Farewell to the icon

On March 11, 2024, the journey of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Softening of Evil Hearts” in the Philippines ended. The last parish to which it was brought was the oldest Orthodox church in the Philippines in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord in Siniloan. The parishioners warmly welcomed the miraculous image. The priests served a prayer service, which ended with a procession, during which the icon acquired a red hue, abundantly covered with drops of fragrant myrrh, and the face of the Virgin was covered with red dots.

The Orthodox believers of our diocese express their sincere gratitude to the organizers of bringing the icon to the Philippines – Sergey Fomin, Natalia Mezentseva and Alexander Chvala – for the opportunity to see a real miracle and feel the grace of the spiritual world.

Miraculous icon in Manila

On March 10, 2024, the miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Softening of Evil Hearts” stayed at the parish in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila. After the Divine Liturgy, prayers were served to the Most Holy Theotokos. During the day, the temple was visited by numerous guests, including the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to the Philippines Marat Pavlov, priests and parishioners from the Antiochian Orthodox Church, representatives of the Roman Catholic Church. For the first time, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in the Philippines, Apostolic Nuncio Charles J. Brown and the nunciature staff visited the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines. The Vatican Ambassador talked with priests and parishioners, who presented him with a copy of the miraculous icon.

Guardian of the miraculous image Sergei Fomin, organizer of the icon travel, President of St. Martyr Bonifacio Foundation Natalia Mezentseva, Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev) and rector of the Iveron Parish of the Mother of God in Manila Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin) told the parishioners and guests about the miracle of myrrh-streaming and about the history of this icon. The streaming of myrrh is a well-known but rare miracle of Orthodoxy. The fragrant liquid, consisting of proteins that have no analogues in nature, appears from the air in the form of drops on the icon and on the nod as a reminder of the spiritual world. In recent years, myrrh-streaming has already been recorded three times in the parishes of the Russian Church on Mindanao Island in the parishes of Makalangot (in 2020, after the consecration of the temple by Metropolitan Pavel, all icons were myrrh-streaming for many months), Polomolok (after the parish returned from the schism on Christmas 2024, the icon of the Savior was myrrh-streaming) and General Santos (the icon with the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle in 2022). But the constant flow of myrrh for 25 years is a unique phenomenon. To see a miracle with our own eyes is the grace of God revealed to the Orthodox in the Philippines.