On Tuesday, August 9, Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV celebrated the feast day of its patron saint, the Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon. His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, celebrated Divine Liturgy, inspiring the faithful not only with his reverence at the altar, but also with his unflagging dedication, since he did not arrive at the monastery until close to midnight the evening before due to flight cancellations and delays.
At the Little Entrance, Hieromonk Basil (Blevins) was awarded the right to wear the nabedrennik for his service to the Church. The brethren rejoiced also at the great number of communicants, including many of the local and regional clergy and faithful, in addition to those who traveled great distances to celebrate the feast.
Following Holy Communion, Bishop Nicholas gave a heartfelt sermon on the necessity and value of turning wholeheartedly to St. Panteleimon in prayer. He reminded everyone how the saints are always praying for us, even when we ourselves forget to pray. He also called to mind the words of St. Panteleimon’s troparion (O holy Passion-bearer and Healer Panteleimon, intercede with the merciful God, that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offenses.) and how we can use them as a guide for how to pray. First, we begin by calling on the name of God and His saints, for their names are powerful. Then we recall God’s limitless mercy, sincerely offering our petitions for whatever is on our heart and especially for the forgiveness of our offenses.
After Divine Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas led the clergy and faithful in a festal moleben to St. Panteleimon, wherein all those were commemorated who wrote to ask the prayers of the great martyr for themselves and their loved ones. They will continue to be commemorated at special molebens for eight days following the feast, each day having its own appointed canon being read to the saint.
That evening, a panihida was served at the monastic cemetery for Schemamonk John (Dezorzi), who reposed on St. Panteleimon’s Day in 2015. Afterward, Bishop Nicholas held a synaxis with the brethren, sharing reminiscences of the recently reposed Metropolitan Hilarion of blessed memory. The next morning, the fathers bade His Grace farewell to the peal of bells. May the Lord direct the steps of our beloved Bishop Nicholas, through the prayers of St. Panteleimon!