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Question 84.

Good morning. My question is aman taxtis se ayious (make a vow to a saint)  and to a certain Church does the time scale matter in when to get there to light the lambatha? For example etaxtka stin ayia marina (I made a vow to St. Marina) it doesn't matter how long it takes me to get there does it?? As long as I do? I always go to the same church a little tiny one in the old town of Limassol when I go to Cyprus

 

Answer to Question 84.

 

Ok itís time for a lesson. When people (vow) taxi to God or the saints what are they actually doing? They are bartering with God and the saints. They say things like Apostole Andreas mou, make my son well and I will bring you a lampada as tall as his height. So if the son doesnít get better then the deal is off and so no lampada. Now think, what is Apostolos Andreas going to do with a lampada, does he need one? If he does intercede and makes the son well, will he be upset and angry if he doesnít receive what he was promised? NO. God and the saints do not need our meager offerings. God wants your heart, he wants you to love him as he loves you; he wants you to remember him and to communicate with him continually and not just on those occasions that you turn to him as a last resort. We do not need to make vows (taximata), if you need the intercession of a saint, donít tempt him/her by making an offering, simply pray to him/her and ask him/her for his/her help. Saints are our fellow brothers and sisters in heaven and gladly pray for us when we beseech them with a fervent heart and with faith.  What people also do is taxi where they will take the votive (offering). Does it matter which church we take the lampada? If someone in London makes a vow to take a lampada to Kykko Monastery, what is there to say that they will ever have that opportunity? Every church is Godís church and all the saints belong to all the churches.  People have a fear that if they donít fulfil their vow then God or the saints will be angry with them and maybe punish them for not doing as they promised as if they made a legal contract with a saint that cannot be broken without recompense. God and his saints do NOT get angry and do NOT punish. This is a western idea of God which was invented to instill fear in people to keep them in control. God is love and the saints live in Godís love. In your case you made a vow and obviously you must keep it for your own peace of mind, but when you made your vow you didnít specify that you would fulfil it within a specific time so donít feel guilty that you havenít done it so far. The saints understand that we cannot simply drop everything, fly over to Cyprus and make our offering. Just do it when you are next over.