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.
On May 19, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), Priest Joachim Gonzalez and Deacon John Mahinay held another lecture on Orthodoxy for residents of the Bucana barangay, Davao City. People were genuinely interested, asked a lot of questions about the spiritual life of the priests and invited them to come more often.
20 greatest Christian shrines will arrive to the Philippines with the icon “Protection of the Mother of God”:
The part of the Holy and Lifegiving Cross of our Lord
The part of belt of the Most Holy Theotokos
Particles of the following saints:
St. Apostles: Peter, Paul and Andrew
St. Hierarchs: Nikolas of Myra in Lycia, Spyridon of Trimithus and Luke of Crimea (Healer)
St. Great martyrs: George the Victory-bearer, Panteleimon the Healer, Barbara, Catherine and Elizabeth
St. Martyr John the Soldier (defender of all who are offended)
St. Pious Prince Alexander Nevsky
St. Venerable Sergius of Radonezh, Seraphim of Sarov
St. Righteous Feodor Ushakov (Admiral), John of Kronshtadt, Matrona of Moscow
The shrines will be available for veneration as per schedule: