Beloved brothers and sisters in our Incarnate Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I received a telephone call today from a dear friend, and brother in Christ, Father Dragan Petrovic, with wonderful news. Father Dragan is the Serbian Orthodox priest of Saint Nicholas in Indianapolis.
Father Dragan has been given the responsibility, along with other Serbian Orthodox priests, to take a miraculous, holy, and myrrh-flowing Icon of the Ever-Virgin Mary to the various Serbian Orthodox churches in the area, and of course, to their Women's Monastery at New Carlisle. More information on the Icon is available at http://www.orthodoxhawaii.org/icons.html
Father and his family have visited Saint Andrew many times over the years, and he and his family, love our church. He was kind enough to think of us and he has offered to bring the miraculous and myrrh-flowing icon to our church this coming Friday for all of us to venerate and receive the Mother of God's blessing.
The Holy Icon will arrive at our church sometime between Noon and 1pm
For those of you that may not know what happens at the veneration, I will explain.
The Holy Icon will be placed on a stand or a table at the Solea of the church. In front of it there will be a vigil light along with flowers. Immediately the divine service of the Paraklesis (Supplication) service will be conducted (once the Icon has arrived) for the health and protection of our entire parish. Following the divine service Fr. Dragan will speak on the history of the miraculous and Myrrh-flowing Icon of the Mother of God and then you will be asked to come up to venerate it.
The way we proceed is the following:
The Orthodox Christian will make the sign of the cross and then prostrate before the holy icon and venerate it. Immediately afterwards, either one of us, or both of us, will be anointing everyone present, with holy oil.
As far as I know, this is the first time that a holy, and miraculous icon, has been brought to Saint Andrew.
One does not have to be physically ill, to attend the divine service, and seek the All-Holy Mother of God's blessing. Spiritually, all of us are ill, and are in need of forgiveness and healing.
I know, however, that we have fellow brothers, and sisters in Christ, in our parish, that are indeed seriously ill, and, therefore, this a unique opportunity for all of them to receive the Theotokos's blessing and hopefully, healing.
I am most grateful to Father Dragan for thinking of us and of his love for our parish.
Please inform everyone of the holy icon, and encourage them to attend.
In His Divine Nativity,