Story by Rev. Fr. George Giannios – OCP News Service – 20/9/18
Shared by Anastasia Giannios-Poulos
The story of Saint Dismas (‘Demas’ in Coptic Orthodoxy) the ‘Penitent Thief’ who was crucified with Jesus Christ.
St. Mary (Holy Theotokos), Joseph fled (with Child Jesus) to prevent child Jesus from being slaughtered (there was an order to kill all kids under the age two by King Herod). While fleeing, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus came across a group of thrives who wanted to rob them. As the robbers approached Jesus, he appeared illuminated and they recognized Him as a very special child with divine charisma. Instead of robbing them, the three were taken to the camp and was provided with food and shelter. Meanwhile, Mary heard a baby crying inside the camp. It was the son of the ‘head-thief’ who was ill and would not nurse.
Mary asked for a basin of water and she used the same to shower child Jesus. Then she asked to bring the sick child. Mary washed the sick child in the same basin water (as it was now blessed). The child was immediately healed. In addition, the Holy Theotokos asked that the water should be poured somewhere so that none could step. Mint grew on the soil where the holy water was poured. In Greek, we call mint ‘DIOSMO’ meaning ‘Dio Osmi ‘ (2 souls!!!). Basil was found where the cross was buried. Hence, we use mint and basil while preparing ‘Holy Water’ for blessing houses.
This child was the same man who was crucified on the right side of Jesus Christ. He repented in his final hour saying, ‘Lord, remember me in Your kingdom’!!! The Lord answered ‘where He shall be, so will he’. A thief, who stole all his life stole the paradise! He was the first man to enter heaven right after the passing of Jesus Christ!
OCP News Service