Miracle of the Bleeding Gospel
The Miracle of the Bleeding Gospel April 27, 1989
An open letter to our Bishop May 2, 1989
To His Grace Bishop Anthony in San Francisco
With respect and reverence, I kiss your right hand. Christ is Risen.
With great humility and fear of God, I am writing to you to confirm our telephone conversation on Good Friday, concerning the Miracle that occurred in our Church and Community. On the evening of April 27th, Holy Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., we started the service of the Holy Passion (i.e., the Service of the Twelve Gospels). Before I started the reading of the Holy Gospels, I placed a stand at the Holy Door and laid the Holy Gospel on it. The Gospel is in two languages, Greek and English, and the cover is gold plated with enamel on it. According to the Tradition of our Church, one side has the Crucifix of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the other side has the Resurrection. During the reading of the exact passages of the Holy Gospel, I left it at the Royal Door, on the stand. Father Anthony Sipsas, a retired priest, and I alternated reading the Holy Gospels, one in English and one in Greek.
When I finished the reading of the Fifth Gospel, I picked it up to place it on the Holy Altar while preparing ourselves for the procession of the crucified Christ on the Cross. When I picked up the Gospel, it was too heavy for me. I did not pay much attention to it, thinking to myself that I was tired from the work of the day. With Fr. Sipsas, the Altar Boys, and the reader, we started the procession of the crucified Christ singing the hymn, "Today is hanged on the tree, He who suspended the land in the midst of the waters...” After I placed the cross on the center of the Church in the Solea, we returned to the Holy Altar to continue the Service. As I stood in front of the Holy Altar, my eyes focused on the Holy Gospel's Icon of the Crucifixion. With great astonishment, I saw blood on the Holy Body of our Lord. Fear came over me. After looking at it for a long time, I called Fr. Sipsas and asked him to tell me what he saw. "Blood, my son, blood...I don't know," he replied. The blood was on the Holy Icon of Christ on the right side of His body at the place where he was pierced. Blood also appeared on the left side of His chest.
For the reading of the Sixth Gospel, I used another Book. After I finished reading the Gospel, I announced the miracle to our people. When the service finished, I called a few men to come into the Holy Altar to witness the phenomenon. Some of the ladies asked me if they could say a prayer to the Almighty God that His sign, a miracle, be for the best intended use of the world and to thank Him for the great and marvelous things that happened to us, the unworthy servants and sinners. During that prayer, I remembered that the Lord appeared to the Myrofores. As I finished, with great fear and tremor, because of my unworthiness, I proceeded towards the Holy Altar. I picked up the Holy Gospel and placed it in the solea for all people who were present to exalt and venerate.
The next day, Good Friday, before the procession of the Epitafio, I announced the phenomenon, the miracle, to the congregation again. After the procession, all the people present came to venerate it. The Holy Gospel remains on the Holy Altar and in the near future we will place it in a case. We will put it in the Church for glorification to the Almighty God and for strengthening the faith of the revered Christians. Asking humbly and with reverence that you will pray for me, the sinner, and the faithful of my Community, I wish that the resurrected Lord grant you health, happiness and long days.
Your spiritual Child in Christ,
Fr. Anthony Moschonas