Astrakhan, August 30, 2016
A strong, sweet fragrance spreads throughout the
whole church. Monk Mitrophan, inclining towards the icons,
inhales the gentle aroma and expounds—the
Life-giving Cross has a woody scent, reminiscent of
sandalwood. From the icon of the Royal Martyrs a pure,
clean fragrance—after all it is a genuine family of
five children and their parents.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from the whole world come
to the Astrakhan region to see the wonders of the Churkino
Monastery—more than sixty myrrh-streaming icons,
astrakhan.riasv.ru. Now three new icons have
begun to stream myrrh.
The Dormition of the Mother of God is painted on metal. It
is considered the patronal feast—after all it was in
the monastery when the magnificent Dormition cathedral was
built. Now there is a memorial cross in honor of the
ruined church. The story is interrupted—even on
weekdays in the monastery there is a flow of one group of
pilgrims after another.
“This is a sacred place. Our son is going into the
first grade, and we came to show him the attractions, and
the weeping icons. I don’t think they’re
crying for no reason,” says pilgrim Oleg Kuznetsov.
In Oleg’s opinion it’s a special sign. The
time has come to revive the famous monastery which at one
time was on par with the famous Optina and Glinsk
monasteries. Additionally, along the road they saw the
church of the Three Holy Hierarchs in the village of
Bolshoi Mogoi—even destruction and fire were unable
to fully destroy the powerful stone walls around the
beautiful church. Now pilgrims pray to the Mother of God
and the saints for its restoration. Nevertheless, each
turns to the myrrh-streaming icons with his own requests.
“We beseech, as all typical Christians, for health,
prosperity, and happiness in the family. But, in
principle, that it would be so not just in our family, but
in all families,” shares pilgrim Elena Kuznetsova.
“Turning to the holy icons gives a person a nearness
to God, as if a key, through which we can reach the
Heavenly Kingdom. By turning to them we ask for that which
we are lacking in life. The biggest thing all of us are
lacking in life is love for God,” said novice
Here everyone receives consolation, begging for familial
happiness, life companions and children. But most
important—many pilgrims have already been assured of
the healing effect of the myrrh-streaming icons. One woman
was delivered from multiple sclerosis after praying and
being anointed with miraculous, aromatic drops of myrrh,
and this is far from the only case.
“One inhabitant of the monastery had a tubercular
cavity in his lungs for a long time. I gave him oil mixed
with the myrrh and told him to rub it on the area of the
lung. They should have placed him with first class
invalids, but he went to the doctors and they declared him
healthy. They examined him, gathered a consultation,
removed everything from his lungs, only adhesions
remaining,” explains Monk Mitrophan.
Neither scientists nor clergy can say what this phenomenon
is connected with. However, pilgrims and monks of the
Churkino Monastery are sure that not only the ancient
walls are being restored, but the human soul is renewed,
reaching out in faith.
The phenomenon of myrrh-streaming icons in Churkino
Monastery has been observed since June 2014. The first
icons began to weep on June 22, the day of the beginning
of the Great Patriotic War.