Liturgy in Manila

On February 25, 2024, Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the feast of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi governor of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the temple in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila. His Eminence was co-served by the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), rector of the temple, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), Archimandrite Philemon (Castro), Priest Agustin Ponferrada. The deacon’s rank was headed by Hierodeacon Nicodemus (Pirkhovsky). The divine service was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of the Philippines M.I. Pavlov. During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel ordained Deacon Juventinus Bulaqueña to the priesthood. Metropolitan Pavel congratulated the audience on the patronal Day: “Dear fathers, dear Ambassador of the Russian Federation Marat Ignatievich, brothers and sisters! I am glad to be with you today at the patronal feast of this parish! Patronal Day is like the second Easter. The Iveron icon of the Mother of God has a long history. Tradition says that it was written by the Apostle Luke himself. And this icon was located near the city of Nicaea, at the pious widow, when in the IX century there was a persecution of icons, the iconoclasm. Soldiers, state guards came and saw this icon at the widow. One of the soldiers struck the icon with a spear, and blood flowed from the icon. The widow asked the soldiers not to break the icon, and when they left, she and her son took this icon to the sea and sent it on a journey so that the Lord would determine the place of its stay. And the icon arrived by sea to Mount Athos. Why is it called Iveron? There was a Georgian monastery nearby on Mount Athos, where the inhabitants were mostly Georgians, and Iberia is the ancient name of Georgia, and this icon was found by the monks of this monastery, and eventually the monastery became known as Iveron, and the icon of the Mother of God from that moment also became known as Iveron. It is very providential and miraculous that the Iveron icon was found at sea, but when the monks took it from the sea to land, a source of fresh water clogged here. This spring still exists today, and by the grace of God I have been there many, many times, drinking water from there. And when this icon was found and placed in the temple of the Iveron monastery, a day later this icon stood over the gate at the entrance to the monastery, and this happened several times. The monks took her away and put her in the temple, but she went back to the gate. To one of the monks, the Mother of God appeared in a dream and said: “You will not protect me, but I will protect you, and let My image stand over the entrance to the monastery.” So she began to be called by the second name: “Gatekeeper”, protecting the monastery from foreigners who very often attacked monasteries. God grant that this icon, to which this temple is dedicated, protects everyone who comes to this image, would keep it in life, would keep the gates of our soul. We will pray, we will ask her, and she will certainly be with us and will help us. I thank you all once again for the common prayers, and I would like to especially congratulate today the priest Juventinus, who took the priesthood. And of course, I would like to remind you that a clergyman bears great responsibility, he has great grace from God, and responsibility not only for himself and his salvation, but already for the salvation of the flock that will be handed to him. One of the wisest saints, His Beatitude Vladimir of Kiev, said: “You must be a strict father and a loving mother to each of your parishioners. Love the Church — and the Lord will not leave you, and the Church too,” because the Church is people united by faith in Christ, and you can serve and love God only by loving and serving your neighbor. May the Lord help you in your ministry! I would like to especially congratulate Father Anthony, who has angel Day today, for the third time during his trip to the Philippines, he has to celebrate both his birthday and angel day.