The Miraculous Icon of Saint George Blessed and Sanctified at Mount Athos

At the desire and with the blessing of our beloved saint-loving Elder and Abbot, Bishop of Antanis, Mr. Partenij, these days a newly crafted icon of the Holy Great Martyr and Miracle-worker George the Victorious was taken to the Holy Mount Athos, to the two monasteries dedicated to the Saint, the Holy Monasteries of Xenophontos and Zographou, there to receive the blessing and to be sanctified by the original miraculous Moldavian icon preserved in the Zographou catholicon.

“We participated in an exceptional historical event, which is a great blessing from the Lord, and we felt the abundance of God’s grace on the Holy Mount Athos.”

The constant blessed feeling of the real presence of Saint George during the entire procession, everywhere and unhindered, opened our path, filling it with awe, joy, tenderness, and gratitude to everyone who beheld his beautiful miraculous icon.

“We were especially touched by the love, attention, and care of the Elder of Xenophontos, Father Alexios, who warmly welcomed us and made us feel at home. He was overjoyed with the icon! Upon seeing it, he immediately began to sing, to praise, to pray to Saint George, and then tirelessly to recount the history of the Monastery and its numerous miraculous icons. The joy that the Elder felt was a Mount Athos blessing from St. George. His prayers and wishes, for the Holy Victorious One to bring us trophies of victories, to protect us, unite us, and assist us in the work of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, were an abundant outpouring of grace that warmed and melted our hearts.

“It is a great blessing for your monastery and for your monastic community and for God’s people there, the coming of the holy icon of the Holy Great Martyr George the Victorious. I wish that the Saint always supports you, brings you trophies of victory, of spiritual victory, in this epoch which is particularly difficult. But the strength and grace of God will always strengthen us, and the intercessions of the Saints will assist us and lead us.

Please convey our deepest respect to the Abbot and Bishop Holy Antanis, Mr. Partenij, and tell him that we love him and await him” – spoke the consecrated servant of Christ with love.

Then he welcomed us into his abbot’s quarters and honored us with aristocratic love in the Spirit. His respect and love towards our father in Christ, Elder Bishop Mr. Partenij, were sublime in his following words, spoken with the depth of experience and asceticism: “Keep him, assist him, emulate him, for your Elder is an enlightened man, which is very rare in these difficult years.” These words of the eighty-year-old Elder profoundly imprinted in our souls.

The grace of the tradition they preserve, the respect for the order in the Monastery and in the Church’s structure, the love towards the Father of the Orthodox, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew, were true examples of genuine Christianity and monasticism that transforms and saves.

The joy and enthusiasm in the other Holy Monastery of St. George, called Zographou, which we visited the next day, eagerly waiting to bring it to the miraculous Moldavian icon and to seek the blessing and grace of the Saint to come upon our similarly crafted icon, made with the fear of God, faith, and love. The joy and satisfaction of the brotherhood of the Monastery with Elder Mr. Ambrosius and the many spirits of our forefathers who spiritually embraced us were a guarantee of St. George’s favor upon the icon we brought.

Both abbots and their brotherhoods were thrilled by the beautiful craftsmanship of the Icon and testified to the good and blessed work done. And we remembered the devout Mr. Ratko Kapushevski with his family, who generously endowed the Rajčica Monastery with this precious and historic Icon, praying God to bless them with every heavenly and earthly gift, life, health, and salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, and to make them worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This visit to Mount Athos will be remembered for the brotherly unity, concord, and unity in Christ’s love and His Saints as our unifiers in Christ. The prayers and good wishes of the Athonite monks were the advocacy and blessing of the Holy Great Martyr George to be with the Elder, the brotherhood, the sisterhood, our Church, and people.

The official reception of the Venerable Icon is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, March 30, in the Monastery of the Holy Great Martyr George the Victorious in Rajčica. An invitation to attend is extended to all saint-loving souls who wish to pay worthy honor to the Saint and to seek his blessing.