BY DANAE BLASSO (STAFF WRITER)
SOUTH CANAAN TWP. – Kyra Nightingale waited near the monastery archway Friday for a glimpse of the blue velvet box carrying what she considers to be a miracle.
She joined about 40 others to welcome the Weeping Iveron Icon, which arrived Friday from Hawaii for the beginning of the annual pilgrimage to St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan.
The myrrh-streaming Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, to which many healings from cancer, blindness and other ailments have been attributed, is made of paper but was kept in a ornamented velvet covering to keep in the fragrances and myrrh, Igumen Gabriel Monfarte said.
“It’s a blessing,” Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Igumen Sergius said. “It’s a sign of God’s mercy, love and inspiration for people because it is a miracle.”
The pilgrimage will take place over the course of Memorial Day weekend, and marks the pilgrimage’s 108th anniversary, Igumen Sergius said. Igumen Gabriel, who has been with the Monastery for two years, said members of all faiths are welcome to visit and pray to the Weeping Iveron Icon and several icons within the Monastery’s walls.
While the small gathering waited for the icon’s arrival, members of the monastery sang hymns to the saints and to the mother of God. After a procession led up to the monastery church, the audience gathered beneath the painted icons to participate in vespers and matins.
Following the service, dinner was served to the pilgrims who attended.
The icon was last brought to the monastery two years ago, Igumen Gabriel said.
Services and events at the monastery will continue all weekend, starting at 9 a.m. today with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated in honor of the conclusion of the academic year at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
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