On Friday, August 5, when the Holy Church celebrates the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, Our Lady of Pochaev Church in North Port, FL celebrated its patronal feast. The community’s founding and the name of the church itself were due to the blessing and initiative of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion, the reposed First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
On Thursday, August 4, the festal All-Night Vigil was served with the akathist to the Pochaev Icon sung by the people. On the day of the feast, a water blessing moleben was performed before Divine Liturgy.
Several priests, as well as guests and pilgrims from Miami, attended the service.
Celebrating the festal Liturgy was Archimandrite Siluan (Lembei; cleric of Three Hierarchs Church in Hollywood, FL), co-served by: Priests Mikhail Mikhailenko (cleric of St. Vladimir Church in Miami, FL), Saša Đurđević (rector of St. Sava Serbian Church in North Port), and Paul Girgis (rector of St. Paul Antiochian Church in Naples, FL), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Stefan Stoyanov (Synodal cleric).
After Liturgy, Fr. Mikhail addressed the people with a profound sermon.
The church contains a special relic; namely, the "footstep" of the Theotokos, which covers the place where the Mother of God left an imprint of her step in the Pochaev Lavra. This relic was a gift to the church from the deputy rector of the Lavra, Metropolitan Vladimir of Pochaev. That same day also marks the celebration of the Holy Righteous Theodore Ushakov of Sanaxar, a piece of whose relics are also found in the church.
The feast concluded with a luncheon and interaction between the priests, parishioners, and guests.
If anyone has the opportunity to help build the church, parishioners would be very grateful. Thank you to everyone who helps and everyone who is near at heart!