An Account by Maria Psarev

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This all happened almost two years ago in Jordanville, where my family (my husband, who teaches at the seminary, and my daughter) lives. That spring, my mother had come to visit; we were preparing to go to Moscow. It was a nice spring day. My mother decided to plant a currant bush. My daughter and I went to the monastery cemetery to get a little earth from Brother Joseph’s grave. I wanted to take some to Moscow, where people who found out I was from Jordanville would usually ask about the Iveron-Montreal Icon of the Mother of God and about Brother Joseph’s grave.

We had a long outing; we prayed to Brother Joseph, anointed ourselves with oil from his vigil lamp, and took some sand. Upon returning home, we found my mother in severe pain. She had arthritic knees and should not have been doing heavy work, digging holes in the garden. However, being of a restless, indefatigable disposition, she undertook to do it and suffered the consequences. My mother is a person of the older generation and is very patient; she is used to living with pain and never complains. Hence, when at that moment she told us of her condition, her pain must have been truly severe and intolerable. My husband was not home. I ran looking for something to relieve the pain, found nothing, and realized that I was in an utterly helpless situation – there was nothing I could do to help my mother! At that moment my little daughter piped up: she simply wanted to tell her grandmother where we had been and what we had been doing, and in all the hubbub no one was paying any attention to her as she handed her grandmother that little package of earth from Brother Joseph’s grave. It was a miracle: at that moment I realized that everything would be all right, that this was exactly what was needed. I took a towel, tied the packet to her hurt leg, and told mother to remember and pray to Brother Joseph. I went to get my daughter some supper and put her to bed. In the morning, the first thing my mother said was: “Brother Joseph helped me; nothing hurts.” I then asked her over and over – what do you mean nothing hurts, how did it stop hurting? She continued to assert that she was completely pain-free, and that the pain stopped as soon as the sand was touched to her leg. Something like this had never happened before. Usually, she would have required at least a day of immobility, and the pain would ease gradually. Mother truly was very happy, and she kept repeating that it was thanks to Brother Joseph’s help. I want to point out one other thing: My mother is a believer, but in her own way. Perhaps the key principle of her faith was the idea “hope in God, but do not yourself slip up.” It would be impossible for her to just put all her trust in God and in a holy thing. Thus, it was because she herself, without any prompting, was the first to admit what happened to her was through a miracle by Brother Joseph, that I set down and made public this account.

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