The Soprano and the Miracle of the Holy Belt

Gina Poulou, who is a soprano with the Greek National Opera, has had the most astonishing experience. When the Holy Belt, the relic of the Mother of God, was in Nea Ionia, Athens, in 2017, she reverenced it. A few days before, a small tumor had appeared on her neck as had others in her breast. These unsettling symptoms, together with the pain she was feeling, terrified her and she was depressed at the thought of undergoing examinations and changing her daily routine.

Through the Internet, she learned that the Holy Belt was in Athens and a friend of hers sent her a message, telling her to go and reverence it, both for help and also to gain strength and courage.
‘When I read the message from my friend, I was overcome with a strong compulsion, I felt that Our Lady was calling me to reverence the relic. I saw the icon of her as ‘Broader than the Heavens’ and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I got up in tears, collected my children and went to the church. I can’t describe what I felt; it was indescribable. When I approached the Holy Belt, I felt a fragrance overwhelming me. I put on the ribbon [The Monastery of Vatopaidi places long ribbons on the Holy Belt, which are then distributed to the faithful for their succor and healing]. We returned home and the whole evening it was as though I hadn’t left the church. I slept so soundly that night, as if nothing bad had ever happened to me in my whole life.

The next day I woke up and there was nothing wrong with me. The lump in the neck was gone, as were the others, under the arm and in the breast. I tried to find them but I couldn’t. They’d disappeared. I went back and gave thanks in the place where the Holy Belt was. We also take courage from this holy relic. It’s part of the Mother of God’s clothing and of ours as well.

You can’t help but feel awe. It’s like all those personal items that we might have from people we love and we keep so as to remember them and to touch the people concerned. Our Lady left us her belt, to give us courage and a blessing. This is why the Holy Belt is miraculous, because it changes your life’.

Each of us has experienced a miracle, though we may be reluctant to speak of it in case people think we’re a bit odd, but the confession of our faith saves us. Faith, and the courage to confess our own truth about the help we’ve received so generously from Our Lady.





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OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not understand what man is.  Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.


Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.