Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 October 2017

ROCOR Remembers the Guardian of the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God


On Saturday, the ROCOR marked the anniversary of the death of José Muñoz-Cortes, the guardian of the miraculous Montréal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Hundreds of believers from all over the USA and Canada gathered at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY (the ROCOR’s main monastery). Clergy served pannikhida and an akathist at the monastery cemetery in honour of Brother José, murdered 20 years ago in Athens. Believers put dozens of candles that burned for several hours at Brother José’s grave. One of the ROCOR’s main holy objects… the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God… was present at all the services. Amongst the believers was Angela Muñoz-Cortes, the sister of José Muñoz-Cortes. In an interview with us, she said:

In October 1982, I witnessed how the icon of the Mother of God began to glow in my brother’s house. I saw the miraculous flow from the icon, which happened at night. It woke up José with its strong odour. He didn’t know what it was. José thought that a friend who lived with him at that time used some cologne. Then, he saw the oily stains on the icon and thought that his friend carelessly poured oil on it. José wiped the icon, but soon the spots reappeared, then he realised that it was myrrh. My brother took the icon all over; it became one of the main holy relics of the Russian diaspora for fifteen years. He was very fond of the people that he met in parishes throughout the world. He was open to everyone and tried to help everyone.

José Muñoz-Cortes was a Chilean who converted to Orthodoxy in his youth at the Russian church in Santiago. In 1982, monks on Mount Athos gave him the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, which in a few months began to exude myrrh, and continued to do so regularly for almost fifteen years. Brother José was brutally murdered on 31 October 1997 in Athens, then, the icon disappeared. Presumably, the day before his death, he gave it to friends. Believers believe that the icon returned to Athos. The ROCOR Eastern American Diocese has set up a commission to collect documents for the glorification of Brother José. Ten years after the disappearance of the Montreal icon, in 2007 in Hawaii, a smaller copy, the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, appeared, which exudes myrrh to this day. Believers believe that in this way the Montréal image returned to them.

29 October 2017

Dmitri Zlodorev

RIA Novosti 


See also:

Metropolitan: ROCOR Commission collects documents for the glorification of José Muñoz-Cortes

First Hierarch of the ROCOR: We don’t sense problems from ordinary Americans

ROCOR thinks that the meeting of the Patriarch and the Pope of Rome didn’t bring together two churches


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Thousands Queue In Russia to See Religious Relic

00 Cross of St Andrew. St Petersburg, Kazan Cathedral. 13.07.13


On Saturday, officials said that around 65,000 people queued for hours in St Petersburg to see a religious relic brought from Greece, in the latest sign of the Orthodox Church’s influence in post-Soviet Russia. The Cross of St Andrew… said to be a relic of the X-shaped cross on which Apostle St Andrew the First-Called was crucified… was placed in St Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral (Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God) on Thursday after arriving from its historic home in Patras in Greece. A representative of the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called, which helped bring the cross to Russia, told RIA-Novosti that there were some 65,000 visitors in just the first days of its display, and that the numbers are increasing all the time.

The cross came from Greece as part of commemorations of the 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of the mediaeval Slavic state of Rus. The queue to see the relic snaked all around the cathedral with the faithful having to wait for several hours to venerate the relic. Local officials said that the atmosphere in the queue was cheerful. Tatiana Koroliova, 60, told AFP, “It’s a great event for all Orthodox. I came especially to St Petersburg from my house in the country which is 200 kilometres (125 miles) away”. The excitement recalls the frenzy that surrounded the appearance of the Belt of the Virgin Mary in Russia in 2011… also on loan from Greece… which attracted gigantic queues when it arrived in Moscow.

The communists suppressed the Orthodox Church, but it’s staged an astonishing recovery in post-Soviet Russia to become one of the country’s most powerful institutions. Symbolically, the Cross of St Andrew cross is being shown in the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg, which under Communism was a museum of atheism. However, the anti-Kremlin opposition accused the Orthodox Church under its powerful Patriarch Kirill of meddling in politics and instigating the harsh treatment of the Pussy Riot punk group. Two members of the punk collective are serving two-year prison colony terms for performing an anti-Kremlin song inside a Moscow church, in a case that divided Russian society. The relic is due to stay in St Petersburg until Monday, and then be taken to Kiev in the Ukraine, Minsk in Belarus, and to the Russian capital of Moscow before returning to Greece on 2 August.

13 July 2013



Editor’s Note:

The journey of the Cross of St Andrew is so “newsy” that even the Western press agencies are covering it. Take all Western reportage on the Rodina with a block of salt… much of it is nothing but meretricious and lying pro-crapitalist propaganda (especially, mistrust “Orthodox” lickspittles such as Sophia Kishkovsky and Serge Schmemann… they’ve sold out for the proverbial “mess of pottage“). Look at the inclusion of a blurb on Pussy Riot… most Russians don’t give a shit about these zapadniki poseurs… only a small English-speaking minority in Piter and the Centre do… and the clueless Westerners just eat it all up. However, don’t argue with Amerikantsy idiots about it… it’ll do you no good, it’ll just frustrate you to no good end, and it’ll just drive the Fox News propaganda deeper into your interlocutor’s (shallow) mind. Do mind this, though… the worst, most fanatic, and most closed-minded Amerikantsy are found amongst the “Orthodox” konvertsy… fancy that. Have a care…


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

International Procession with the Relics of St Vladimir Entered the Ukraine

00 St Vladimir relics. Odessa. 09.07.13


Editor’s Foreword:

All links in this (and all subsequent posts) dealing with religious topics will go to the Russian Wikipedia, NOT the English Wikipedia as the Russian version hews closely to the Real Church’s definitions, and the English version (to put it mildly) doesn’t. I’ll have more to say on this in a separate post (it’s that important). Please, use the translator in your browser if you lack facility in Russian. Yes, kids, it’s that important.



The Press and Information Office of the Diocese of Odessa informed us that in international procession arrived in Odessa from Sevastopol on Saturday with the relics of Grand Prince St Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, the Baptiser of Rus. At the Cathedral of the Holy Assumption, Bishop Arkady Taranov of Ovidiopol, clergy, and many believers met the relic. On the morning of 9 July, the reliquary went to Holy Assumption Monastery in Odessa, where it stayed until the evening. Then, it goes to Dnepropetrovsk (10-13 July), Chernovtsy (14-16 July) Užgorod (17-18 July), SvyatogorskDonetskLugansk (19-22 July), Kharkov (23-24 July), and Chernigov (25-26 July). 

In the Ukraine, its first stop was Sevastopol; the reliquary had been last in Minsk, in Belarus. In Sevastopol, the clergy and believers met the reliquary met at the monument to Apostle St Andrew the First-Called in the Khersones-Tavrichesky National Preserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). They took the relic in procession to the Cathedral of St Vladimir, where the Dean of Sevastopol Okrug, Archpriest Sergei Galyuta, served ​​a molieben before the relic. Grand Prince St Vladimir was baptised in Khersones 1,025 years ago, on the eve of Easter. The procession in the CIS dedicated to 1,025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus began in late May in the Primorye in the Russian Far East with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine. Normally, the reliquary with the relics of Grand Prince St Vladimir is in the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin. The procession will end on 27 July in Kiev when the hierarchs of various Local Churches will greet it.

9 July 2013



Editor’s Afterword:

Do note that Jillions said that he’d be in Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus after 20 July. That means that Mollard et al will be in Kiev for the big 27 July Dixie Fry. Do note that Jillions gave no return date. HH is clever beyond all belief… he knows that Lyonyo’s lusting for some sort of “blessing” upon the OCA. This means that HH is amenable to that… but only if the OCA jumps through his hoops and publicly enlists on his side in the MP/EP Great Game. HH WILL give public acknowledgement to Mollard… but Mollard will have to burn his bridges and piss off the EP in order to do it. It’s yet more proof that the OCA’s nothing more than a dependent and bootless protectorate of the MP (don’t forget what a protectorate is… a state with (formal) internal self-governance with foreign affairs handled by the “protecting power”… of course, the “protector” has much influence internally as well, doesn’t it? If this isn’t “indirect rule” by the Centre, I don’t know what it is… when will the charade end, I wonder?).

A source at the Centre doubts that Fatso will be part of Mollard’s entourage… “After all, Ovchinnikov didn’t show up at St Tikhon’s”. I’m not so sure of that… oca.org has been SILENT on the trip, its itinerary, and composition of the entourage (don’t you just love the extent of Lil’ Mizz Ginny’s openness and transparency? Snooty little snot, isn’t she?). In short, they view you with the utmost contempt, derision, haughtiness, pomposity, and condescension (haven’t the SVSniki always been like that?). I do know that several priests turned down the offer of accompanying Mollard on this junket. That’s why I have misgivings that he’s including El Gordo as part of his band. He’s that clueless, after all. We’ll have to see… I hope that my qualms turn out to be baseless, I truly do.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Patriarch Kirill Brought a Relic of St Lazarus the Four-Days-Dead from Cyprus


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias took a reliquary with a relic of St Lazarus the Four-Days-Dead from the Church of St Lazarus in Larnaka to Russia so that believers could venerate it. The solemn transfer of the reliquary marked the end of Patriarch Kirill’s official visit to the Republic of Cyprus, which lasted from 8 to 11 June. Orthodox Tradition relates that the Righteous Lazarus, whom Jesus Christ himself called his friend, was resurrected by the God-man on the fourth day after his death. Sometime after the resurrection of Christ, St Lazarus had to flee from Judea because his resurrection scandalised many Jews. He left in a sailboat, and, after a few days, the wind drove the fugitive to the shores of Cyprus. Whilst on Cyprus, St Lazarus met the Apostles Ss Paul and Barnabas, they ordained him Bishop of Kition, an office he held for the rest of his life. For his true faith and holiness, the Cypriots loved the saint very much. After his death, his followers buried the Righteous Lazarus near the ancient city of Kition, which later became Larnaks, which means “a grave or sarcophagus”, which subsequently became Larnaka in modern times.

His Holiness, when he took the reliquary from the hands of the rector of the Church of St Lazarus in Larnaka, spoke of the value that the relic had for believers, saying, “You can give us no greater gift than this. We’ll take these relics of your heavenly patron to the city of Moscow and put them in a place where many people will be able to bow before them. All those who bow before the saint’s relics will know your generosity. The veneration of this holy object will strengthen the love for Cyprus and the Church of Cyprus in the hearts of our people”.

In 898, Roman Emperor Leo VI the Wise transferred the recently-discovered relics of Righteous Lazarus to Constantinople (now Istanbul), where he placed them in a silver reliquary. Relics have miraculous powers; therefore, the Church of St Lazarus attracts thousands of pilgrims come from all over the world. Archbishop Chrysostomos Dimitriou of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus emphasised, “The fact that we loaned these relics to Patriarch Kirill signifies the special respect that the Local Church of Cyprus has for the Local Church of Russia and its First Hierarch. Today, our hearts overflow with a sense of the sacred and with sincere joy, because your presence here provides an opportunity for our pious and suffering people to receive a blessing from the distinguished First Hierarch of the Church of Russia, an exemplary man adorned with humility, sobriety, and love. With admiration, we watch your many-fold activities. Your deeds embellish the majesty of Orthodoxy, and they reinforce the hope for a better society in the world, relying on the principles of love and equality, based in the acceptance and recognition of the basic human rights inherent in all mankind”.

The history of warm relations between these two Local Churches spans the centuries. Russian pilgrims, travellers, sailors, diplomats, and merchants, en route to the Holy Land and the Levant always made a detour to the island to pay homage to its holy sites, to rest, and to replenish their supplies. Many left behind writings noting their fond memories of this blessed land. More than once, Russian icon-painters came to Cyprus to help decorate local churches. One could see an example of this at the world-famous Holy, Royal, and Stavropegic Monastery of the Mother of God of Kykkos that the Patriarch visited during his visit. At the monastery, His Holiness said, “When I was Metropolitan of Smolensk, I helped with the decoration of the Monastery of Kykkos. In the economically-hard times of the 1990s, I blessed a talented team of Russian painters and gilders from the Diocese of Smolensk to go to Cyprus in order to contribute to the beautification and restoration of this monastery. I haven’t been here until today, but it seems to me that they made the grade, as I see how well they restored the art here, including the iconostas in the church”.

In 1988, the then-First Hierarch of the Local Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos Arsitodemou, took part in the celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia. Since the early 1990s, many thousands of our compatriots have moved to Cyprus. In 1997, in Limassol, the Russian-speaking community of the city received a small church, where the clergy serve regularly in Church Slavonic. This helped to alleviate the problems in caring for the spiritual needs of Orthodox Russians living in Cyprus. During his current visit, Patriarch Kirill blessed the hillside site of another Russian church and laid its foundation stone. There are four Russian-language schools on the island and many colleges and secondary schools throughout the country offer courses in Russian as a second language.

The reliquary with the relics of St Lazarus will reside at the Stavropegial Convent of the Conception in Moscow {the convent is accessible by Metro: editor}. For its part, the Church of Russia gave a reliquary with the relics of Russian saints, as well as 19 icons painted recently by Russian icon-painters, as a gift to Cypriot churches and monasteries.

12 June 2012

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service


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