Signs In ROCOR In 2001

The Russian Inok
59 (222) October, 2007


Inok Vsevolod (Filipiev)

Mother of God's Kursk-root icon of the Sign
I. Miracle through the Mother of God's Kursk-root icon of the Sign

In August of 2001 in Chicago, a new wonderful miracle was worked by the Mother of God through her Kursk-root icon of the Sign, the protectress of the Russian Diaspora. Fr. Paul Ivashevich was visiting churches and homes of the Chicago and Detroit diocese of the Russian Church Outside of Russia with the icon.

A certain parishioner of the church in Minneapolis was waiting for the arrival of the Kursk icon in her home. All of a sudden, her collection of souvenirs, statuettes of eastern gods, which are popular now a days, began to fall off a shelf. Soon after this Fr. Paul arrived with the miracle-working icon.

Like in ancient times, the pagan idols fell when the Mother of God and the Christ Child came to Egypt, now through the icon of the Mother of God a new miraculous sign of the power of God was shown. It is interesting to note that the local priest, many times asked his parishioner to take the idols out of her home, but she refused saying that she kept them not as idols, but as ornaments and souvenirs.

And thus, people who have under similar pretexts statues of Indian, Buddhist, African, and other gods in there home should consider this story.

II. Fire at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville and the meeting of the new first hierarch

On the night of the 19 October/ 1 November 2001, when the Church celebrates the memory of the righteous John of Kronshtadt, and the non-Orthodox world celebrates the demonic feast of Halloween, a fire broke out at Holy Trinity Monastery. Around midnight a huge barn in which was stored farming machinery and cars caught fire or was lit on fire. 

The barn was located at the center of the monastery and thus there was a risk of the fire spreading to other buildings including two large buildings in which people live and the seminary. By Gods mercy that night the wind was blowing away from the other buildings and damage to them was not major. Nonetheless two other farm building and the seminary caught on fire. If the firefighters, which the brethren called, had come any later the seminary and the other already mentioned buildings would probably not have been saved. 

A venerable icon of the Iveron Mother of God, which used to belong to Metropolitan Filaret (Voznesenskii) is found in the graduation hall of the seminary. The fire, which broke through the window into the graduation hall, was stopped by the firefighters where the icon hangs. Despite the fact that the wall around the icon was burnt the icon itself was not damaged. A little while after the fire, some people remembered that Lev the Jordanville "Idiot" used to ask, "Did you venerate the Iveron icon? The one, which is in the seminary. No? Than go and venerate it!"

The firefighters battled the blaze till the morning.

This sad event took place on the night that the Most Reverend Laurus, the abbot of the monastery and rector of the seminary, returned from synod after being elevated to the rank of metropolitan and chosen the fifth first-hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. 

Like usual, the liturgy was served at six in the morning. A molebin was served after. Before the molebin Metropolitan Laurus preached to the brethren, seminarians and parishioners. In his sermon he remember the words of the psalmist, "The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death." (Psalm 118: 18). Vladyka Laurus humbly pointed out to his flock that the fire was a result of our sins and that we have to be thankful to our Lord and his Holy Mother for their clear intersession and mercy. This was the first sermon of the metropolitans in the Holy Trinity Monastery.

After the molebin, Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky) greeted Vladyka Laurus, on behave of the inhabitants of the monastery. Fr. Roman holding back tears addressed the Metropolitan with such words:

Dear Vladyka metropolitan Laurus. When we heard of your new first-hierarchal obedience, we were very joyous for you, but at the same time we were sad, because this is a heavy burden. We wanted to arrange a festive meeting for you, but the Lord willed otherwise… The fire shows us that that earthly life is not eternal. Everything here on earth is dust. Our main home is in the heavens. Despite this we shouldn't fall into depression. We are honestly happy for you, we are happy for your election and promise to always help you." In this humble way Metropolitan Laurus was greeted at Holy Trinity Monastery.

At the same time this humble meeting and the meek and humble attitude of our abba, Vladyka Laurus, showed us more than pompous and festive meeting of our new first-hierarch could have. The Savior says, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matthew 11: 29). Metropolitan Laurus is a true novice of Christ, who speeds to Christ's humility and meekness and leads his flock by being an example.

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Dear Readers,
Visiting the St, James Parish website mentioned in the previous post, I learned that Jose Munuz Cortez was murdered on October 31 n.s. in 1997. And the myrrh-streaming icon he carried for 15 years was one of the Iveron Mother of God. -jh

1 comment:

Joanna Higginbotham said...

This report on the fire that occurred at Jordanville the night Abp. Laurus was elevated to metropolitan (10/31/01) was in a Jordanville publication. Apparently the monk who wrote the article did not make the connection between the fire and Met. Laurus' enthronement. But when I was reading that a very powerful sense of awe and reverence descended upon me.