On Friday, February 3, the day began with an early morning akathist to the Kasperov Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos at Holy Dormition Cathedral in downtown Odessa. Bishop Nicholas co-served His Eminence Agathangel, Metropolitan of Odessa & Izmail, alongside Bishop Diodorus of Yuzhnoe, Bishop Victor of Artsiz, Bishop Sergius of Bolgrad, and numerous clergy.
In his archpastoral sermon, His Eminence brought to the mind of the faithful His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, and the monks from Mount Athos, who were praying together for peace in Ukraine, and thus demonstrated the unity of the canonical Orthodoxy in the world. After the akathist, Bishop Nicholas visited the lower church, where he prayed before the relics of Righteous Jonah of Odessa.
Then, accompanied by Bishop Victor and Fr. Seraphim, Bishop Nicholas visited Holy Resurrection Convent in Teplodar, where he was met by the Abbess Nikodima, who gave him a tour of the monastery. The Abbess hosted His Grace for lunch, during which the convent's choir sang beautiful hymns and folks songs.
Afterward, the day wrapped up with a visit to the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet, one of the oldest and most famous edifices in Odessa, where Bishop Nicholas received a private tour of the entire facitily. The modern building was opened in 1887, while the most recent renovation of the theater was completed in 2007. Alexander Pushkin mentioned the Odessa Opera theater in his novel in verse Eugene Onegin, and “Forbes” magazine has included it in the list of most famous European sights.