Between 2008-2010, the miracle-working relics of the newly glorified saint, Venerable Joanikij Rakotinski, whose memory is celebrated today, temporarily resided in the Holy Annunciation chapel at the Holy Monastery of Bigorski. After a little more than two years in Bigorski, while the process of inscribing his name in the diptychs of saints was underway, Archbishop Stefan decided that the time had finally come for the holy relics to return to his diocese in Skopje, where the Saint spent his entire monastic life, in devoted service to the Church of Christ. Thus, in 2010, the relics were transferred to the Monastery of Saint George the Victorious, in Krivi Dol near Skopje. After the Venerable Joanikij was inscribed in the diptychs of the saints on September 25, 2017, they were placed in the Cathedral Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid in Skopje for veneration. With the blessing of the Archbishop, one piece of those sacred relics that constantly works miracles remained in Bigorski Monastery.
While his relics were in Bigorski, our Venerable Father Joanikij performed several miracles, some of which are recorded. In honor of his memory today, we are publishing some of them here.
Saint Joanikij heals a brother of a suspicious growth on his mouth
The first miracle the Saint performed in Bigorski Monastery was in 2008 on the novice M. (today monk P.), who, as he himself said, with sincere prayer in front of the holy relics, asked the Saint to heal him from a growth, which even after an operation began to grow again in his mouth. After the Saint’s intercessions, this growth disappeared the very next day.
Venerable Joanikij heals a man from a large kidney stone and another man from cancer
Archimandrite Porphyrios, abbot of the Forerunner’s Monastery in Veroia, Greece was a great friend of Bigorski Monastery and had already read the Greek translation of the Saint’s life. During a conversation with Bigorski Monastery’s abbot, Bp. Partenij, he learned that the Saint’s relics were currently in Bigorski. Bp. Partenij gave him a piece of the saint’s smallest finger. Later on, Fr. Porphyrios recounted to Bp. Partenij a miracle that the Saint had performed through the relic. The neighbors of the Monastery in Veroia have the custom of occasionally bringing relics home from the Monastery for a short period of time as a blessing. On one occasion, Abbot Porphyrios lent St. Joanikij’s relic to a certain pious woman and told her that they belonged to a saint who was not yet canonized, but that nonetheless, he was a great miracle worker. Soon after the woman brought the relics home, her daughter came with her husband, Georgios, who had a serious health problem. Scans showed that he had a kidney stone of several centimeters in diameter and that he would have to have an emergency operation to remove it. That day was Friday, and the operation was scheduled for Monday. His mother-in-law showed him the relics and told him about the Saint’s wonder-working powers. Although Georgios was not a very religious man, he nonetheless venerated the relics in hope that God would help him through the Saint’s prayers. When Georgios went in for surgery on Monday, a routine scan before the operation showed no trace of the huge kidney stone!
Archimandrite Porphyrios recounted about another miracle that happened through the holy relics of the Venerable Joanikij. God’s providence arranged for a woman to come to his monastery in Veroia. She was gravely ill with cancer, and with strong faith in God, she asked Father Porphyrios to pray for her health. He gave her the Saint’s reliquary and told her that they were the relics of an unknown saint, and advised her to keep them in her home and pray in front of them for healing. After some time, the woman returned the relics with the joyful news that the Saint had performed a miracle for her, healing her completely of cancer.
St. Joanikij appears alive to a pilgrim in Bigorski
In 2009, on the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, professor Z. T. was touring the Monastery with one of the monks. She visited the Holy Annunciation chapel, and from the moment she entered, she felt someone’s presence, although there was no one else inside. The feeling was so strong that she even turned around several times and, finally, she noticed an elderly monk in one of the stasidia, with his head bowed in prayer. His presence caused her inexpressible tranquility and joy. She recounted this to the monk who was with her and even described very precisely the person she saw. At that time, no one except the monks knew that the relics were in the chapel, and the visitor herself knew absolutely nothing, neither about how Venerable Joanikij looked nor who he was. From what she recounted, the monks were convinced that the apparition seen by the guest in the chapel was indeed St. Joanikij.
St. Joanikij heals several people sick with cancer
In the final period of the relics’ stay in Bigorski, several people who had been gravely ill with cancer, including the pious D. B. from Skopje, had a prayer read for them in front of the Saint’s reliquary. According to their own testimonies, their health immediately improved, and even their doctors were amazed.
The miracles of Venerable Joanikij Rakotinski continue even today.
Through his holy prayers, merciful Christ our God, preserve our Christian race, and have mercy on us, the sinful and unworthy, and save us as Thou art good and the lover of mankind!
Hymns to the Saint:
From Zion above, in the Holy City,
look upon us and send us sweetness,
from sweetest Christ, our joy,
O Holy Joanikij, most gentle father,
Whom from his youth he loved immensely,
and exalted by Him, showed forth life.
O Joanikij, you are a shepherd, a teacher, and a healer,
pray to God for your flock
and from your relics, as from a mighty spring,
shine on all comfort from Heaven,
that all hearts may be filled with zeal and longing,
having your life as an example,
so that we too may pass through this stormy sea,
and take us there to your joy.