The Triumphant Welcome of Christ’s Victorious in Rajčica

There is no greater blessing or more grace-filled spiritual visit than when the patron saint visits his Abbey through a miraculous image. It is even more joyful that such a visit comes at the very heart of the Honorable and Great Lent, on the eve of the Sunday when we celebrate the great monastic teacher and defender of Orthodoxy, our Holy Father Gregory Palamas.

Namely, a faithful representation of the famous Moldavian miraculous image of Saint George the Victorious, which is kept in the Zographou monastery on Mount Athos, arrived at the Monastery of the glorious Victorious. Its arrival permanently sealed the Theotokos’ Athonite blessing for Rajčica and for the entire country, as it was previously sanctified on Mount Athos, in the two monasteries dedicated to the Great Victorious, Xenophontos and Zographou. And, as befits a military tribune, such as Saint George, today his miraculous image was welcomed into the Rajčica sanctuary with great honors, namely with the accompaniment of the Honorary Guard and the Military Orchestra of the Army, which with a salute welcomed the miraculous Icon in the monastery courtyard, faithfully carried on the shoulders of the Bigorski ceremonial guard. Thus, elevated high above the vast multitude of people that filled every corner of the Monastery, with a living real face, it seemed as if Saint George himself stood above the heads of the faithful, pouring out his blessing upon them. This heavenly blessing attracted faithful from all corners of the land, even from neighboring countries, among them significant state officials and benefactors of the Sanctities.

A special sight for us was the face of the Bigorski Elder and Abbot, Bishop of Antanis, Mr. Partenij, radiating joy before the miraculous image for which he had longed and prayed for so many years, hoping for the miraculous power of the Holy Victorious. He knew that, just as the Saint blessed the resurrection of his sanctuary nearly 25 years ago, as he deigned to honor us with his Holy Relics, so this time he would not remain indifferent to the pleas of a sincere heart in love with God, and would delight the sisterhood with his presence through this miraculous image. Indeed, hearts alike in spirit recognize each other. That same love of Christ that gives life to every creature, which once from an early age attracted and captivated the heart of the Holy Great Martyr George, has from the very beginning resided in the heart of our beloved Elder. With the unshakeable faith that he held, which shines in the world and has been an example of martyric confession for many great figures of the Church through the centuries, the Victorious renewed Orthodoxy in this region and through our Elder further solidified the faith in the souls of our people, especially those who hurried to participate in this great and extraordinary event in the history of our Holy Abbey and of our Church in general.

Therefore, as befits, the Elder in his greeting expressed his immense gratitude to him, as a powerful intercessor who has always guarded and protected the monastic sisterhood and the faithful who flock here, as well as to the generous donor, Mr. Ratko Kapushevski, together with his devout family. On behalf of her sisterhood, the abbess of the Abbey, nun Kasijana, took the opportunity on this special occasion to express the gratitude the sisters hold in their hearts, for all the deeds and miracles that God deigned to perform through the prayers of their Elder. The Military Orchestra dignifiedly greeted the Sanctity with several spiritual and appropriate festive compositions, and then the vast majority of the people had the opportunity to venerate the grace-filled miraculous image of the Great Martyr. The joy did not cease for a moment, and later in the festive vespers in honor of Saint Gregory Palamas, it turned into a beautiful and solemn praise.

May the glorious Victorious generously reward the donors, and may he keep his monastery and the icon in Rajčica healthy and unharmed until the end of the ages, until the Second Coming of Christ, protecting with his mighty intercession the Christian flock in this region and throughout the world. Amen!