On September 10, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Finding of the Relics of Venerable Job of Pochaev, as well as the Synaxis of the Venerable Fathers of the Far Kiev Caves.
On Saturday, September 9, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan visited St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ, accompanied by Bishop Victor of Artzis, vicar of the Diocese of Odessa, who is currently traveling on pilgrimage to the U.S. Bishop Victor journeyed to North America at the invitation of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and with the blessing of His Eminence Agathangel, Metropolitan of Odessa & Izmail, in order to better acquaint himself with the holy sites of Orthodox America. Bishop Victor visited St. Nicholas Monastery in North Ft. Myers, FL, Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in Philadelphia, St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral and the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, where he met with Metropolitan Hilarion.
In St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bishop Victor led the All-Night Vigil, co-served by Bishop Nicholas, cathedral dean Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Archpriests Boris Slootsky (cathedral cleric), Rafael Melendez (cleric of the Albanian Orthodox Church), Seraphim Chemodakov (cathedral cleric), and Yaroslav Lutoshin (cleric of the Patriarchal Cathedral), Hieromonk Arseny (Manko) and Protodeacons Leonid Roschko and Paul Drozdowski (cathedral clerics).
Addressing the gathered faithful, Bishop Nicholas said, "Today we celebrate the finding of the holy relics of Venerable Job of Pochaev. In the 12th century, during great trials, St. Job firmly defended the Orthodox Faith, and was himself an example of ascetic struggle and prayer. In our day, when we are surrounded by troubles, temptations, trials, enticements to set aside the fasts, to abandon God and the Faith, let us pray to St. Job, remembering well that we are not alone, that such saints as Venerable Job protect us with their example and their prayers; let us confess the Orthodox Faith and thank God that we have the opportunity to commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries, to live the life of the Church, and to protect our loved ones from the allurements of this world."
Greeting Bishop Victor, Bishop Nicholas recalled his visit to Odessa last February for the namesday of Metropolitan Agathangel, and his meetings with the Ukrainian hierarchs, monastics, and faithful. His Grace assured Bishop Victor that the clergy and parishioners of the Russian Diaspora’s churches continue to pray for the suffering Ukrainian people.
Bishop Victor thanked Bishop Nicholas and the cathedral clergy for their shared prayer, and expressed his joy that the Lord had blessed him to visit the holy sites of America.
"My entire life, my heart and steps have strived to visit America, to venerate the relics of the Holy Hierarch John, about whom I learned in my childhood and who has revealed a multitude of miracles to me," said Bishop Victor. "And here we see one of them today: my childhood dream has come true."
Bishop Nicholas offered several important words on the necessity of partaking in the Eucharist. The Holy Hierarch Basil the Great speaks about the same, that it is not enough for each of us, who call ourselves Christians, to merely receive baptism in order to enter the Heavenly Kingdom; we must also constantly commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. We are daily witness of this great Sacrament, the Mystery of the unification of the Church on earth with the Church in Heaven, the Mystery of our personal unification with Christ. The Holy Hierarch John Chrysostom offered important words that each one of us must remember until our last breath. These are the words of the Savior: "He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him."
Cathedral dean Fr. Serge thanked the hierarchs for their joint prayer, and presented Bishop Victor an icon of the Holy Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky.
On Sunday, September 10, the feast day of Venerable Job of Pochaev, Bishop Victor concelebrated Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada in St. John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, while Bishop Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign.