On Thursday, January 26, Our Lady of Pochaev Church in North Port, FL received a visit from the great and holy wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Accompanying the icon was the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad ‒ Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York ‒ and Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (acting dean of Florida).
This was Metropolitan Nicholas’ first visit since his election as First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
At 5:00 PM, a multitude of parishioners and guests from nearby towns and parishes gathered to honor and prayerfully venerate the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Also present to greet the holy icon were clerics of the Russian Church Abroad: Archpriests Mark Rowe (vicar general of ROCOR Western Rite parishes) and Constantine Desrosiers (cleric of St. Xenia Church in Methuen, MA); Archpriest Serhii Vynnychuk, Priest Artemy Makartetsky, and Hierodeacon Paisius (Alexeevets; UOC clerics); and representatives of other Local Churches: Priest Saša Đurđević (rector of St. Sava Serbian Church in North Port) and Paul Girgis (rector of St. Paul Antiochian Church in Naples, FL). This event displayed the true catholicity of our Orthodox Church, Her unity and mutual love.
The Metropolitan was met by children reciting poems; after the greeting of the parish rector, Archimandrite Stefan (Khilchuk), His Eminence entered the church. There, the icon was placed on an analogion decorated with flowers and Vespers began, served by Hieromonk Arkadii (Polishchuk; parish cleric) and Fr. Paisius.
After the service, Metropolitan Nicholas and the brother-priests served a moleben and akathist to the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. After the moleben, the Metropolitan also blessed the new Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God, which will be the principal icon of the future monastery.
Fr. Arkadii and two brothers, Jan and Philip, prepared a case especially for the icon. After blessing it, Metropolitan Nicholas addressed parishioners and all those gathered with an archpastoral sermon. His Eminence spoke about the history of the Kursk Root Icon and the significant of prayer in the life of every man.
Upon their departure, on behalf of the brethren and parishioners of the church, Fr. Stefan presented the Metropolitan a gift: a panagia depicting the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God.
North Port, FL: Metropolitan Nicholas visits Our Lady of Pochaev Church with Kursk Root Icon - 01/26/23