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Question 105

I have visited many of our holy sites in Cyprus, and paid respects to various remains and relics of saints. But on visiting Ayios Yiannis lambadistis in the mountains and touching the part of skull I had the strangest and most wonderful feeling. Now when I visit there, and the small church hidden by the tree behind the monastery I get the most amazing sensations. Is there an explanation? I feel a connection that I have yet to feel anywhere else.  

 

Answer to Question 105

 

Our spiritual experiences are personal and only you can say what you felt and what it means in your life. We each have some kind of spiritual experiences at certain times of our lives. We cannot explain them, but very often these experiences are God’s way of letting us know that he exists and that we need to reach out to him.  Maybe the saint is telling you that if ever you need his help he will be there for you. As it was a pleasant experience, hold on to it and regularly pray to the saint to be with you and your family at all times.

 

Same member

 

Is it possible that you could give me more information on this saint? Of course I understand your time is precious and I can research online.

 

Answer

 

What we know of St. John Lampadistis comes from a now lost 1640 manuscript written by a priest named Savvas from the village of Agios Theodoros Agrou. The work was copied by monk Kirililos of Stavrovouni Monastery in 1903. The manuscript comprised the life of Lampadistis and the prayer said in church on his feast day on 4 October. It was published for the first time in 2003 by the Morphou Bishopric in the jurisdiction of which the Lampadistis monastery is situated and is used here as the main historical source, along with the testimony of the Kalopanayiotis priest Father Andreas. 

John took his sanctified name from his birthplace Lampadis, a now extinct village somewhere between the mountain resorts of Galata and Kakopetria. He was the last offspring of Papa-Kyriakos, the priest of the village, and his wife Anna who lived in the time of Archbishop Nicephorus. When John was a child, his father sent him to learn how to read and write through study of the Holy Scriptures, and the amazing aptitude he had shown was an early indication of what his true vocation would be.

When he became a young man, his parents decided it was time to find him a nice girl from a nearby village to settle down with. Not much is known about John's fiancée, but his future in-laws turned out to be an evil lot! For reasons not recorded in the manuscript, they served the promising lad poisoned fish, causing him to lose his eyesight. They then sent for his father to come and take his son away because he was no longer suitable marriage potential.

One can well understand the pain and suffering of the poor village folk upon seeing their brilliant son in such a sorry state. But John didn't seem to share their grief. His physical blindness had opened wide his spiritual vision and he spent his days in prayer. He even gave most of the food provided by his parents to the poor, keeping barely enough to sustain himself. He lived like this for twelve years, until the day he saw his end approaching and summoned his household servant, also named John. He told John that he would be surrendering his soul to the Lord the next day at noon, and asked for a bunch of grapes from his father's new crop. The servant found himself in a difficult position. It was unthinkable for anyone to cut even a single grape from the vineyard before Papa-Kyriakos had been there to bless it. But John insisted, telling his namesake not to fear. The latter gave in and brought a succulent bunch of fresh grapes to John, who said a prayer and started to eat. When his father saw him, he was furious at what he regarded as irreverence and slapped his blind son across the face. John quietly handed the bunch back to the servant and told him to return it where he had taken it from. The servant again obeyed and, to his amazement, the bunch of grapes rejoined the vine at exactly the spot from where it was cut. (Since that day, bunches of grape have a sensitive knotty spot at which they snap easily away from the plant).

By the time the servant returned to tell him about it, John Lampadistis had died. After John was buried, people saw light beaming from his grave. They informed his father, who disregarded it as light from candles. But word spread and individuals who were known to be possessed came to the village, saying they were seeking John's body in order to pray to it and be cured. When Papa-Kyriakos saw that nothing could dissuade them, he agreed to open his son's grave. They found his relics, but his heart was preserved "like a dry fig". The possessed were indeed cured and it was then decided to deposit John's remains in the existing church of Agios Herakleidios at Kalopanayiotis. His feastday is on 4th October