My question is inspired by Saint Macarius of Egypt (c. 300 – 391) , venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. Traditions about him affirm that God bestowed upon him charismatic gifts such as healings, knowledge and revelation. See this related question for quotes about him from several sources.

I don't think that Macarius of Egypt is an isolated case, so I'm curious about the situation of other saints venerated in Orthodox and/or Catholic Churches.

How common are manifestations of charismatic gifts among saints venerated in Orthodox and/or Catholic Churches? Is this a common experience among many saints throughout history?

3 Answers 3


How common are manifestations of charismatic gifts among saints venerated in Orthodox and/or Catholic Churches?

I would venture to say that they are somewhat common, but not extremely common. Most saints prefer not to draw attention to themselves, but rather towards God, the Creator of All.

By contrast, Saints almost universally thought themselves as the greatest of all sinners. This makes logical sense in the fact that the closer united a soul is to God, one has a keen sense of what sin is and how it offends the Divine Majesty.

In 1 Timothy 1:15, the apostle Paul summed up the gospel of God’s grace: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (NKJV). The magnitude of the gift he had gained in Christ was best understood by Paul when set before the dismal backdrop of his own deep depravity. And so, with humble gratitude, Paul accepted the title “chief of sinners.”

There will be found some saints who exhibit manifestations of charismatic gifts in every century. That much can be historically verified in both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, but to say it is extremely common is not so.

One thing is for sure, that towards the end times there will be a greater outpouring of charismatic gifts amongst all the faithful. I would like to hope that many of them would become saints also.

…16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17‘ In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on My menservants and maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.… - Acts 2: 16-18

  • One of the challenges in authenticating a miraculous answer to prayer is whether one can show a probable causal link between a visible prayer (requests) and a miracle occurring. I was once in a gathering of unbelievers. One person in the group lost her wallet. In desperation she asked Saint Christopher to help her find it. She immediately found it. How to process that result, as a Protestant, involves a few extra assumptions that God hears our prayers regardless of whether others are praying for us or not.
    – Jess
    Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 17:24

It is extremely common within the Eastern Orthodox Church. Some examples from the 20th century:

You might be interested in reading the book Everyday Saints, by Archimandrite Tikhon. It is a very absorbing book that was the #1 bestselling book in Russia (of all categories) for a time. It deals with miracles surrounding some of the monks of Pskov up to almost the present day.


One of my favorites is St. Gregory the Wonder Worker, who was likely born in 205 and passed away sometime between 265-270 AD.

Saint Basil writes of Gregory:

“But where shall I rank the great Gregory, and the words uttered by him? Shall we not place among Apostles and Prophets a man who walked by the same Spirit as they; who never through all his days diverged from the footprints of the saints; who maintained, as long as he lived, the exact principles of evangelical citizenship? I am sure that we shall do the truth a wrong if we refuse to number that soul with the people of God, shining as it did like a beacon in the Church of God; for by the fellow-working of the Spirit the power which he had over demons was tremendous, and so gifted was he with the grace of the word “for obedience to the faith among . . . the nations,” that, although only seventeen Christians were handed over to him, he brought the whole people alike in town and country through knowledge to God. He too by Christ’s mighty name commanded even rivers to change their course, and caused a lake, which afforded a ground of quarrel to some covetous brethren, to dry up. Moreover his predictions of things to come were such as in no wise to fall short of those of the great prophets. To recount all his wonderful works in detail would be too long a task. By the superabundance of gifts, wrought in him by the Spirit in all power and in signs and in marvels, he was styled a second Moses by the very enemies of the Church…”

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