Jordanville, New York, November 1, 2019
Br. José Muñoz-Cortes, the guardian of the wonderworking Montreal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, was brutally murdered in his hotel room in Athens, Greece on October 31, 1997. The icon disappeared after his death.
There are those who believe he is a saint, and a recent occurrence at his grave at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York could be seen as confirmation of that conviction.
As it has every year since the brutal slaying of Br. José, the parish community of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. organized a pilgrimage to the Monastery in his honor. The pilgrims arrived on Saturday, October 26, and a panikhida was served at his grave by Fr. Victor Potapov, the cathedral rector, and other pilgrims, reports the site of Holy Trinity Monastery.
The Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, itself a copy of the Montreal Icon, was present at the panikhida. It has been streaming myrrh for 12 years, and its guardian, Deacon Nectarios Yangson, has taken the miraculous icon all over the world. As the faithful fervently prayed for the repose of the soul of Br. José, the Hawaiian Icon began to gush myrrh, even more than usual, manifesting the blessing and presence of the Mother of God.
Fr. Victor describes the wonder:
Last Saturday the Hawaiian Icon was placed on an analogian next to the grave of br. Jose. As the first prayer of the panikhida rang out, I noticed a small dark spot that appeared on the white cloth covering of the analogian, just under the left side of the Icon. As the panikhida continued, the wet spot started to grow in size. A little while later, as the choir was singing, I came up to the analogian and touched the spot with the three fingers of my right hand. My fingers were covered with Holy Myrrh! As the panikhida continued, the spot kept growing! After the memorial service the Icon was lifted from the analogian and the entire back side of the analogian was covered in myrrh! The myrrh was not just streaming, but literally pouring forth from the Icon! All 100 people present witnessed this miracle. It was obvious to all that the Mother of God was pleased to be next to the grave of Her chosen one.
In honor of Br. José, the last martyr of the 20th century, and the wonderworking Hawaiian Icon, a new film has been released by the ROCOR Fund for Assistance, featuring footage of the icon streaming myrrh at the graveside, as well as interviews with Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of ROCOR, and Dcn. Nectarios on the legacy of Br. José and their belief that he is a true saint of the Church.
In October 2017, it was announced that an eparchial commission was created to gather and examine materials related to the possibility of canonizing Br. José.
Watch the film below: