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Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories
The Miracle of Snakes in Greece
Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia
On the 15th of August the Greeks venerate the Virgin Mary. In the village of Markopoulo on the island Kefalonia also known as Cephalonia, every year around the middle of August, one can see snakes crawling to a particular church, the island has many churches but the snakes only go to this church, on the actual day, the 15th they climb (crawl) on the icon of the Virgin Mary, the church filled with people and the priest holding the service but the snakes have no fear, they are there around people's feet and looking to crawl on to the icon, as soon as the festivity is over they disappear and regain their normal behaviour. Important to note is that the snakes have a cross on their heads.
I have seen a television documentary and the whole thing is very strange, the narrator did say that it has scientists baffled.
To make the story as accurate as possible I went to the library and found some books, one said "knowledge passed from generation to generation says that the Virgin Mary saved a women's monastery from pirates and the snakes started doing this since then." Another said "that during all the years of world war 2 and the year of 1953 when the island had a series of severe earthquakes, the snakes didn't make an appearance, the locals use this as a sign that if the snakes don't show up just before August the 15th of a year something bad is imminent, but until now these are the only years they haven't shown."*
This is an unsolvable mystery for scientists. The dog who is the most trainable of all animals can't be trained to go to a place on a specific time of the year, especially when such a lengthy interval period of a year is involved. How then snakes who are completely untrainable do this? They have been doing it for many years, so the continuance of this ritual is passed from generation to generation, do the parent snake teach their offspring to go to this church? and who taught the first generation parent? Who taught parent and offspring alike not to fear people at this time? Clearly it's divine power who lead them.
The photographs (the black and white being more then 30 years old) show that this really happens, it is even more convincing if you see it live, or by seeing a documentary. As I have said previously the whole thing has been studied by scientists and they fail to give any explanation.
When God commissioned Moses to go to the Pharaoh and the Egyptians he used a serpent to impress them, Exodus 4:2,3,4 'Moses said ,"But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say." 'The Lord did not appear to you.' The Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" Moses said " A rod." And God said, "Cast it to the ground." So Moses cast it to the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to him, "Put out your hand, and take it by the tail." So he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand.' Exodus 7:10 "So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did as the Lord commanded; Aaron cast down his rod before the Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent." There are a few other times where the serpent is mentioned in the Bible as a miracle, example Numbers 21:6,9. It seems that God likes to use the snake to impress us.
Any event that has one chance in just 10 (1 followed by 50 zeros) is dismissed by mathematicians as could never happen, could never happen that is by our logic, our knowledge of the world. I wonder what odds would the mathematician give after studying these facts: The same day humans venerate the Virgin Mary, the snakes are there with a new nature in the church and crawling on to the icon, which happens to be that of a Divine entity the mother of Jesus Christ, the snakes all of them with a cross on their heads, the cross being the symbol of Christianity, as soon as the festivity is over the snakes regain their normal behaviour and disappear, but will change this behaviour only at the same time next year. The mathematician must also take in consideration that no one has ever been able to train a snake, even as something simple as a daily walk (crawl) to the park, what odds could he give? After considering all the facts he would give odds far greater then the 10 as naturally could not happen, this is why scientists regard it as unexplainable.
* I did some research and found a more accurate account of the story and this is the update.
Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow. He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.
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