For the first time ever, this past weekend Archimandrite Seraphim and the brethren joyfully hosted a visit by the miracle working “Quick to Hear” Icon of the Theotokos from St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Pennsylvania.
The Holy Icon arrived on Friday evening in the care of Archimandrite Sergius, abbot of St. Tikhon’s, accompanied by Rassophore-monk Michael and Rdr. Joshua. After being received with the festive ringing of bells the Icon was placed in the center of the monastery church, where it remained throughout the weekend for general veneration by monastics, parishioners, and pilgrims. On Saturday afternoon a festive moleben with Akathist was served before the Icon by monastic and local clergy, with many of the faithful from the surrounding area coming to pray before the Mother of God.
After Sunday Divine Liturgy and trapeza, the brotherhood received yet another great spiritual gift: with the archpastoral blessing and support of Metropolitan Hilarion, in the presence of the Icon Archim. Sergius tonsured our Fr. Anthony into the Great Schema. Fr. Anthony kept his name but gained a new patron saint in the schema, St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves.
Immediately after the tonsure service the Holy Icon was brought in procession to the construction site of the new monastery church. A supplicatory moleben was served, imploring the Mother of God “Quick to Hear” for her speedy intercessions on behalf of our ongoing building efforts.
After a full weekend, Fr. Seraphim and the brethren bade farewell to the Icon. With much gratitude to Fr. Sergius and the holy fathers of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, we ardently hope that this will be the first of many visits to come. O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!