A few hours after keeping vigil over the sarcophagus of Holy King Stefan of Decani, a nine year-old Albanian girl seriously ill with depression was completely healed
Glas Javnosti daily, Belgrade, August 12, 2004
The miraculous recovery of an ailing Albanian child has taken place in the monastery of Visoki Decani, one of the greatest Serbian holy shrines. This unusual event, which has nevertheless occurred countless times during the monastery's long history, was described for us by Fr. Sava (Janjic), the deputy abbot of Decani Monastery.
Medication didn't help
"Today our monastery exists in an unfriendly environment. It is protected around the clock by Italian KFOR. The faithful are rarely able to come to the monastery and then only with a KFOR escort. No Albanians have come here for a long time but when the need arises they turn to the Decani monks for help. At the beginning of March of this year, a few days before the huge pogrom by the Albanians against the Serbs on March 17-18, the monastery received a telephone call from an Albanian man begging for permission to visit the monastery with his family. He explained that his daughter was ill and that he wanted to bring her before the sarcophagus of the Holy King Stefan of Decani and prayers read for her," said Fr. Sava. He added that it is difficult to imagine the terrible despair this poor parent must have felt when he decided to appeal for help to Orthodox monks even though today Albanians in Metohija who have any sort of contact with Serbs are endangered from their own compatriots.
Monastery constantly under guard by Italian KFOR
As they have done so many times in the past, the Decani monks did not think twice about granting the man's request. He arrived with his wife and nine-year old daughter, who was seriously ill with depression. "The child would not speak with anyone and constantly cried. She had not slept for months and stopped going to school. All attempts by parents and physicians to establish any sort of contact with her were unsuccessful. Completely shut into her self, the child was simply waning and disappearing right before the eyes of her parents. They took her to various physicians, hospitals but despite all the medications they prescribed her condition grew worse. Her parents then decided to seek help where their forefathers used to go when they had a problem: to the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Visoki Decani," said Fr. Sava.
Traditionally hospitable, the Decani monks welcomed the Albanian family when they came. They took them to the church and read prayers next to the open sarcophagus of the Holy King.
After the prayers the family left. Only a few hours later the overjoyed father called and in an excited voice through tears of joy told the monks that his little girl had begun to speak, laugh and act completely normally.
A week later, the child returned to school. The thankful parents expressed the desire to return to the monastery, this time with rich gifts of thanks. However, the monks replied that they were welcome to come and express their thanks but not to bring any sort of gifts. "The child has been cured by the will of God and prayer to the Holy King. Our payment is in heaven and not in material gifts. After this conversation the family did indeed return to the monastery to express its thanks for the daughter's recovery. The little girl behaved completely normally; she was happy and spoke like any other nine year-old," said Fr. Sava, describing the miraculous occurrence.
"Decani Monastery for centuries has been a pace where people have sought and found physical and spiritual healing. Only God knows how many poor unfortunates of all nationalities has sought help in the monastery next to the sarcophagus of Holy King Stefan of Decani. Old annals record many testimonials and there are many people alive today who are witnesses either because they themselves or one of their close relatives has been healed. The Holy King has helped both Serbs and Albanians when they approached his sarcophagus with firm faith and hope in God's mercy," said Fr. Sava.
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