The Miraculous Myrrh-streaming “Hawaiian” Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God in St. Clement’s Church in Toronto

Author: Fr. Aleksandar Todorovski

On February 23, 2024, with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan of the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese, Methodius, the Miraculous Myrrh-streaming “Hawaiian” Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God resided in the Cathedral Church of St. Clement in Toronto.

A large number of believers from various nationalities and corners of the world gathered in the church to welcome the Mother of God. When the icon arrived, the sense of awe permeated the soul and body at the mere thought of approaching a great sanctity. The entire church rejoiced, and the fragrance from the icon spread throughout the temple.

The Vesper service was officiated by the deputy hierarch and vicar of the American-Canadian Diocese, Archpriest Siniša Ristovski, who, along with Very Reverend Dragan Jordanov, joyfully travelled from Detroit to attend this solemn event. Regular and retired priests from other Macedonian Orthodox churches in Canada also served together.

After the service, the parish priest, Father Sasho Celeski, delivered an uplifting speech, sharing the great spiritual joy in our church community. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity for the faithful Macedonian Orthodox people to bow before the relics of St. Nectarios of Aegina some months ago and now to venerate the Holy Icon of the Most Holy and Immaculate Mother of God Mary, which continuously exudes myrrh and performs miracles.

Archpriest Siniša Ristovski addressed the faithful, conveying blessings from the Metropolitan Methodius, who, with his blessing, made this day possible in our Cathedral Diocesan Church of St. Clement. He emphasized that no one can gather so many people in three days except for the Mother of God. With Her blessing, and the blessing of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, we showed that we are a devout Macedonian people truly loved by the Mother of God. The “St. Clement of Ohrid” Church in Toronto is the third Macedonian Orthodox church visited by the Mother of God, following Her previous blessings in Macedonian Orthodox churches in Detroit and New Jersey.

Special thanks were given to the icon bearer, the guardian of the Icon, Father Nectarios, who graciously allowed the Icon of the Mother of God to reside in the Cathedral Church of St. Clement of Ohrid during his visit to Toronto. In his speech, Father Nectarios highlighted the continuous miracle of the Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, which has been streaming myrrh abundantly for 17 years. The greatest miracle one can witness, he noted, is the blessing of the Bread and Wine during the Holy Liturgy, which, after the invocation of the Holy Spirit, becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.

After the speech, the faithful approached the Icon with great reverence, kissing it with devotion. Then, Father Sasho Celeski anointed them with the holy myrrh flowing from this miraculous icon. All patiently and respectfully awaited their turn to kiss the face of the Most Holy Mother of God. When they saw the glass covering the Icon anointed with myrrh, joy reflected in their hearts and faces – some with tears, others with amazement at witnessing the continuous myrrh-streaming of the Icon. Everything touched by this sacred presence exuded the fragrance of myrrh, the scent of a thousand roses.

In June 2008, the Myrrh-streaming Iveron-Hawaiian Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God was officially declared and recognized as a miraculous and myrrh-streaming icon by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, worthy of veneration. It was given the blessing to travel to various churches and monasteries across the Orthodox world. Since June 2008, the myrrh-streaming Icon has visited over 1000 churches in North America and Canada, and over one million people in America and Canada have venerated it.

May the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God be heard by the Lord God, to protect our people from various trials, temptations, despair, false teachings, and may Christ, together with His Mother, the Immaculate, lead us to the One True God!

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