On Sunday evening, 26 May, the faithful of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (Lansing NY) and representatives from at least eight other parishes in the area were witness to a miraculous night. The myrrhstreaming (Hawaiian) Iveron Icon of the Mother of God came for a visit. The icon’s caretaker, Reader Nectarios, traveled to the little mission parish and was met at the doors by Father James Worthington and altar servers. The icon was led in procession into church and the Akathist of the Theotokos’ Icon was sung. Over 45 people prayed as the Icon adorned the middle of the church.
The icon flowed with a distinctively fragrant myrrh (a profoundly robust aroma of fresh roses) from the moment it arrived until it departed. Indeed, the scent still lingers in the church! The condensation of holy oil on the glass case was noted by many. This same oil was used to anoint all those who were present. After this, those present were drawn back to the icon where it was venerated over and over again. Reader Nectarios then opened the case and showed the onlookers the icon itself (without all of its adornments).
One of the Orthodox faithful in attendance had this to say about her experience: “Reader Nectarios pulled 3 or 4 large cotton balls from beneath the Icon and gave them to Father James for the anointing. This was what Father James used to anoint the people in attendance … I was in the back of the church, so when I got to the front to be anointed I noticed that Father James' hands were puddled with the Holy Oil, which he said just kept reproducing during the blessing. I was truly in awe of this unbelievable experience! I took much time before the Icon to offer up prayers for everyone on my prayer list, that the Holy Theotokos will intercede on their behalf to her Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to bless each one with healing and comfort.”
This was truly a special evening in the life of the young mission parish. The icon has been venerated by 8,000 people in some cases, and by a few dozen at small mission parishes such as this one. In every case, she brings with her the message of love and unity that is brought about through faithfulness to our Lord, Jesus Christ, and through the intercessions of His Mother. Her pull is so powerful that people remained in her presence for several hours, asking questions and praying for all of those things carried in their hearts.