The Miracle of Archangel Michael at Chonae

Archangel Michael is one of the angels who always influences the life of the Church and takes part in the most significant events of its history. The word “angel” itself means “herald”, and the Holy Scripture calls them so, as they often announce people the words of God’s will.

In the Holy Scripture Archangel Michael is referred to as “prince”, “the leader of God’s warriors”. He is depicted as the main fighter against the devil and any lawlessness among people. The Book of Revelation describes him as the main angel in the war against the devil dragon and other fallen angels. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). Apostle Judah shortly describes the archangel as the main enemy of the devil.

The miracle at Chonae

In the land of Phrygia, not far from the city of Hierapolis, there was a church in honor of Archangel Michael, and near that temple there was a healing spring. At that time there was a man, who lived in Laodikeia. That man had an only daughter, who was mute and could not speak from birth. Her father was in mourning because of that, and he did his best to find a cure for her. Unfortunately, he did not manage to help her and became quite discouraged. Once at night, when the man was sleeping in his bed, he saw the angel of God, shining like the sun. He was allowed to see the miracle so he could find God and help others to find Him too. The man was afraid and heard the following words: “If you want your daughter to speak, then bring her to my spring near the city of Hierapolis. Let her drink the water from this spring, and then you will see God’s glory.”

When the man woke up, he believed in what he saw and heard, and went to Hierapolis together with his daughter. He found many people near the spring: some of them were baptized in it, the others would simply draw out water and were instantly healed. He asked them:

– Whom are you glorifying, when drawing out this water? – and then he got the answer:
– We are glorifying the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are also asking Archangel Michael for help.
The man proceeded to look at the sky and raise his hands, and began to pray:
– The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! God of the Christians, have mercy upon us! Saint Archangel Michael, help me and cure my daughter! – then he took some water and made his daughter drink it. At that very moment she was healed from her muteness and began to speak clearly:
– God of the Christians, have mercy upon me! Archangel Michael, help me!
All the people there were amazed by God’s power, and began to glorify the Holy Trinity. When the man saw his daughter speaking, he was so happy that he decided to be baptized together with all his relatives, who came there with him. To express his gratitude, he built a beautiful church in the name of Archangel Michael over the healing spring.

A pious man by the name of Archippus served in the church of Archangel Michael for 60 years. Many people came to accept the true God through his teachings about Christ as well as his own pious way of life. Archippus never left the church and always continued to serve there, and that is why the pagans hated him even more than the other Christians living in that area. They decided to kill the man and destroy the church at the same time by  joining two mountain streams together and directing them towards the church. When Archippus found out about that, he began to pray wholeheartedly: “Lord, the waves on the rivers are rising and the water is coming. But it is You, Who is much stronger than any sea wave. You are the One, Who gives us the true knowledge, and Your House, Your Church will stand forever”.

When Archippus was praying, he heard the voice ordering him to leave the church. When he did that, he saw the great defender of Christians – Archangel Michael. The pious Archippus could not look at him and fell on the ground. The Archangel told him: “Do not be afraid. Stand up and come to me, then you will see how God’s power will harness these waters”.

Archippus rose from the ground and stood to the left from the Archangel. He saw the pillar of fire, rising from the ground to the heavens. When the water was close enough, the Archangel raised his hand, made the sign of cross and ordered the waters to: “Stop there!” At that very moment the rivers stepped back and formed a wall. Then the Archangel hit the big stone near the altar with his staff and made the sign of the cross on it. The earth shook and the stone seperated into two pieces, making a large ravine. The Archangel said: “Let any dark force be defeated here, and let anyone who comes here with pure heart and faith, get deliverance from any evil!” Then he said Archippus to stand on the right and ordered the waters again: “Enter this ravine!”

The waters flowed through the crack in the stone. The pagans who witnessed these events were terrified by the miracle. After Archangel Michael saved his church from the flood, he ascended to the heavens, and pious Archippus glorified him and the Lord. The enemies were shamed, while the believers were rejoicing with Archippus and praising God. Since that time the feast was established to recall the miraculous event. Pious Archippus served God there for many years and passed away in the age of 70. Fellow Christians buried him near that very place, which was called later “Chonae”, which means “submersion”, as the water submerged into the stone. 

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds 
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