February 24, 2024

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

Inside “Panagia”, Outside “Panagia” – A 75+-Year-Old Story about Gratitude from Thessalonica Applicable to our Attitude to Both God and Men

1 min read

It is common knowledge that the city of Thessalonica of Northern Greece had an influential Jewish community. One such family had a staff of house servants which included both Greeks and one poor Jewish girl.
The lady of the house was in labor to give birth to their last child. She was giving birth at home in her own room which was still common at that time.
The woman began to have difficulty giving birth. Her young Jewish servant was frightened by the pain and discomfort of her lady. The Jewish servant then started to make huge “come-here” gestures saying, “Come inside here my Panagia” (Panagia = literally “All-Holy”, the most commonly used address to the Theotokos in every day Greek life).
Immediately, the lady of the house gave birth. As soon as the birth was complete, the young Jewish servant girl picked up a towel and began making swooshing movements saying, “Now out of here Panagia”.
This is typical both of our attitude towards God and fellow man. When we are desperate or in need, we invite God into our lives but we try to usher Him out of our choices when the need is gone.

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