Moscow, January 24, Interfax - Some five thousand pilgrims from various countries became witnesses to a sign that appeared on the holy River of Jordan on the Epiphany Day.
Immediately after Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem performed the rite of the blessing of water, the Jordan boiled up and began to flow back, just as it happened after the baptism of Christ, the Zhizn (Life) daily writes.
Right after silver crosses were thrown into its calm waters after the prayer, the river boiled up. A maelstrom developed and the current flowed back for a several minutes.
An ecstatic cry of five thousand people resounded over the Jewish desert. People refused to believe their own eyes, just as they did two thousand years when the Jordan turned its current after Jesus Christ entered its waters, the newspaper writes.
Speaking about the spread and celebration of Christmas, St. John Chrysostom says: " Magnificent and noble trees when planted in the ground shortly attain great heights and become heavily laden with fruit; so it is with this day."
So it is with the day of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple. In the beginning this day was discussed among Christians but the solemn celebration began from the period of the great Emperor Justinian. During the reign of this emperor, a great pestilence afflicted the people in Constantinople and vicinity so that about five-thousand or more people died daily. At the same time a terrible earthquake occurred in Antioch. Seeing the weakness of man's ability to prevent these misfortunes the emperor, in consultation with the patriarch, ordered a period of fast and prayer throughout the entire empire. And, on the day of the Meeting [The Presentation] itself, arranged great processions throughout the towns and villages that the Lord might show compassion on His people. And truly, the Lord did show compassion; for the epidemic and earthquake ceased at once. This occurred in the year 544 A.D. Following this and from that time on, the Feast of the Presentation [Meeting] began to be celebrated as a major feast of the Lord. The tree, in time, grew and began to bring forth-abundant fruit. (from The Prologue of Ochrid)