Streams of Grace: Hawaiian Iveron Icon Visits Seminary
11 October 2011 • Chapel Service
O Lady, Most Pure, grant peace and health to Thy servants,
all the Orthodox Christians, enighten their minds and direct their spiritual vision toward salvation.
—Molieben to the "Holy Myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon"
The refrain "Most Holy Theotokos, save us," rang through Three Hierarchs Chapel, as our community welcomed the miraculous "Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God" to our campus today. The icon, which began streaming rose-scented myrrh in 2007 and which has been the source of many miracles of healing, is visiting parishes and church institutions of all Orthodox Christian jurisdictions throughout the United States. It was brought to our seminary by its original owner and guardian, Reader Nektarios, of Our Lady of Iveron Church in Honolulu, Hawaii, a parish in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).
This morning, our chapel clergy, led by Chapel Rector and Dean Archpriest John Behr, celebrated a Molieben written to honor the icon. Pilgrims—among them many children—eager to witness the grace streaming from the image of the Virgin Mary and Child, venerated the icon throughout the morning.
The icon, a small paper replica of the Montreal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, was given to Reader Nektarios by his parish priest in the summer of 2007; it began streaming fragrant myrrh in October 2007. After Reader Nektarios notified his parish priest of the myrrh-streaming, the icon was brought to Our Lady of Iveron Church and was completely wiped dry. A service of intercession was held before the icon, and, by the end of the service, the icon was again streaming myrrh, and the church was filled with the fragrance of roses. In June 2008, the "Holy Myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon" was officially recognized by His Eminence Kyrill, archbishop of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR), as miraculous and genuine. Archbishop Kyrill for a time placed the icon in the Cathedral Church of San Francisco, but he later had the icon returned to its home in Hawaii. The icon and its bearer have been given the blessing to travel to various churches and monasteries of Orthodox Church.
"The icon has blessed thousands—tens of thousands—of people in all Orthodox jurisdictions," said Reader Nektarios, as he re-told the story of the icon in our campus chapel, following the Molieben. "It has visited more than 250 churches in the U.S. and Canada."