On Friday, January 18, the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God arrived in Miami, Florida. This was the holy Icon’s first visit to Florida. Archpriest Daniel McKenzie (rector of St. Vladimir’s Church in Miami), Priest Gregoire Legouté of the Haitian Orthodox Mission, Deacon Demetrio Romeo (cleric of St. Vladimir’s Church), and parishioners greeted the Icon. St. Vladimir’s had been the first church in the U.S. to invite and receive the blessing of a visit of the myrrh-streaming Montreal Iveron Icon in the care of brother Jose Muñoz-Cortes, of which the Hawaiian Icon is a copy, in 1982. A few parishioners who had participated in the Montreal Icon’s 1982 visit were present.
After the Iveron Icon’s arrival, a moleben and akathist were served, followed by a panihida for Archpriest Alexey Ohotin, who had reposed that morning. Reader Nectarios shared with the congregation his beautiful experience accompanying the Icon to Fr. Alexey’s church several months before his repose. Veneration continued into the night, when the Vigil for the great feast of Theophany was served. Reader Nectarios shared more of his experiences with this grace-filled icon. Other clergy participating in the services were Priest PhilipKontos (rector of St. Peter the Apostle OCA Mission in Jupiter, FL), Priest Fouad Saba (rector of St. George Antiochian Cathedral in Coral Gables, FL), and Priest David Wooten (rector of Holy Apostles OCA Mission in Miami, FL).
On Saturday morning, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated for the great feast of Theophany by Fr. Daniel, Archpriest Nicholas Bargoot (cleric of Holy Epiphany Church in Boston, MA), Fr. Gregoire, Deacon Thomas Branch (parish deacon) and Fr. Demetrio. The church was overflowing with the faithful. The Liturgy was followed by the Great Blessing of the Waters. The Icon's guardian then described the history and significance and miracles of the Icon to the faithful, especially its connection with the Montreal Icon, Brother Jose of blessed memory, and the Holy Theotokos of Iveron Church in Hawaii. Pieces of cotton with holy myrrh from the Icon were distributed to the people.
Upon completion of the service, a festal luncheon was served in the parish hall, after which the clergy and faithful bade farewell to the Icon as it embarked on a journey to bless churches and monasteries along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Miami, FL: The Hawaiian Icon Visited St. Vladimir’s Church - 01/20/13