Bishop Paul, MW clergy guests of Russian Church for Feast of the Tikhvin Icon

Source: The Orthodox Church in America

Chicago, IL, August 3, 2016

Bishops Paul and Mstislav with reproduction of the wonderworking Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God.
Bishops Paul and Mstislav with reproduction of the wonderworking Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God.

From July 4 through 12, 2016, His Grace, Bishop Paul of
Chicago and the Midwest was among the guests of the
Russian Orthodox Church who celebrated the Feast of the
Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God in Tikhvin and St.
Petersburg, Russia.

Bishop Paul was accompanied by Archpriest John Adamcio,
Dean of Chicago’s Holy Trinity Cathedral; Archpriest
Alexander Garklavs, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Parma,
OH whose father, the late Archpriest Sergei Garklavs, had
been the icon’s guardian from the late 1940s until
its return to Russia in 2004; and Deacon Alexander Koranda
of Chicago’s Saint George Cathedral. Also present
from the US for the celebration was His Eminence,
Archbishop Peter of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
Russia.

On Friday, July 8—the Eve of the Feast of the Tikvin
Icon—Bishop Paul concelebrated at the All-Night
Vigil at the Cathedral of the Dormition at the Dormition
Monastery of Our Lady of Tikhvin. Among those who welcomed
Bishop Paul was His Eminence, Metropolitan Varsonofy of
Saint Petersburg and Ladoga and His Grace, Bishop Mstislav
of Tikhvin and Ladeinoye Polye, who is slated to visit
Chicago in October 2016.

The following morning, Bishop Paul concelebrated the
Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Varsonofy, Archbishop
Peter, Bishop Mstislav, and numerous other hierarchs in
the open air in front of the monastery cathedral. The
Tikhvin Icon was present throughout the two-day
celebration. A Service of Thanksgiving was celebrated
before the icon after the Liturgy.

Bishop Paul with Frs. John Adamcio and Alexander Garklavs celebrate Akathistos.
Bishop Paul with Frs. John Adamcio and Alexander Garklavs celebrate Akathistos.

Founded in 1560, the Dormition Monastery held the
wonderworking Tikhvin Icon, which had been discovered by
fishermen on Lake Ladoga in 1383—70 years before the
fall of Constantinople. Tradition holds that the original
icon was the work of the Evangelist Luke. In the fifth
century it was moved from Jerusalem to Constantinople,
where it was enshrined in the Church of the Virgin Mary in
the city’s Blachernae district. The icon remained in
the Dormition Monastery until it was closed—and
subsequently destroyed—by the Soviet authorities in
the 1920s. During World War II the icon was taken to
Latvia in the face of Nazi advances into northern Russia.
In 1949, His Grace, Bishop John [Garklavs] of Riga [later
Archbishop of Chicago] brought the icon with him to the
US, where for many years it was enshrined in
Chicago’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. After Archbishop
John’s death in 1982, his adopted son, Father
Sergei, was the icon’s guardian until it was
returned to the Tikhvin Monastery in 2004. See related story.

At the conclusion of the festal Liturgy, Metropolitan
Varsonofy read greetings from His Holiness, Patriarch
Kirill of Moscow, in which he recounted the numerous
occasions throughout history when the Mother of God
interceded for the Russian people, especially during the
years of severe tribulation. “The Mother of God
showed her love and care for us through the
centuries,” he recalled. “Thank God this image
has returned to Russia! We can kneel and open our hearts
before the Heavenly Queen, to pray to her, to recite hymns
and to sing troparia. What she has done for us serves our
salvation.”

‘Today the city of Tikhvin is rejoicing,”
Bishop Mstislav added. “Today an assembly of
bishops, a great many priests and hundreds of worshippers
venerate the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God. Present
here with us today are our guests from Chicago –
Bishop Paul, Archbishop Peter and Archpriest Alexander, a
son of Archpriest Sergiy Garklavs, the long-time guardian
of the Tikhvin Icon.

“The icon has returned to the place in which it was
found many centuries ago,” Bishop Mstislav
concluded. “In our prayers before the icon, we ask
the Mother of God to help the monastery, the whole Church
of Russia and all our people,” adding that Bishop
Paul had brought with him a piece of soil from the grounds
of Chicago’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. “The
cathedral was built by the first holy martyr of the
Petersburg region—Saint Archpriest Ioann
Kochurov—with the blessing of Saint Bishop Tikhon,
the future Patriarch,” Bishop Mstislav explained.

Bishop Paul celebrates Divine Liturgy in St. Petersburg's Holy Trinity Cathedral at the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
Bishop Paul celebrates Divine Liturgy in St. Petersburg’s Holy Trinity Cathedral at the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

On Sunday, July 10—the Sunday of All Saints of the
Saint Petersburg region—Bishop Paul presided at the
celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Saint
Petersburg’s landmark Holy Trinity Cathedral in the
Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra—the oldest monastic
community on the Neva River. In addition to Fathers John
and Alexander and Deacon Alexander, many of the
monastery’s clergy also concelebrated.

“On behalf of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of
All America and Canada and the Holy Synod of Bishops of
the Orthodox Church in America, I am honored to be with
you today,” Bishop Paul said at the conclusion of
the Liturgy. “Today the Lord has made it possible
for me to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with you, which is
a cause for me to rejoice. This is my first visit to
Russia. Returning to America, I will always remember you
and your sincere faith, and in turn, I ask your holy
prayers.”

A photo gallery of the celebration is
available on the web site of the Diocese of the
Midwest.

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