On Wednesday, August 2, the feast day of the Holy Prophet Elijah, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, arrived in Jerusalem with a large group of clergymen and laity of the Russian Church Abroad from the U.S., Canada, Australia.
On Thursday, August 3, His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos III of the Holy City of Jerusalem & All Palestine, warmly received His Grace, after which the pilgrims proceeded to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where they venerated the Life-Giving Tomb of the Lord, Golgotha, and other holy sites.
On Friday, August 4, the patronal feast day of Gethsemane Convent of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene, His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, celebrated Divine Liturgy therein, and led a moleben and procession of the cross, co-served by Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), head of the ROCOR Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, and mission and visiting clergy. At the end of the service, Patriarch Theophilos arrived, joyfully congratulating all in attendance on the feast day.
After the veneration of the cross, a brotherly discussion was held at the Archimandrite’s residence between His Beatitude, Patriarch Theophilos, His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, Fr. Roman, Abbess Elizabeth (Smelic) of the Gethsemane Convent, newly-appointed acting abbess of Ascension of the Lord Convent on the Mount of Olives Nun Barbara (Novikova), and the clergymen who concelebrated at Divine Liturgy. After bidding farewell to Patriarch Theophilos, Bishop Nicholas and the clergy joined the festal luncheon being hosted by the sisters of Gethsemane Convent.
On Saturday, August 5, the feast day of Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, the pilgrims, led by Bishop Nicholas, participated in Divine Liturgy at Our Lady of Kazan "Gorny" Convent, and that night into Sunday, August 6, His Grace and the clergy accompanying him celebrated midnight Divine Liturgy at the Life-Giving Sepulcher of the Lord, along with a multitude of pilgrims.
Bishop Nicholas’ pilgrimage, organized by St. Seraphim Memorial in Sea Cliff, NY, to mark the 50th anniversary of the consecration to the episcopacy of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla), will continue until August 14.