Supraśl, Poland, August 16, 2021
Poland’s Supraśl Monastery of the Annunciation was the site of a joyous celebration last week in honor of the monastery’s wonderworking icon of the Mother of God.
Thousands annually gather for the feast at the monastery in northeastern Poland on August 9-10, and this year was no exception, as thousands of Orthodox faithful from Poland were joined by pilgrims from other countries in a 10-mile procession from St. Sophia Cathedral in Białystok to the monastery on the eve of the feast, reports the Romanian Orthodox Church’s Basilica News Agency.
The pilgrimage was organized by the Association of Polish Orthodox Youth. The pilgrims sang hymns and read prayers throughout the procession.
The services in honor of the Supraśl Icon were led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, with the concelebration of eight other hierarchs and a number of clerics, reports the Polish Church.
His Beatitude addressed the faithful before the Vigil on August 9, recalling the great event that took place in June—the consecration of the monastery’s main Cathedral of the Annunciation, which was rebuilt over the course of 40 years after the original 16th-century church was destroyed by Nazis in 1944.
The services in the monastery churches lasted all night, with the reading of the rule before Communion and several akathists.
Three Liturgies were celebrated the next day, with the late Liturgy led by Met. Sawa at the altar in the monastery courtyard. Following the service, the traditional procession around the Cathedral of the Annunciation was held.
The miraculous Suprasl Icon was commissioned in 1503 by the monastery’s founder, Metropolitan Jozef Soltan, as a copy of the eleventh century Smolesnk Icon in the Hodigitria style. The icon became one of the most venerated throughout the region with many miracles attributed to it. When the monks fled to Russia in 1915 they took with them the miraculous icon which was lost and later found destroyed. The monastery’s current icon is a copy painted one hundred years ago for the 400th anniversary of the monastery and enjoys wide veneration by the faithful of Poland and beyond.