For several days now, the Church has been calling its faithful children to “go and draw water from the wellspring of salvation,” from the “spiritual rock” from which waters of eternal life flowed, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who today in the River Jordan was baptized by John. This great Mystery, by which “every man that cometh into the world is enlightened,” is an exceptional privilege for every Christian through the rite known as the Sanctification of Water on the feast of Epiphany, to actually experience personal sanctification and enlightenment through the knowledge of the consubstantial and supernatural Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
With beautiful hymns and prophetic words, it seeks to touch the soul, presenting a wondrous spectacle that even the angelic forces marvel at with awe: how “He that hangeth the earth upon the waters” is received by the river waters; how “He that covereth the sky with clouds” is clothed in the waters of Jordan; how the Creator Himself of mankind disrobes, to cover the nakedness of Adam and to clothe him in a new and bright garment of spiritual rebirth, to warm the soul of fallen man, chilled by the cold of passions… The Lord sanctifies the water, so that we, clothed in flesh, through the visible sprinkling of the body with water, might more easily prepare the soul for anointing with the Holy Spirit. This sanctification should penetrate deeply into the inner being of man and make him a new creature, a renewed person, a dweller of paradise, and a witness to the Divine mysteries.
Inspired by the spirit of holy tradition of the Church of Christ, the Holy Monastery of Bigorski today with dignity and grandeur celebrated the feast of the Triune Epiphany, the event of the greatest revelation in history – namely, the revelation of the one God in Trinity. Divine manifestation, Enlightenment, Purification. For the soul, it is relief from sins and primal joy. With feelings of gratitude and life in spiritual light, numerous faithful from various regions, concentrated in the all-honorable temple of the Queen Mother in the village of Rostushe, prayerfully celebrated the day of Christ’s Baptism in Jordan by the hand of the Honorable Forerunner and Divine Baptist Saint John. The liturgical assembly, led by our god-loving and feast-loving Elder, His Holiness Bishop of Antania, Mr. Partenij, splendidly reflected the glory and honor of today’s feast. Prayers, thanksgivings, and mystical union with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, were the essence of the liturgical celebration in Rostushe.
After the Divine Eucharist, traditionally, with a prayerful procession, God’s people headed to the swift waters of Radika, where the Elder, through the rite of the Great Epiphany Water Blessing, invoked God’s blessing and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. And what filled every attendee’s heart with wonder was the multitude of young souls prepared to enter the sanctified waters out of love for the holy cross and for heavenly blessing. Thus, this year over two hundred and fifty young people entered Radika when Bishop Mr. Partenij placed the cross in the river, previously blessing them all with a fatherly blessing. Among them, Alexander Najdovski from Bitola had the greatest joy, retrieving the honorable cross from the sanctified waters of Radika for the second time.
After Bishop Mr. Partenij shared the joy and grace with the faithful people, upon a previous request from deacon Darko Nestorovski and the pious people of Gari, he headed to the glorious Miyak’s village of Gari, the birthplace of the ingenious woodcarver Petre Garkata, where, for the first time, he performed the Great Epiphany Water Blessing and sanctified the water streams of Garska Reka. Nestled in a picturesque gorge, amidst mountain peaks and high cliffs, the river in the village of Gari mystically spoke of its joy at today’s visit and the sacred rite performed in it. The blessing to retrieve the honorable cross from its swift waters was given to young Viktor Nestoroski. Great gratitude and unhidden joy and satisfaction were reflected on the faces of those present, who hospitably welcomed our Elder, Bishop Mr. Partenij, as it was a great blessing and a historic day for them to have a bishop visit, who blessed their village and the works of their hands and sanctified the waters, placing the honorable cross in them.
May God multiply the heavenly lights of this blessed day, leading us into His wondrous and eternal light of His glory.