer that she stayed in Vienna, Father Gabriel told him that she should come with him next time. The next time, they came together; they prayed. Father Gabriel read the prayer as usually. At the end he blessed us all. We took a picture together. After a month, this couple called to tell us the good news - the woman got pregnant. Anastasija was born afterwards. Today, she is two years old.
2. Thanks to the prayers of Father Gabriel as well as ours, Sister Danica was healed of the lung cancer.
3. Another example: Stefan was born with the paralyzed left side of the body. On his way home from the Monastery, the boy showed the first signs of healing. Today, two years after his first visit and prayer to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, he can walk, he can talk and he expects a baby-sister. Thanks to God and to the Holy Theotokos, this boy recovered with help of prayers and God’s mercy. He did not have any medical intervention and surgery, as it was planed. They were not necessary. We give our thanks to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, but also to Stephan’s mother for her faith and perseverance.
There are many other impressive life stories about miraculous healings, God’s mercy, and prayers to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. But, I cannot write anymore. Today, after the Holy Liturgy, I had very long working day. Glory and thanks to God for everything. We will have a chance to discuss the other healings in a new book about Miracles of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, if dear God allows book’s publication.
TESTIMONY #12, SISTER ZIVANA 08.27.2008
Dear Father Gabriel,
I heard about your monastery and The Holy Theotokos of Lepavina from my daughter who lives in Canada. She has strong faith. She directed me to you regarding a dream I had.
I dreamed that I came to your Monastery, which I never visited before, with my sister. I came closer to the Icon of the Holy Theotokos. I prayed and I saw that she was crying. Knowing how valuable her tears are, I wanted to collect them. I looked for bottles, but I could not find any. At the end, I used my hands and I wiped off her tears. I told that to my sister who was in the corner of the room. We did not have any money for donation and for the journey back home. However, the good people helped us. Could you please explain to me this dream?
It often happens that I dream about Holy Mother of God, who is in the beautiful light, and about our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your answer.
I would be so thankful, Father Gabriel, if you forward all my prayers to the Holy Mother of God for Her love towards our grandchildren, children and to the whole family. Thank you so much.
TESTIMONY #13, Sister Vesna and Brother Aco from Vienna 09.01.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
This is another testimony about quick help of the Holy Theotokos. As you know, we went back home on vacation, but also to prepare our daughter’s wedding. Our preparation included buying gifts and offerings for the wedding guests, godparents, etc. Early in the morning we went out to buy the most needed things for the wedding. At the same time, we planned to take my mother for regular check up after the surgery she had. She had appointment at VMA in Belgrade. In addition, we wanted to complete other obligations in the city. We parked the car at the public parking lot, close to the center of the town. We went in a building where we were supposed to pick up certain documentation. Twenty minutes after, the car was gone. Only that parking spot was empty, all others were occupied. I told Aca that our car was stolen. He could not believe; he thought that the towing service took the car. We asked two young women, who were sitting there, if they knew something. They did not know anything. They said that they were there ten minutes, but they did not see the car. We reported the missing car at the local police station. Aca felt sick…I asked him to calm down, and explained to him that nothing is more important than his health and self-control. I comforted him that everything well be fine. With little faith in himself, he told me that it was easy for me to talk like that, but the car was stolen. It was not painless for me either. I did not know what to do. I started to pray to God with the inner prayer. I prayed to the Holy Theotokos to give us clear mind…everything comes from the God. Temptation?! I was certain that it had to be that way. God is merciful, I know that for sure. I said:”Who knows why is that good,” but Aca could not calm down. First, I prayed to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, and then to the Mother of God Brzopomocnica and Stradalna. Aca gave up hope.
He said he could not pray. However, I prayed faithfully for a fast help because his health was at risk. The man lost the peace completely. Everybody told him to calm down, but that did not help. At one moment I started to cry as well, when I realized that all gifts for the wedding of my daughter were stolen together with a car. I asked –why? Why everything had to be like that? That was the moment of human weakness. Thank God, He gave me strength to pray and to get consolation in the prayer. We had to stay focused and to do everything that we were supposed to do in days to come. The wedding day got closer…. Only three days were left.
We had to be ready, cheerful, and rested. We did not get any news about the car. However, tiredness, thoughts and obligations overwhelmed us. One night just after we went to sleep, we heard the phone ringing. The crime inspector called us from the police station on the Savski Venac, in Belgrade. After confirming our identity, the inspector said that the car was found and we can come to pick up the car. When we got there, the inspector told us that we were very lucky. “Maybe that is called “luck”, I replied, but I knew for sure that it was help of the Holy Theotokos and God Himself. Aca told that to the inspector. Inspector told us that nothing is accidental, that there is “someone” up there who cares and sets everything….I told openly that God sets everything according to His everlasting mercy. I am thankful to the Holy Theotokos and to the God because they answered to our prayers and the car was returned to us the next day. Dear Father Gabriel, please mention us sinners in your prayers in front of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. We hope that with God’s help, we will be coming soon to the Monastery of Lepavina, to thank the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina for Her mercy and love.
Greetings to the brotherhood of the Monastery,
Vesna and Aca
TESTIMONY #14, Sister Bojana from Banja Luka, 09.16.2008
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I would like to shear my experience with you. I hope that this testimony will be useful to all whose obsession is to smoke cigarettes. I want to write about my visit to the Monastery of Lepavina and how reading of the Akatist Hymn to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina helped me to stop smoking. I will testify on how Merciful God helped me trough the prayers of His Most Holy Mother of Lepavina and saved my sinful and pitiful soul of addiction to smoking and from the wrong way of life. Glory to God!
For ten years I was addicted to smoking. This addiction captivated my soul and my body. I normally weighted between 56kg and 58kg. While smoking I weighted hardly 49kg. My skin was yellowish, my glance weird and any stronger wind could knock me down. I smoked three packs of cigarettes daily. I always feared that I would be left without cigarettes. I consumed food in order to stop the pain in my stomach. In the evening, I went to bed thinking about the morning and when I will light a new cigarette. It was horrible!
I did all of that without knowing whom I served and what kind of sin I was committing. The next phrase is not told without a reason:” Do whatever you want to do, but not until you want to do.” In such a way the end to my smoking came. God is merciful, understanding, and loves all living creatures He made. He calls to repentance and he offers the Cup of Life to everyone. In the same manner, He offered to me a chance to correct my mistakes, to improve and to go on the right path.
Two years ago, on the Palm Sunday, I went to the Monastery of Lepavina, to venerate and to pray to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. At that time, I did not have in my mind to ask the Most Holy Mother of God to save me from smoking. After the Liturgy, Father Gabriel blessed the coffee. Knowing that I could not smoke in the Monastery’s back yard, I went out the Monastery’s gate, and lighted a cigarette. In that moment something came to my mind:” Don’t you feel ashamed to smoke on the sacred ground?” But, sinful and unfaithful, I did not give any meanings to those words. I bought the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and the Akatist Hymn. I started to feel some unexplained fear on my way home from the Monastery.
The week before the Eastern, I smoked and I waited for my family to go to bed so I could pray in peace and read the Akatist Hymn to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I did not ask for blessing to read the Akatist. Without thinking about temptations which may come I said:”I will finish this cigarette and then I will pray.” And I said that in front of the Icons. God, please forgive me! Without knowing what I was doing, I lighted that cigarette. God let me finished that cigarette, which was my last one.
After that, I started to read the Akatist Hymn. While I was reading, my heart started to beat stronger; I felt fear and dizziness. I also heard some inner voice to quit the prayer. However, in that moment I recalled words of the Holy Fathers, who suggest praying devoutly in those moments, so that the enemy will give back. Thank God because He sent me help.
While reading, my body bended down to the ground from temptations. I started reading while standing and finished with kneeling. I went to sleep, but temptations were bigger and bigger. My mind was occupied with the ugliest visions; something started to suffocate me, every thought was dark, my heart was beating 180 beats in a minute, my body started to shake from the shivers and to rebound from the bed. I thought that I was dying. In that helpless situation I started to read Lord’s Prayer and “Virgin Theotokos, rejoice”. While I was all pale and fearful, I remembered to incense the house and myself.
However, faithless as I was, I took the medicine for anxiety and laid in the bed, but nothing changed. In that moment I said :”God, I pray to you, please give me a chance to live and to be healthy, and I will never smoke again.” My body stopped shaking, but I could not sleep because of numerous thoughts. Then, when I started to sing the Hymn to Saint Sava, help came again. Glory to Him.
I slept, but when I woke up, instead of praying, I thought:” I will light one more cigarette, with the coffee, and that will be my last one.” I did not even finish my thought but my heart started to beat same as the last night. I recalled that I gave a promise and that I should not break it. From that moment, I do not smoke, thank God. As a reminder, I got tachycardia. This illness was diagnosed by the doctors. Illness was not caused by any other reason, but because of my sins and was given to me for the salvation of my soul. Thank God! Intensive high rate beating of the heart lasted for two years. I got doctor’s note for determination of the illness. I had high heart rate and delays in the heart beat lasting for 2.5 seconds. Nobody was sure what the problem was. The ultrasound shows healthy heart, but in reality I had serious problems. Nobody thought that it was God’s providence, which corrects His sinful sons and daughters.
On the day of the Entry of the Holy Theotokos in the Temple, in the Institute for cardiovascular diseases in Belgrade, I went through the electrophysiological testing. The doctors diagnosed that I have Sinus Tachycardia. This diagnosis supports the cause about which I spoke in the previous paragraphs. The illness was given to me because of my sins.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Most Holy Mother of God took me in her arms and saved me from the torment. She offered me consolation and hope in salvation. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, The Most Holy Mother of God showed mercy to me. Glory to God and to His Saints. The Most Holy Mother of God, please save us. Amen
from Banja Luka
TESTIMONY #15, the Family Mitrovic, Vienna 09.24.2008
Dear Father Gabriel,
Thanks to Your prayers in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina our life became much better and easier. Besides that, we got our long desired third child. Thank God. We would gladly come to the Monastery again, but we have been expecting our fourth child. I have some complications during the pregnancy, so I have to rest. Our second child Stefan is clever and good, but lately he has experienced some problems with studying. If you have time, could you please pray in front of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina for our son? Please mention the rest of our family: Mitar, Ruza, Stoja, Sofija, and Stefan. We will come to visit the Monastery as soon as possible. Thank you so much. I wish you all the best from our Lord Jesus Christ.
TESTIMONY #16, Sister Bojana from USA, 09.27.2008
Dear Father Gabriel,
After my return from Serbia to USA, I want to inform you and to thank you for all your prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ and to Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. In June, I went to Serbia because of the emergency. My cousin gave birth to the child who had serious heart defect. Thanks to the everlasting God’s mercy, child recovered well after the surgery. Today, he grows up as a normal and healthy baby. I thank the merciful God and you, dear Father, for all your prayers.
TESTIMONY #17, Sisters Milanka and Rosa, Munich 10.07.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
We would like to thank you for your great hospitality at the Monastery of Lepavina on the day of the Procession of the Holy Cross last week. This journey, from Munich to the Lepavina, was very important for some of the pilgrims, especially to the organizer of the trip, Rosa Santrach. Three years ago, she organized these pilgrimages to the Monastery of Lepavina. This trip to the Monastery of Lepavina would be our third anniversary. She is so thankful to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina helping her to realize long-lasting wish of organizing trips for groups of pilgrims to the Monastery. By doing that, she would like to thank the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina on the prompt help she received. Four years ago, The Holy Theotokos of Lepavina helped her cure cancer on thymus. After her first visit to the Monastery, on her way to Munich, she felt improvement in her health. When she went for consultations with the doctor, he told her that the cancer was completely reduced and that she would not have a surgery. There are no words of thanks to the Holy Theotokos and to Father Gabriel. After Rosa’s first visit, four years ago, she felt that she belongs to the Monastery and that she wants, with the Theotokos’ help, to organize journeys to the Monastery of Lepavina. Rosa would like other believers, who have problems and illnesses, to find help in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. Prayers of our dear father Gabriel, in front of the Icon, are doing miracles. We made sure of those miracles. Thank you, Father Gabriel. We hope and we pray to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina that we will continue to come to the Monastery in the future. Once again, I would like to thank you Father Gabriel and the entire brotherhood of the Monastery. May God and the Holy Theotokos keep you safe, healthy, and give you long life.
Milanka and Rosa
TESTIMONY #18, Sister Sandra Matic, 10.09.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
Dear father, I feel a responsibility to inform you that my son Dejan feels better. After many sleepless nights due to bad dreams, he sleeps very well now. One morning when he woke up, he said:”Thank you dear God!” I asked him “For what?” He replied: “I slept well last night.”Thanks to dear God and to the Holy Theotokos! God will give peace to our family again. Dear Father Gabriel, I cannot find words to thank you for your prayers and help. However, I pray for your health every day. In the near future, I will come to the Monastery of Lepavina to venerate the Icon of the Holy Theotokos and to give donation. The Holy Theotokos has been helping and protecting our family in the most difficult moments of our lives. I have been visiting the Monastery of Lepavina for the last eight years. Through many temptations, I have learned that evil never sleeps. Every time when I relax and think: ”Thank God, it’s better now,” new, big temptation would come upon us. Due to that reason, I do not express happiness, but I thank God and pray to Him. I know that one thing is important: to pray even more for the salvation of my child. However, when harder temptations approach like the last one, when our only son decided that he could not live any more, that something in his mind is not right and that he is very sad,… my prayers were not enough. Dear father Gabriel, without your prayers and without the prayers of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, perhaps my son Dejan would not be alive. I thank God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and you, Father Gabriel, for your prayers and for your help. I wish you all the best from God. I send my greetings to the entire brotherhood of the Monastery of Lepavina. Please mention us in your prayers: my son Dejan, my husband Milan and myself.
TESTIMONY #19, Sister Olivera 10.13.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
It is great that you are here and that you are providing help for all of us. Thank You. Few years ago, I came to your Monastery with Gordana Parabucki from Prigrevica. She was sick by the following illness: the skin on her hands was peeling off completely since she was born. Her hands were bleeding because of the wounds. After the Liturgy, she washed her hands. The wounds completely disappeared on our way home. There was no sign of the harsh skin disease. One day, when her faith weakened, she said:”Olja, the water helped me heal.” The next morning she woke up with the same condition of the skin as before. Again, she had the small wounds that were bleeding. I went to the Patron Saint feast in the Monastery of Slanci and brought the water from Lepavina. I took the water and gave it to her. She was healed by the water again. Now, she is telling everybody about her illness and the healing. She is doing that as a help to the others. Last spring, my girlfriend and I were in the monastery V.Remeta. We stayed there overnight. When we were leaving the room, we saw a bottle with the healing water from the monastery of Lepavina. We asked the abbess to take a little bit from that bottle, because that water is always needed if somebody is ill. She told us to take the whole bottle. We traveled from Novi Sad by the train. We kept the water next to us, in the bag. During that journey, one car crashed into the train, on the side where we were sitting (two of us, and my girlfriend’s son). Wagon hardly stayed on the tracks. We went out to see what happened. The car that crashed into the train was broken in half, but people were well, with no wounds. Please, forgive me sinful, I just wanted this testimony to be helpful to others. I wish you all the best. Our faith has extraordinary spiritual fathers.
TESTIMONY #20, Porodica Jelicic, 10.13.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
We are sending you our confession for the book. In September this year, we visited the Monastery of Lepavina for the first time. We came with a big problem and with hope in the power of the prayer in front of the Icon of the Theotokos of Lepavina. As I mentioned before, our problem is sudden illness of our girl. I have to say that everything started a few days before our Patron Saint Day – the Saint Nicholas. She started to drink too much water. Two and a half year old child was able to drink five liters (more than a gallon) of water for a day. In fear, we asked doctors for help immediately. After all checkups in the hospital, doctors told us that she is healthy and that she imagined thirstiness. We got the medicine which was supposed to stop thirstiness, but shortly after consuming it, she finished in the hospital because of intoxication. Together with the other analysis, doctors performed magnetic resonance of her head. The images were petrifying. She had many changes on her nervous system and vital parts of her brain. Doctors did not know the reason of those changes; because of that, they performed the biopsy of her head. In the meantime, doctors were giving us different diagnosis. Every new diagnosis was worse than the previous. All the time, our daughter was in good mood and that posed even bigger confusion in doctors. Her clinical picture did not match with the given diagnosis. All those days were a real hell for us. Every day, the doctors frightened us with new prognosis. She was traumatized by frequent blood work, punctuations of the brain fluid, and many other invasive methods. Doctors gave her a hormonal therapy even though they were not sure what they were treating. On the Eastern, she got the brain edema. She was transferred to the intensive unit. Doctors told us that the situation was very complex and life-threatening. Since they diagnosed that those changes were caused by a cancer, they included chemotherapy and citostatics. However, none of the doctors gave us the true diagnosis, so we sent the images to many clinics abroad. Even then, no one could give us the real diagnosis. None of the doctors had ever seen something like this. Even though doctors put a huge effort to help our daughter, her health was getting worse. All given diagnosis were not right. Medical therapy which doctors prescribed, instead of helping, made her feel worse. A few times we tried to take her home, but the day after, she would feel worse, and the emergency car would take her back to the hospital. We realized that doctors could not help her any more. She stopped to eat. She vomited the water she was drinking. The doctors suggested the experimental treatments, which would be performed for the first time in our country. We did not accept it. In one moment, we realized that nobody can help her and that everything would be according to God’s will. All that time we prayed to our Saints; Saint Basil of Ostrog, our Patron Saint Nicholas, Saint Cosma and Damian, Saint Petka, the Holy Theotokos and to other Saints who gave us strength and hope to go through the whole situation. We took her to the Monastery of Ostrog and almost all monasteries on Fruska Gora. We came to the Monastery of Lepavina as well. As soon as we came to the Monastery of Lepavina, we gave her to drink from the Monastery’s water and we took her to the Holy Liturgy. During the Liturgy she fell asleep. Afterwards she took the Holy Communion and Father Gabriel blessed our journey home. Few days after we returned home from the Monastery of Lepavina, she started to eat and to smile…Thanks to the Holy Theotokos; we did not go to the hospital again. During this suffering, we made sure that God always stands next to people. When all routes are closed, God’s power gives hope. With this story, I would like to encourage others to continue the battle in the hardest situations and to ask for help from the One who does true miracles. In this manner we can strengthen the faith in our Creator. May God help you Father Gabriel!
TESTIMONY #21, Protopresbyter hajji Milan Pajkanovic, 10.30.2008
Pleasant scent of Incense in the Home of Lazic
When we expect the least, when we think that we are overtaken by the everyday turbulences and that we are far away from God, our Lord touches us by His finger of Love and announces his mercy by visiting His people and making a miracle. In that way He reminds us that He is among us and that He is always present watching us by His all seeing eyes. In the valley of Posavina, among many good and honest natives, I would like to take apart patriarchal family of Steva Lazic from Batkusha. As a devoted and faithful family, they regularly visit the Church. They make an effort to help the growth of the Holy community and fulfill everything suggested by the Church. It is not a wonder if God’s divine intervention occurs in the house like this one. The miracle happened to the youngest member of the family, little Milica. Milica is fifth grade and she is the best student in her class. The Holy Theotokos showed Her mercy to this good child. On September 25th 2007, shortly before the Day of the Holy Cross, Milica was doing homework in her bedroom. While working, she felt a pleasant scent that started to fill the room. She was very surprised, because she knew that she was there by herself. She turned to the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina to whom she prays every night before going to sleep. She saw the Holy Theotokos censing the room. She looked alive and she was holding the censor in her right hand. Surprised by the vision, she ran out of the room and she called her mother and grandmother. When they entered the room, they were able to smell incense from the censor with whom the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina was censing the room. They started to cry happily, because God honored them with this divine miracle. Once again, God was proving that a man is not just a sparkle, which lightens up and then disappears. He cares for us and continuously calls us to salvation. Therefore, He revealed this miracle. However, this miracle is not the only one. There are numerous others that are continuously occurring around the world for our spiritual benefit and for attaining the Kingdom of Haven.
Protopresbyter hajji Milan Pajkanovic
TESTIMONY #22, Brother Vladimir Srbljak, 11.26.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
Few weeks ago I asked you to pray for our relatives and my aunt who was very sick. This is the e-mail, which my cousin sent me this morning: “I just wanted to tell you that mom received the results from the analysis and that she visited the doctor. Doctor said that there is no trace of clot in blood vessels in her lungs. However, a scar remains. The doctor said that she is an exception; one in a thousand who recovered that well. Thanks God!” There are no words which would be worthy enough to express our thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Theotokos and You. This is not the first time that you helped us. You helped me a lot in my personal struggles and soul’s temptations. Thank You. May God grant You all the best and everything according to your will by the prayers of the Holy Theotokos. To us and me sinful, may God grant everlasting honest appreciation which I presently feel.
TESTIMONY #23, sister Dragana from Gradiska
Reverend Father Gabriel,
Today, after reading your internet web-page about miraculous healings I wanted to write again about God’s help and the help of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. The miracle happened to me. Last October, I was diagnosed with a cancer on my right breast. I was shocked. I was in tears all the time. I started to question God:”Why did You give me this dangerous illness when I cannot fight it; I am a weak person…” My family was in a big shock and fear for me. During that period, many people called to comfort me, even those who were not my friends. However, I could not find true comfort or support in anyone. My parents were suffering from the moment they found out about my illness. I knew that. My two sisters also felt the same as well as my husband Dusan. My children watched me broken mentally and in tears every day. I got support from my closest family members, but that support made me even sadder, because I looked at their fearful and distressed faces. They wanted to help in the whole situation. However, it was not possible. Two days after the given diagnosis, I had to go on consultation with the doctor, who would perform the surgery. He worked in Novi Sad. I read prayers on my knees in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I read Akatist to the Holy Theotokos, Psalter and the Bible. During my prayer I cried and I prayed to the Holy Theotokos to save me from that suffering. The day of my journey to Novi Sad came. The doctor performed examination and explained the procedure of the surgery to my husband. He told me to go back home and to return in two days when they will perform magnetic resonance of my breast. After that, he would schedule the day for my surgery. I came home broken and continued to pray to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. Before my second visit to the Institute of Kamenica, I found the phone number of the Monastery of Lepavina and I called there. I left the message on the answering machine. While crying, I asked Father Gabriel to read prayers for my health. I said that I will go to the doctor to schedule the surgery next day. In the next moment, I felt relief in my soul. I knew that Father would read the prayer that I asked for. The next day, doctors performed magnetic resonance on me. Even then, inside the magnetic chamber, I prayed to God to save me. The examination was completed in 45 minutes. The doctor called me in the office and said:”Woman, you do not have a cancer!” My sister, my brother-in-law, my husband and I started to cry. I did not know what to do from all the excitement and happiness. I took my results to the doctor who was responsible for my surgery. When he saw the images he said:”Go home, the sun shone upon you!” On our way home, I asked my husband to stop in the Monastery of Grgeteg. I wanted to venerate the miracle-working Icon of the Holy Theotokos Three-handed and to thank God and all the Saints for the miracle that happened to me. I know that it was the miracle of the Holy Theotokos, our God, and of Your prayers. Father Gabriel, I am certain that the miracle occurred because of Your prayers. When I came home, I sent the message by fax to the Monastery of Lepavina in order to inform You about the miracle and to thank You for the prayers. From that moment, I became stronger in my faith. I knew, Father Gabriel, the God did that miracle. He sent me a warning illness because of my life, which I did not live according to the Christian faith. From that day (October 22, 2007) I became different person, but most importantly, I became spiritually stronger. Now, I have strong faith and hope in God, in the Holy Theotokos and in all the Saints. I am trying to direct my children to the Lord and to plant a seed of love for our Orthodox faith in their hearts. Father Gabriel, please forgive me on my long writing. But in this way I am receiving peace in my soul, because I know that you will read at least one of these letters I am sending to you and that you will bless me trough your respond. Father Gabriel, please bless my family: Dragana, Dusan, Miljan and Jovan. If you can, please pray for our health and for our son Jovan. He had a problem with the vision on his right eye. May God guard you and the entire brotherhood of the Monastery of Lepavina.
The words of thanks from sister Dragana from Gradiska 12.01.2008
Bless reverend Father Gabriel,
I just read my letter, which was posted among many other testimonies about miraculous healings of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. In that letter, I wanted to express thankfulness and never forget the help and the miracle of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I cried when I saw the letter posted. Dear Father, now I know that my honest confession and thankfulness came to your generous soul and heart. I showed to my husband that my everlasting faith in your prayers is not meaningless, because he was looking at me with disbelief when I cried while writing to you. I showed him that my testimony is not forgotten, but it is posted to help others when they get lost in the dark. It is posted to strengthen their belief in God and in the Holy Theotokos. I know, dear father, that your prayers to the Holy Theotokos were answered. In addition, I would like to say that during our conversation last night, my nephew Z…. was sitting next to me. He is often visiting the internet clubs. I pray to God that he finds the internet page of the Monastery of Lepavina because there are many fearful things on the net. So that he can walk out from the dark to the daylight. I wish that God and the Holy Theotokos keep you safe for many years.
TESTIMONY #24, Brother Nikola from Koprivnica, 12.02.2008
I live 15 kilometers away from the Monastery of Lepavina, which I have visited from my youth. Back then, my visits were not connected much to the faith. In my youth, no one talked about the faith much, or not at all. Everything that I was able to learn about the faith was from my parents. I respected my parents; therefore I remember their words which are always in my mind:”The God exists!” The first help form the Lord God I asked when I was a student. At that time, I realized that God was answering my prayers with His mercy. This conclusion wakened up my faith and confirmed absolute power of God in this world. Since then, I regularly went to the Church. I prayed quietly to God for health and help. And I was thankful to God for His help and love. Since 1991 I was passing through many temptations. Since that year, I got threatening calls over the phone every day. The messages were frightening and I was often at the edge of the psychological breakdown. One week in 1993, I told my wife and my mother that I am going to the Monastery of Lepavina. They were surprised. To be honest, I did not know why I decided to go there that day. I did not know who is serving the Liturgy. After the Holy Liturgy, I met father Gabriel. I had a long conversation with him. Since that day, my visits to the Monastery of Lepavina became part of my life. My conversations with Father Gabriel and His prayers in front of the Miraculous Icon of the Holy Theotokos became my strength and brought happiness to my life. I was coming to the Liturgy in the Monastery and after the end of the Liturgy I continued my conversations with Father Gabriel, which he never rejected. Father Gabriel, as a strong faithful person, introduced me to the Orthodox life. In his words I could find and feel father’s love even though I was one year older than him. One week at the beginning of 1994, during my visit, I told Father Gabriel that I was getting many threatening calls, which I could not take any more. I prayed constantly to God and to Holy Theotokos to overcome the threatening calls and temptations. By that time he knew me very well. He told me to come one day with a car and to take him to my house. After that, he told me that nobody will call me again. I have to admit that I took these words with suspicion. I thought how it would be possible not to receive any threatening call, when I got a few every day? When Father entered my house, he sanctified all rooms and the phone. Since that day I did not receive any threatening call. Then, I realized that God sent me to the Monastery of Lepavina where I found the miraculous working Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and Father Gabriel who delivers God’s will and love to all of us. I would like to thank Father Gabriel on his kindness which he offered to me every time when I needed the help. I would like to thank the entire brotherhood of the Monastery as well. I would like this letter to serve as a testimony for the book “Miracles of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina” and to thank Father Gabriel who is the major witness of this event.
Brother Nikola Milosevic
Testimony #25, sister Tatjana from Belgrade 12.02.2008
Bless reverend Father Gabriel,
I would like to testify about miraculous healing of my grandmother Olga, which happened after the prayer in front of the Miraculous Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. In the late summer of 2006, my 94 year old grandmother Olga had a stroke and she was completely weakened. Until that illness she was physically healthy and active. But as a consequence of the illness, she could not walk; she could not sit and she could not talk clearly. She was crying constantly due to the nightmares and delusions. Doctors said that it was the end. She had an internal bleeding of her brain, which was not possible to stop. At that time, I was in a foreign country. I just prayed to Lord, our God, that my grandmother lives until I see her. I also prayed that God gives her chance to receive the Holy Communion. As soon as I returned to Belgrade, I went to the hospital and I asked the priest to confess her and to give her the Holy Communion. She felt so bad that I thought she would not stay alive until the next morning. I left a small Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina next to her bed. I called the Monastery of Lepavina and asked You to pray for her health in front of the Miraculous Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I believed that the Holy Theotokos would help her and I prayed to God for grandma’s health every day. The next day, my grandmother received the Holy Communion. We were surprised that she was able to speak clearly after the Holy Communion and that she was able to repeat the entire prayer with the priest. From that moment, her health was improving daily. The doctors could not believe. Even they declared that her case was a miracle since the bleeding in the brain stopped. When taking in consideration her age, that was impossible to happen. In this way, I would like to thank the Holy Theotokos whose sacred image from the miraculous Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina always gives me consolation and peace. Father Gabriel, I would like to thank you once again. With Your prayers, my grandmother is still alive.
Sister Tatjana Babic
Testimony #26, Sister Radmila from Koprivnica 12.02.2008
My problems started in 1997, when I felt that something is not right with my legs. I had pain in my joints and I walked with difficulty. A few times, doctors sent me to the physical therapy. I went through 90 treatments. I was also taking many different medications, but my health was constantly worsening. Doctors suggested a different analysis and performed x-ray. They gave different diagnosis, such as osteoporosis and arthritis, but even then they were not sure. My health was even worse than before. I could walk only with a walking stick, or with a chair or with other orthopedic devices. I could not walk up the stairs. At one point, I could not stand up from the chair or get out from the bed alone. Doctors said that I would have to use pushchair. My husband suggested to go with him to the Monastery of Lepavina, to the Miraculous Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and to Father Gabriel to whom he was going from 1993. He was healed in that Monastery. Since I was aware of his healing, I accepted his suggestion and we went to the Monastery of Lepavina. Father Gabriel prayed in front of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina for my health. During that prayer I had to sit down. I was not able to stand. Prayers of Father Gabriel returned me straight on to my legs, so I was able to walk without help. As soon as I felt that I could walk, I regularly went to the Liturgies in the Monastery of Lepavina to venerate the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and to thank God and Father Gabriel for their help. My health became better without medical treatment. In the past few years, I could stand and walk with no difficulties. This miracle is the gift of God, the fruit of the prayers and faith. This miracle shows a powerful hand of God, which directed me to the right path in the life.
Sister Radmila Milosevic
TESTIMONY # 27, Brother Zoran 03.01.3009
Reverend Father Gabriel,
We visited the Monastery of Lepavina yesterday and we returned home with great impressions from this holy place. We are especially pleased because we met you and we took some pictures with you. I only regret because I could not stay longer. To remind you, Mirjana is on the right side, just next to you on the photo. I am the bold guy with the square head in a black jacket. We told you that we have son, Predrag, who is deaf. In addition to many gifts God gave him, he also has a talent to paint icons. We asked you for advice whether to direct his education in that direction. What happened to me in the Monastery is a miracle of God. The energy was present in me all the time during the Divine Liturgy. At the end, I felt that energy in my head. Few times I could not control my feelings; I cried. After that, I felt a headache. At the end, as a result of everything, I felt relaxation, joy, ease. I felt that I can fly. Since then, my brain is becoming clearer. I read the Prologue today. I understood better everything which is written there. I have a better concentration. The pressure in my head and eyes is gone. I see much better. People say that eyes are the state of the soul. If I continued to live like I lived before, I would probably become blind. Father, I am so sinful. I was separated from God my entire life. That is the reason I am in the mud. Thank dear God because He gave me that burden. Otherwise, I would not change anything in my life. I prepared two pages for confession, but you said that we should confess with our priest in the place where we live. I only regret that I did not leave those pages for you to read them later. Could you please bless me father, so God gives me the power to start walking that thorny road. Also, could you please pray for the health of my wife Mirjana, my older son Miodrag and especially for the younger son Predrag for the return of his hearing? The next time we come, we will bring our children with us. With your permission, we will bring you a domestic red wine which we promised – for your health. We send our greetings to the entire brotherhood. All of you are very nice and in a harmony with the nature. I pray to God to give you a good health and long life; for the benefit of all people who need your help. Stay with God.
TESTIMONY # 28, Sister Nada Spasojevic 03.12.2008
Reverend Father Gabriel,
I hope that you remember me. I contacted you last year and I asked for your prayers. I asked for the help of our Most Holy Mother of God, who saved me. I came to the end of my pregnancy and I gave birth to a healthy baby Stefan on January 11, 2009. Everything went well; thank God and the Most Holy Mother. I also wanted to thank you, since I am sure that your prayers helped me a lot. I am not calling you since I am afraid that I may bother you. I know that you have many faithful people who are requesting your help. However, I would like to talk to you; to get comfort and answers on many questions I have. I was in your monastery in the spring last year. I hope that I will come with my entire family to venerate the Most Holy Theotokos of Lepavina again this year. When you can, please mention us in your prayers: Stefan, Tanja, Damjan, my husband Mladen and me, Nada. Thank you.
Sister Nada Spasojevic
TESTIMONY #29. Sister Miljka Vesić, 27.03.2009.
Reverend Father Gabriel,
I feel appreciation toward Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and you father Gabriel. Because of that I would like to write about God’s miraculous healing that happened to me.
On March 23th 2009, I was in your monastery with a group of pilgrims from Belgrade. Because I was born in Virovitica, I wanted to visit the Monastery Lepavina for the past few years. However, I did not have an opportunity. My daughters Ljubica and Nevenka made this pilgrimage possible for me as well as sister Lenka. Because of that I am thankful to God and the Holy Theotokos. Before everything I need to mention one faithful woman, Sladjana Zecevic, whom I love as my own child. She brought me the Holy Oil from your Monastery.
I am sick from the spine disease for many years. My feet were swollen lately, so I walked harder. I worried how I would endure that path, but when I returned from your monastery the swelling on the feet was gone.
Few years ago, I got one bump on the right hand, which started to hurt me. Sladjana gave me a bottle of oil, which she brought from your monastery. I prayed to God and the Holy Theotokos. I prayed this way: “The Most Holy Theotokos from my native land, which I may not see ever again, please, help me!” I put the oil two or three times on my hand. That bump disappeared and my hand, thank God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina, healed. I still pray to God and the Holy Theotokos. I fast and I commune regularly. This arrival at your Monastery was magnificent for me and your beautiful welcome cannot be forgotten.
At the end, I would like to thank you for everything, especially to your honest prayers and I wish I could come some other time, if God allows because I am 71 years old.
from Novi Beograd
TESTIMONY #30. Brother Marinko Dušanić, 04.14.2009
Reverend father Gabriel,
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for the brotherly hospitality and the Christian love you have in your pure heart. For the first time in my life, I came to the Monastery Lepavina on the Lazarus Saturday, April 11th 2009. By God’s mercy, I hope that it won’t be the last time. My name is Marinko Dušanić. I live and work in Grac. I came with my sick mother, and friends to the pilgrimage in the Monastery Lepavina.
For ten years already, my mother is mentally ill and we had a lot of problems because of her illness. She was ill when we came to the Monastery. The reason I am contacting you is the following: Publicly, I need to thank the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina on Her help because my mother is almost completely healed. She was sad, without will to live and she could not sleep at all. I was thinking to take her to the Medical Institution for mental diseases in Grac. However, I do not need to do that anymore; THANK TO DEAR GOD AND THE HOLY THEOTOKOS. However, that is not all. In the last three years, I did not have touch senses in the ring finger and the pinkie of my left hand. They were almost dead. I always knew that there is God who helps His people. However, I came with hope and faith that my mother will be healed.
During the Divine Liturgy, one more miracle occurred. During your prayer in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos, I felt same sort of tingling in my left hand, like someone is sticking needles in my hand. My hand was completely numb. At the same time, I got strength, peace and joy, which were beyond natural. I feel much better now. Thank God.
My greetings, in Christ
April 14th, 2009, Grac, Austria
TESTIMONY #31. Brother Željko Kosanović, 04.19.2009
CHRIST IS RISEN, reverend father Gabriel and the brotherhood of the Monastery Lepavina!
Father Gabriel please forgive me because I did not write to you. I have contacted you for the first time four years ago. I am thankful to God because He gave me the opportunity to talk with you. I was in the Monastery of Lepavina and I am happy because of that. I am from Inđija. Two weeks ago, I met brother Nikola. I have sent you my greetings, because you have a special place in my heart…
I am thankful to God, the Holy Theotokos and to you for your prayers, which were read for my sister four years ago. At that time, I spoke with you for the first time. She had breast cancer and the surgery was planed at that time. Glory to God and to the Holy Theotokos, she is in a good health now. I was trying to write to you many times. However, I always thought that I would make mistake; that I would not be able to find the right words. However, when I needed you, I did not think that much. Please forgive me, father!
There is not a day, which passes by, that I am not thinking on you. I wish you all the best; good health and that God and the Holy Theotokos protect you as well as the entire brotherhood of the monastery. I hope that we will meet again soon. Stay with God!
April 19, 2009. Inđija
TESTIMONY # 32. Brother Zeljko Jovisic 05.13.09
God help you father Gabriel,
My father visited the monastery Lepavina by the recommendation of his friends, who knew for the miraculous healings that occur in your monastery every day. In hope that he would find solution for the family problems, my father brought home the Holy water from your monastery. That water I used, too. Three days after taking the water, I felt strong emotional problems and anxiety at my workplace. I had feelings that I constantly need to pray; if I did not pray I felt bad. I also had a strong desire to go to the Church and to pray for my salvation. Soon after that, I came to your monastery with my father. Thank God. I felt a great burden on my body during the Divine Liturgy.
And I asked myself where I sinned, when I am suffering that much. On my way back to Vienna, I felt that my body was healed. I had problems with my tonsils from my childhood and youth. However, they suddenly disappeared. The next day I felt the healing of my lungs. I smoked for more than 8 years. Smoking left the negative effect on my lungs. After the healing, I did not feel any problems; my lungs looked like I never smoked. After that, I lighted the cigarette again and my lungs and tonsils returned to the same condition again.
During my second visit to the monastery, I felt that I was healed again. The healing happened during the Divine Liturgy. After the Divine Liturgy and communion I felt great love of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. I hope for the salvation through your prayers. One year passed from my last visit to your monastery. I have listened to your spiritual advices on the Radio Blagovesti during the Great Lent. They helped me in my spiritual growth; they helped me to clearly see my sins. Of course, I continue to listen to your radio. Please pray for me, a sinner.
May God keep you safe father Gabriel and your brotherhood.
TESTIMONY#33 Sister Jasmina 05.19.2009
God help you father Gabriel,
My family strongly wishes to come to your monastery. I am praying to dear God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina to make this wish come true, so we can meet you personally. It is my great honor to contact you this way. When we spoke, I was very nervous and I had some positive jitters. I shook all while I was listening to your voice, worm and pleasant. I said to myself: “Lord, thank you for your grace!”I feared you. However, thanks to your humor, I had feelings that I know you for years.
Our problem emerged last year when our son, a healthy boy who loved sport, became sick of ulcer colitis. It was a shock for us. I was sad and depressed. I cried days and nights. I tried to hide those feelings from my son. And I always asked: WHY? I had been surfing the internet and I had been reading spiritual articles in order to find answers on my questions. I knew that I had to believe, to pray… I had hope for my son’s recovery. I believed that God will help my son. And then, one night, I found a web-site of the monastery of Lepavina. Honestly, I did not know for your monastery before. Father, please forgive me. I was surprised by beautiful spiritual content of your website. I read spiritual advices, monastery’s publications, journals…I listened to the radio Blagovesti…I was nervous.
Culminations of all were columns “Miraculous healings in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina” and personal testimonies of people to whom miracles happened. I felt great happiness. I said: “there is still hope - miracles exist.” I was thinking that miracles are happening to those people who believe in them. I was looking at the face of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. While looking at Her face I said: “Mother of God, please help my child, so he would become healthy again.” Every day and night I prayed to God to bring the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina to our home, so we can pray in front of Her for healing of my child. Dear God is graceful; he accepted my honest prayers, and few days later the small icon of the Holy Mother of God entered our home. The presence of this Holy Icon brought the calmness and spiritual peace in our lives. The Icon was the gift of father Radovan, our parish priest. We are so thankful to his patience. May God give him all the best. Our surprise was even greater when we got one more Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. For days and nights I was knelling in front of the Icon of the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina and I was praying for help. I was suspicious if I should call father Gabriel and tell him to pray for my son. I did not want to disturb father’s daily obligations in the monastery and His spiritual peace. I knew that I am not the only one with the problem. In meantime, the health condition of my son was inconsistent. One moment he was very stable but then the bloody mucus would appear in his stool and other problems would emerge. I was desperate, but I constantly prayed to Holy Theotokos for Her mercy.
However, I gathered the strength and I called the Monastery Lepavina. I did not have luck; nobody answered me. I prayed to God and the Holy Theotokos to help me talk with father Gabriel. By God’s mercy and providence after a few tries father Gabriel’s voice answered on the other side. I get so confused and afraid that I may say something wrong. However, father Gabriel’s calm voice returned my concentration. It is a great honor for me that I had a chance to talk with the great and highly recognized spiritual father such as father Gabriel. We talked about everyday problems of humanity. I told father Gabriel about our problem and he promised me that he would pray for my son. A week later, we went to a regular check up to the Clinic in Belgrade. The night before that check up, my son’s health condition was the same. I have to admit that I was skeptic regarding everything. Please, forgive me. However, I prayed to the Holy Theotokos all the time. During the check up the doctor was surprised. The examination analyses were normal. We were surprised; the doctor was surprised too. That was the miracle of God. I started to cry and to thank the Mother of God on her mercy, which She provided to us. I want to thank you father Gabriel on your effort, understanding and everything you do for us, sinners.
My child is good now, thanks to God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. There are some mild oscillations in his health, but I just continue to pray and to thank to the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina on her love and mercy. Her kind look is giving me strength and provides a peace. As She is saying:” Everything will be fine and okay.” Dear father, my family and I, especially my son Stefan, are so thankful on all your prayers for my son. May dear God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina keep you safe and proved you with good health and long lasting life. Children in the preschool where I work as a teacher know to say: “Thank you so much, up to the Heaven! Thank You!” I would like to ask you to read the thankful prayer to God and the Holy Theotokos of Lepavina. And please, mention us in your prayers: Stefan, Zoran and Jasmina.
May God keep you safe.
My husband and I would like to send a small donation to help renovation of your monastery. We will send that to the bank account of your monastery. Tonight, thank God, I was able to listen to the radio Blagovesti again.
to be continued ...
translated by Bojana Popovic