On November the 8th each year, Greece celebrates angels and archangels. The Greeks with angelic names celebrate too. Aggelos, Stamatis, Michael, Gabriel and Stratos are just a few of these names.
To celebrate this big day, I am sharing here a couple of stories about Archangel Michael that locals once shared with me on the island of Mytilene (Lesvos). But first, a brief introduction to angels:
The Greek word for angel is Aggelos, which means ‘messenger’. Different kinds of angels can be found across the angelic ranks of hierarchy. The highest in rank are the Cherubim, The Sherafim and the Thrones. Three of the most revered archangels are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Archangel Michael is the ultimate military ‘superhero’ that the faithful call upon when in need of protection. His name means ‘Who is like God’. All you have to do is say three times ‘Archangel Michael, protect me!’ and He is said to rush to your side to make sure no harm comes your way. Other than protection, He also provides courage and strength.
Archangel Gabriel is said to provide strength and guidance to those who need Him. His name means, ‘God is my strength’.
Archangel Raphael is the one to invoke when healing is required. His name means ‘Healing power of God’ and He responds to prayers to provide healing on a physical, emotional or mental level.
Now, to share the stories that the locals of Mandamatho in Mytilene shared with me:
There is a monastery in Mandamatho, which I’ve had the pleasure to visit, and its church is dedicated to Archangel Michael. The church is famous for its ancient icon of the archangel as well as the iron shoes that are also on display there. According to the locals, the archangel wears the iron shoes at night and wanders around their village.
Many claim to have heard loud thuds coming from the roofs at night, and the shared belief is that this is the sound of His iron shoes as He walks around, up on roofs and on the streets, to patrol the village when the sun goes down.
Others claim to have seen His shadow wander around in the church.
The locals replace the iron shoes occasionally, and many offer new pairs from time to time too, seeing that they tend to find signs of wear and tear on them, as if someone actually wears them…
One of the locals told me this amazing story:
There was a villager who was renowned for being highly blasphemous. All day he’d swear, using sacred names in vain, and Archangel Michael’s was one of his ‘favorites’, seeing that he used His name to swear heavily on a daily basis. One night, he saw a tall man in a dream. He looked very strong and was dressed in a military uniform. The man in the dream began to beat up the blasphemous villager pretty badly. Punches, kicks, slaps, you name it, while telling him of for his blasphemy. When the man woke up, his body was covered in bruises… Needless to say, he quickly realized he had been paid a visit by the Archangel Michael himself and stopped swearing, literally, overnight!
Another local had an even more intriguing story to share with me. It was about a man who had a sick child. One night, Archangel Michael appeared before him in a dream and made a devastating announcement – that he had come to take his sick child away. The man then began to wail, crying and begging the Archangel to reconsider. Then the Archangel said, ‘All right! I will let you choose: Shall I take your child or the cow in your field?’
‘Of course, no need to ask,’ the man replied in the dream, ‘please take the cow!’
When the man awoke, he rushed to his child’s bedside to find it was feeling a lot better, and it was eventually cured. As for the cow, the man found it that morning dead in the field.
(image by LesvosGreece.gr)
The legend surrounding the ancient icon of Archangel Michael goes like this:
The monastery was raided one day by Saracen pirates who attacked the monks and slaughtered them. Only one survived to tell the tale; it was a young monk who managed to hide on a roof and watched the massacre from up there. According to legend, afterwards, he saw a vision of Archangel Michael hovering over the slaughtered bodies of the monks.
Inspired by the vision, and to honor their memory, he took some of the blood-stained soil, mixed it with wax and made the Archangel’s face as he remembered it. Today, only the head of the full-body icon is on display.
Take a 3D walk around the monastery grounds in Mandamatho, and see the infamous icon and other relics inside the church to the sound of ecclesiastic hymns. GO HERE (Language is Greek)
Other than the protector of Mandamatho (and the island of Mytilene in general), Archangel Michael is also the protector of the Hellenic Air Force. Every year, on November the 8th and for a couple of days earlier, the Hellenic Air Force celebrates with various events to honor Him. If you’re reading this post near the big day, check out their site for any events near you. Go HERE
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Do you enjoy angel stories? My Greek romantic comedy, The Amulet, features a bunch of guardian angels that will inspire and delight you! Check it out HERE
Browse through my posts where I share spooky messages I have received from my angels from time to time. Go HERE
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