NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Holy Theotokos of Iveron: Visit #2 with the Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Hawaii

"All your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad."

~ Psalm 45:8

Tonight, I was invited to participate in a joint-pilgrimage with St. George parishioners (Waimanalo) and Our Lady of Good Counsel (Pearl City) to venerate Hawaii's very own myrrh-streaming "Holy Theotokos of Iveron". It was my second visit with the alleged miracle-working icon... and like the first time I saw it in June 2015, this evening's events proved to be an unforgettable encounter with the supernatural.

The altar in the Eastern
Catholic Church.
From what I was told by a friend, the icon had recently been away from Hawaii touring the US mainland, and just returned this week. Its custodian, the Russian Orthodox Subdeacon, named Nectarios, was invited to bring the blessed image to St. Michael the Archangel Eastern Catholic Church near Mililani Town where tonight's veneration service was held.

The program started with the prayer of the Rosary, followed by a short talk given by the Subdeacon, who narrated to us his personal view on why the Iveron Icon drips myrrh. He basically reiterated that Our Lady is indeed our loving mother and she is manifesting this grace of oil to get our attention; to point the way to her Divine Son, as depicted in the icon. He also testified to a few remarkable cures recently attributed to the icon, which is renowned in Orthodox Church circles for the curative properties of the myrrh that frequently oozes and drips from its surface.

Immediately after the talk, a healing service followed during which the audience was given the opportunity to view and touch the icon's protective frame, as well as receive an anointing from the Subdeacon using some of the blessed myrrh-oil. We were told earlier in the evening that the icon was currently not streaming because of the Easter Season, however, when my turn came up to venerate the image, I found the icon's case slightly tacky to the touch due to a thin layer of oily, rose-scented myrrh.

The Iveron Icon's custodian, Subdeacon Nectarios, testifying about his many miraculous
experiences with the holy image.  The icon is displayed on the center podium.

Besides the delightful aroma that surrounded the image and its immediate vicinity, many silver escarchas appeared on the carpet leading up to the podium where the icon was displayed. While waiting in line, me and co-members from our Mililani Lady of Fatima Prayer Group noticed them manifesting on the carpet, and we may have inadvertently peaked some peoples' curiosity the way we kept staring at the floor and taking pictures. 'don't blame them if they thought us crazy... but the silver sparkles just kept appearing and appearing like many tiny stars against the blue color of the carpet - so beautiful!

The healing prayer service - pilgrims venerating the
icon and receiving an anointing with holy myrrh.

In spite of these clear signs that were being granted us in that tiny chapel, for me, what stood out the most about this evening was not the oil, the scent of roses, or the escarchas... but rather, it was the powerful presence of the Divine - it literally slammed into me! I'll just leave it at that because my experience with the icon was deeply personal... and the truth is - I'm still trying to absorb it all.

A small copy of the Iveron Icon with a piece of cotton soaked
in the miraculous myrrh that were distributed at the event.

I'll close this post by affirming once again that I believe in God; that I believe in Our Lady's role as intercessor and prophetess for the People of God; that I believe in the truth of the Iveron Icon and agree with the Subdeacon's assessment of it - Heaven is trying to point our way back to God and, in these times of extraordinarily flagrant wickedness, Jesus is resorting to extraordinary means to reach us - sending his own mother to anoint us with blessed myrrh; a scented oil, which in Sacred Scripture, denotes elements needed to resist evil: Healing, Strength, and Consecration to God's Work.  Our Lady of Iveron, pray for us!

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