“You know where to go!” A miracle of Saint Xenia of St Petersburg in Oakland, California
The sermons of Fr Weldon, an evangelical pastor, attracted many types of people, including a youth who arrived at church riding a Harley Davidson, who was however sincerely interested in his faith.
Having started to transform his life, the young man struggled daily, conquering all passions but one – “biking”. Hearing that he must surrender this, he left the community despondent and intended never to return.
Being involved in a terrible motorcycle accident that cost him his legs, the man landed back into the company of old friends, living in a run-down apartment in a crime-ridden part of the city. Once, abusing drugs and alcohol rather vigorously, he fell unconscious. Fearing contact with authorities, his “friends” dragged his unconscious body down the street and threw him into a dumpster.
Gaining consciousness, the young man lay there, thinking the darkest thoughts: “This is what I have come to – useless trash thrown away like garbage!”
Sunk in pessimistic thoughts, an old lady in tattered clothes – a “bag lady” – approached. Advancing with a fierce expression, she commanded him, “You know where to go. So, go there!” He immediately remembered his former life and church where he had almost reformed.
The man soon after returned to that church to find it completely different – gold domes with crosses on the roof, a completely changed interior and an iconostas at the front depicting Saints. He was astonished when his gaze caught the image on an icon depicting the very “bag lady” that had approached him in his hour of dire depression. It was Holy Blessed St Xenia, the fool-for-Christ of St Petersburg!
He confessed to the now Orthodox Fr Weldon. Receiving holy Baptism, he began to live the life of a dedicated parishioner, this time truly transformed.
Source: August-September 2015 Lychnos Edition