Mediterranean Marvel

Relic of St. John Chrysostom reportedly working miracles

.- Two miraculous cures have been reported in Cyprus as a result of contact with the skull of St. John Chrysostom, according to the Associated Press.

Father Paraskevas Agathonos claimed the visiting relic, which normally resides in a monastery in northern Greece, had healed a partially paralyzed teenager and a woman with a broken leg.

"The pain left, she got rid of the crutches and took off the cast," he said of a 42-year-old woman who allegedly recovered after visiting the relic Saturday.

The other cure is said to have involved 16-year old Panayiotis Panayiotou, who had been paralyzed in his right arm and the right side of his face following a brain hemorrhage.  He reportedly regained full mobility after venerating the skull.

Panayiotou told private TV station Sigma that "the numbness was gone...yes, it was a miracle."

One layman, Kyriakos Kyriakou, was lined up with his wife and children among thousands of other Cypriots.  "We came because we believe ... they said the relic worked miracles," Kyriakou said. "I might have reservations, but I still believe."

78 percent of Cypriots have been baptized into the Orthodox Church.

Saint John Chrysostom was a Father of the Church and a Patriarch of Constantinople.  He was the author of the liturgy still celebrated in many Eastern churches.  He died on November 14, 407.

His skull was kept in Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, until it was looted by crusaders in 1204.  It later came to rest in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.  In 2004, Pope John Paul II returned the relic to Orthodox officials as part of an effort to reconcile the two churches.

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