The priests at a Greek Orthodox church in the New York suburb of Hempstead, Long Island, report that miraculous healings are continuing years after icons of the Virgin began shedding tears in the area. The phenomena involved three icons that were brought to St. Paul's Church: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (above), the Lamenting Mother of God (below), and a third that is now in Florida. While the flow of tears has long-since stopped (it first began in March of 1960), Father Nicholas J. Magoulias, the pastor, told Spirit Daily that other phenomena continue at this church that lost two parishioners to the tragedy of September 11.

One recent cure involved a Roman Catholic woman named Lilly Bertuccio, who was set for a major cancer operation. After praying before one of the icons she took oil from the shrine and applied it with a short prayer ("I am applying this Holy Oil with the Blessed Mother's hand"). Two days before the operation, she had a dream filled with remarkable light and the following Friday, when she went to New York Hospital of Queens for the surgery, a mammography indicated that the tumor was gone.

"We then went to another room for a different mammography," she noted. "The nurse, my doctor, and the technician returned to my room and the technician said to me, 'Do you believe in miracles?' I said, 'Yes, I do.' He said, 'For twenty years I have been doing this and this is the first time this happened to me. Whatever was there is not there anymore."

That was in 1997. According to the priests, the healings continue to the present day -- with at least two remarkable ones a year. "For instance, there was one I know last March of a woman suffering from cervical cancer who was completely healed," said the associate pastor, Father Joakim Valsiad. "I heard this with my own ears. I know that every day three or four stop by, pray, and receive the assistance of the Virgin Mary."

"The icons are still miraculous," says Father Magoulias. "They still do healings. We had two this past year. It's a continuous thing. When I first came we had an all-night service, and we had a lady here from Chicago who was deaf, and before I started the service she was moved to take a picture. Back in those days they used to have a bulb that they would place in the flash, and she went to take a picture and all of a sudden it exploded. I heard a big explosion and turned around and said, 'What happened? What happened?' and she was hysterical. She said, 'I can hear! I can hear!' Her doctor sent a letter documenting it."

The church is one of a growing list in the New York area involving alleged miracles. Reports of phenomena have also come from Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Eastport (47 miles to the east); from a woman in Huntington who claims apparitions of St. Therese the Little Flower; and even a tree on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that seemed to bear an image of the Virgin just weeks before the World Trade Center event. Meanwhile, the Pope has been vigorously seeking reconciliation between Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox Church, both of which have a profound devotion to Mary.


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