A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 2)

He saved a woman from the deadly sin of adultery...
Nicoletta then took a long sip of coffee and began to tell her story with Crazy John... 
"One evening" she said "perhaps ten or more years ago, I saw a young man wandering aimlessly in our neighborhood. I watched him purposely, because I thought he was a burglar. Suddenly, I noticed Crazy John coming out of his building in a hurry and quickly walking in the direction of the only ground-floor house in the neighborhood, where a four-member family was living as tenants.
The fool sat himself squarely on the steps of the front yard, and began to chant the hymns to the Panaghia out loud. He especially liked to chant  "O Virgin pure...."
Two hours went by, but the fool continued to chant hymns. I went out and told him to stop. Then I noticed the young man walk hurriedly away.  The fool got up and went inside the house. I followed him out of curiosity, to see what was going on.  I must admit that my mind went to something sinister. I rang the doorbell and a young woman opened the door.
Crazy John was seated at the kitchen table, eating something the young woman had served him.  Next to him stood her five year old son. Turning to the boy, the fool began to tell him that one of God's ten commandments is the one that says "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

--"You know Georgie, adultery is not something that God likes. Adultery opens a gate for Satan, who then enters the home and wreaks havoc. That's when families break up, and sicknesses and pain and hatred come in through the windows and drive out God's blessing that was given with the sacrament of Marriage.  Man and woman - like your daddy and mommy - become one flesh with marriage dear Georgie; one body. With adultery, it's like cutting off your arm."
I have to admit that made me very angry.... 
--"What on earth are you telling that poor child, you ungodly wretch?" I said.  The young woman burst into tears and said between sobs "He's saying it about me; leave him alone - don't scold him...."
But Crazy John quickly got up and left. The young woman then confessed that she had planned to cheat on her husband with a young man she had met in a cafeteria that she had been to with a friend of hers for coffee. She told her that the young man was supposed to meet her at her place, thus taking advantage of her husband's absence, as he was out of town on business, but God protected her and the young man didn't come.
"I narrowly escaped a huge disaster, dear Nicoletta.  I would have broken up my family and my marriage.  When Crazy John knocked at the door, I thought it was that young man, and I wouldn't have had the strength to send him away.  Fortunately God saved me from committing a terrible sin...."
--"It was the fool who saved you" I said to her, "because the young man had indeed come this far, but the fool was sitting on your doorstep outside for hours, chanting incessantly, while the young man was pacing outside your door. Didn't you hear him?" I asked her.....
--"I had heard" - the baker interposed - "that John wanted to become a priest, ever since he was a child. But then came the German occupation, followed by the civil war, so he never managed to finish his schooling. He only managed to learn to read and write a little. Thus, while still relatively young, when he went to the Bishop and asked him to ordain him a priest, the Bishop had deterred him, and instead recommended that he first go to school.
But now, with all these things that are being said about John, and with everything that I personally know about him, I can safely say that God may not have made him a priest, but He surely anointed him a Bishop in our neighborhood. These last words by Mister Apostoly were drowned in his sobs and his tears....

The secret life of Crazy John...
Tears also began to fall in the eyes of many more who were present. Everyone wanted to deposit their own testimony. Two girls were observing the scene at a distance from the others, looking somewhat confused. You could clearly discern admiration combined with a feeling of sadness, from the expression on their faces. None of the people present knew who the girls were, and they were curious to find out who they were...
Mister Anastasy thought that they might have a family bond with the deceased John, so, being the janitor of the building, he took the initiative and asked them if they were related to the recently departed for the Lord, brother John...
The robust girl then began to say the following, after brushing away her tears: 
--"My name is Arete, and my friend here, Calliope, works with me at the Children's Hospital. Several years ago, we came to know mister John the Clown. That's how we knew him - the one that you call Crazy John.  He would come almost every Sunday afternoon, always laden with toys. He would share them amongst the children and he would play with them.  He loved them all, but showed special care and love for all the newly-born babies that were growing up alone in the hospital, because they had been abandoned by their parents.  He used to bring them clothes and toys and would always leave some money with the nurses on duty, in case the children needed something else, for whenever he couldn't go there.  We didn't know him as a fool, like you do. To us, he was the kindest clown, who entertained the children like no-one else could..." 
--"H especially loved a little child whose parents had abandoned it because it was born with Down's Syndrome", Calliope added. 
"But tell me, little Calliope, how could they leave behind this tiny angel?" he would wonder. "If only they (the parents) knew that this angel was for them a ticket to Paradise and eternity, they would never have abandoned it. How on earth do you turn your back on such a treasure?  Our Lord - dear little Calliope - said that He is Love. And you know that love contains sacrifice. Love without sacrifice is like an empty can - an unvarnished one, as my dear mother used to say. Christ - dear little Calliope - said that whoever doesn't have sacrificial love resembles a zero.  If we only knew dear girl what treasures God sends to man continuously to save him, we would be jumping for joy. Here, take a look at this angel here - this is one of those treasures...   In fact, I will tell you a secret. If we could find a good family today who would adopt it, then not only would they receive innumerable heavenly blessings, but also, with the sacrifice of their love, in embracing a little angel with a wounded body, they would even cure it.  Because our Triadic God is merciful and caring..."
These are the things that mister John would say as he looked at the sick and abandoned little child asleep in its tiny hospital crib.
--"Isn't it strange little Calliope how people nowadays care more about little animals, and pay no attention to these little children?  I'm not saying we shouldn't love birds and animals. We should care about them too, but how much more should we care about suffering mankind, who is made in the likeness of God?  We need to become Good Samaritans nowadays, so that we might give up our lives also if necessary, to comfort our fellow-man. Don't forget that  - especially you nurses, whose work is linked to human suffering..."

No comments:

Post a Comment