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


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bulgarian Orthodox Church Celebrates Centennial of St Aleksandr Nevksy Cathedral in Sofia and the Birthday of Patriarch Maksim


Bulgarian Orthodox believers assembled Sunday morning at the St Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia for a special Divine Liturgy commemorating the centenary of the cathedral’s construction. This marks the beginning of a three-day festival by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, celebrating not only the centenary, but also the 130th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the cathedral, and the 98th birthday of Patriarch Maksim Minkov.

Born 29 October 1914, Maksim was enthroned as head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1971; he’s the eldest head of an autocephalous Orthodox Church in history. Patriarch Maksim’s health has been unstable of late, he’s currently in hospital due to dizziness and instability; believers will pray for him Sunday and Monday.

The construction of St Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral began in 1882; it’s one of Sofia’s most significant landmarks and the Bulgarian Patriarch’s Cathedral. It wasn’t complete until 1912; its formal dedication didn’t occur until 1924. Late Saturday, a copy of the miraculous Dostoino Yest (It Is Truly Meet) icon of the Mother of God from Mount Athos arrived at the cathedral for the festivities.

28 October 2012


Sofia News Agency



Tuesday, 17 April 2012

17 April 2012. It Happened in Macedonia…

Editor’s Foreword:

There was a case of miraculously-renewed icons, this time in Macedonia. It even made The Economist (I post the short piece from it below). These eleven images are of the icons and the church where they’re located…














Stir It Up

It’s a miracle! Just before Orthodox Easter this weekend, thousands of Macedonians flocked to a church in Skopje, the capital, in which, reportedly, the frescoes of saints began to gleam in a heavenly manner. Across the nearby Ottoman-era Stone Bridge, which spans the Vardar River, crowds relax in packed cafés. Albanians, who make up about a quarter of Macedonia’s population of 2.1 million, are part of the throng.

That’s another miracle of sorts. Between January and March, inter-communal violence rocked the country. A Macedonian policeman killed two Albanians in a dispute that may or may not have been ethnically-based. A village carnival that mocked Muslims and Greeks elicited angry responses from both sides. People burned flags in public, and sectarian chanting broke out at football matches. To some, these events revived unpleasant memories of 2001, when Albanian guerrillas led by Ali Ahmeti fought pitched battles with the Macedonian security services, and the country came close to civil war. Nevertheless, it stepped back from the brink… and Mr Ahmeti’s party is now in government. The cause of the recent surge in violence is a mystery. It stopped as suddenly as it started. , a local analyst, suggested that somebody wanted to “show off their capacity for destabilisation”. Some predicted that armed conflict was around the corner.

Nevertheless, a well-placed diplomat disagreed, insisting, “We aren’t going back to 2001”. The problem, he said, is that Macedonians don’t feel they’re moving towards a better future. That can change only if the country resolves its 20-year-old quarrel with Greece, which argues that Macedonia’s name implies a territorial claim to a Greek region of the same name. The row has blocked Macedonia’s accession to both NATO and the European Union. However, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki lamented that Greece’s other problems mean that the name issue “isn’t among their top thousand priorities”. In the meantime, Macedonia must deal with high unemployment. Silvana Mojsovska, an economist, stated that macroeconomic stability hasn’t led to job creation. Macedonia needs more miracles.

14 April 2012

The Economist


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