Canada: Romanian monastery celebrates pilgrimage with Hawaiian Iveron Icon

Mono, Ontario, Canada, July 28, 2023

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The Romanian Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Cross and St. Ephraim the New in Mono, Ontario, Canada, held its annual summer pilgrimage earlier this month, which was especially blessed with the presence of the wonderworking Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God.

Orthodox pilgrims from across Canada attended the pilgrimage in honor of the monastery’s Gerontissa Icon of the Mother of God, July 22-24, reports the Basilica News Agency.

The original Gerontissa Icon is found at Pantocrator Monastery on Mt. Athos, celebrated on December 2.

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The pilgrimage opened on Saturday, July 22, with Matins and the Divine Liturgy. That afternoon, the Sacrament of Holy Unction was served before the Hawaiian Iveron Icon and the Gerontissa Icon, followed by a procession with the two icons.

The services were celebrated at the monastery’s new summer altar, which it began building last summer.

“We have in our midst the Icon of the Mother of God of Hawaii, well-known to all of us. It represents the one who is the protector of the Church and the mother of us all,” said His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian of Canada.

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He continued:

Through it, through the myrrh that springs from it, we can perceive the visible sign of the invisible work of God’s grace. Icons are a presence of Christ, the Mother of God and the saints in our midst, in the midst of the Church and the world in which we live. They are a sign to all who ask for help from God and His saints.

If we look in the Holy Gospels, we will notice that the texts that speak about the Mother of God are few, but representative. Discreetly, the Mother of God kept the words about her Son in her heart. She is a model of obedience.

That’s why the Church ordered the reading of the Gospel pericope that talks about Martha and Mary. It does not refer directly to the Mother of God, but to the model of obedience that the other Mary offers, like the Mother of God, and that we must follow as the Church of those who heed the word of God.

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Also serving with Bp. Ioan Casian were Fr. Nektarios Yangston, the guardian of the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, Fr. Dumitru Gavrila—a spiritual son of both Elders Cleopa (Ilie) and Arsenie (Papacioc)—the clergy of the monastery and other visiting clerics.

The pilgrimage offered a very full liturgical schedule, with Matins and Liturgy, Psalter readings, akathists to both icons, Vespers, and Paraklesis being served on both Saturday and Sunday. The liturgical schedule concluded with a midnight Liturgy on Monday, July 24.

As OrthoChristian reported yesterday, the myrrh-streaming icon was then taken to the Antiochian Archdiocesan Convention in Phoenix. Read more about the Hawaiian Iveron Icon here.

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