Moscow, March 14, 2017
St. Seraphim of Vyritsa in Severomorsk, Russia, 640 miles north of St. Petersburg, reports the Severemorsk Diocese.
The icon was painted in the fall of 2016 and brought from St. Petersburg. The board was made from a pine tree that grew on the grave of St. Seraphim’s parents, Nikolai Ivanovich and Khionia Alimpeivna, at the St. Nicholas Church in the village of Spass-Ukhra in the Yaroslav region. The tree which grew up between their graves became too large and was cut down. It dried over the course of ten years, after which icon boards were made from it. This particular icon was written on one such board last year by a nun from Diveyevo Monastery. It was decided to send the icon to Igumen Mitrophan in Varzuga, but he became the bishop of Severemorsk, so the icon was sent there.
The miraculous appearance of the crown of thorns hanging on the Cross of Christ is obvious to all and the joy of this wondrous grace from God is felt by all who pray before the icon.
The icon was first publicly displayed on Friday, March 3 at the Presanctified Liturgy in the Severemorsk Church of Sts. Sophia, Vera, Nadezhda, and Lyubov, and will be present at all hierarchical services throughout Great Lent.