On May 26, the Round-the-world Icon of the Intercession of the Mother of God, the Holy Cross and icons of Saints with relics visited the parishes of the Central Deanery of the Mindanao Island of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, where they were greeted with joy by parishioners of: the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Kinabalan, the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God in Banate, the Church of the Epiphany in Talas, the Church of St. St. John of Shanghai in Santa Maria and the Church of St. Matrona of Moscow in Davao.
On May 24, after a joint prayer service at the Iveron Parish in Manila with the rector of the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Melbourne, Archpriest Mikhail Protopopov (ROCOR), who delivered to the Philippines a “Round-the-World” icon of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, this icon, accompanied by other shrines, went to Mindanao Island. At the parish of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos, during the evening service, the relics of St. Andrew the First-Called started to stream myrrh. This is a clear sign of the presence of God’s grace in our Church and His favor for the apostolic work of our missionaries, which began in this house church 8 years ago.
On May 25, after the Divine Liturgy in General Santos and the prayer service, the shrines were brought to the parish of St. Isidore of Rostov in the village of Alabel, where a prayer service was also held to the Most Holy Theotokos, the Holy Cross and 20 saints whose relics were offered to the faithful for worship.
On May 23, the baptism of six people took place in the westernmost province of Mindanao – Zamboanga del Sur, in Lipras San Antonio, on the ocean shore. After the catechism, Priest Moses Kahilig performed the Sacrament of entering the Church, and then the Divine Liturgy. After the service, the priest consecrated fishing boats and nets.
On the feast of St. Nicholas on May 22, parishioners and guests of the Iveron parish in Manila were able to touch the grace from the particles of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord, of the Veil of the Most Holy Theotokos and of the relics of 21 saints. This is perhaps the most significant event of diocesan significance in recent years. The day before, at the evening service, the President of the St. Bonifacio Foundation Natalia Mezentseva, who collected and presented the relics to our diocese, presented icons of Alexander Nevsky and Feodor Ushakov with relics to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Philippines M. I. Pavlov.
The Pan-Philippian tour of the greatest shrines of Christianity began with the oldest Orthodox church in the Philippines in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross May 20, on the feast of the appearance of the Holy and Life-giving Cross of the Lord in Jerusalem (351AD). The rector of the parish, Archimandrite Philemon (Castro) and the dean of the Manila Deanery, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), led a prayer service in honor of the Holy Cross, the Most Holy Theotokos and 21 saints, whose icons with relics were then offered for worship to all believers. The priests and the President of the St. Bonifacio Charitable Foundation Natalia Mezentseva, through whose works the holy relics were collected throughout the Orthodox world and donated to the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, told the audience about the venerated saints and the history of finding the brought particles of their relics.