During the month of May 2017, an extraordinary event took place in the life of Orthodoxy in Great Britian. The wonder-working, myrrh-streaming icon of the Theotokos, normally resident in our parish in Hawaii (and thus commonly known as the 'Hawaiian icon'), was brought to the Diocese by His Grace Bishop Irenei and the icon's keeper, Subdeacon Nectariy Yangson.
The holy icon, which is a copy of the 'Montreal icon' of the Theotokos (itself a copy of the 'Iveron icon' found on Mt Athos) which was lost upon the martyric death of its keeper, Brother Jose Munoz, began to stream holy myrrh in 2007 — the very year of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion that restored full brotherly unity within the Russian Orthodox Church. It has been continually streaming myrrh, often in copious amounts, ever since; and the holy icon has been moved from the small private chapel where it was originally located to the parish church in Hawaii (after extended examination by the Holy Synod of Bishops), while work is apace to construct a new temple in Hawaii as a fitting, permanent dwelling place for the miracle-working icon.
The icon has travelled all over the world, with hundreds of thousand coming to venerate it. This was its first trip to the United Kingdom, and the icon was brought to nearly every parish in our Diocese, as well as being taken to parishes of the other Orthodox jurisdictions throughout England and Wales, to ensure that as many people as possible were able to venerate it and be blessed with the myrrh that flows from it.
The next Archpastoral visitation of His Grace Bishop Irenei will be from 4th - 23rd July. Below is an outline confirmed visitations on that stay.
- 6th-8th: Commemorative Festivities of the Holy Royal Martyrs on the Isle of Wight.
- Thursday 12th: Feast of Sts Peter & Paul:Venue to be announced.
- Saturday 14th: DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE: To the miraculous well of St Margaret and St Frideswide in Binsey (near Oxford), with Divine Liturgy in the ancient church at 9.45 a.m. followed by moleben at the Holy Well. His Grace will chair a meeting of the Diocesan Council this day as well. At 5.00 p.m., Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral.
- Sunday 15th: 9.45 a.m.: Greeting and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy (10.00) at Dicoesan Cathedral.
- Monday 16th: 6.00 p.m.: Vigil of the Feast (Diocesan Cathedral, lower Church).
- Tuesday 17th: Feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs (Altar Feast of Cathedral lower Church): 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast, followed by a luncheon in Cathedral Hall in honour of Feast and the 100th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Royal Family.
- Wednesday 18th: Royal Martyrs Sts Elisabeth & Barbara: Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Cathedral.
- Saturday 21st: Kazan Icon of the Theotokos, the Altar Feast of the Cardiff Parish: 9.00 a.m. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Cardiff. Reception to follow Liturgy.
- Sunday 22nd:Altar Feast of St Elisabeth, Wallasey: 9.45 greeting of the Bishop, 10:00 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Feast in Wallasey, with Cross Procession and veneration of relics of St Elisabeth and St Barbara. A Garden Party will follow the Liturgy.
Spiritual talks will be scheduled during the visit. As ever, those wishing to meet formally with the Bishop are invited to contact the Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Paul Elliott, to have a meeting added to the calendar, or to approach Bishop Irenei directly during his visit to speak personally.
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