New Myrrh-streaming Icon in Brazil
Abridged from a letter written to Metropolitan Vitaly by Priest Constantine Bussyguin, rector of St Nicholas Cathedral in Sao Paulo, and printed in Pravoslavnaya Rus', #17, 1997.
I ask your blessing.
As I promised in our phone conversation, I am hastening to describe the circumstances under which a great mercy of God has been shown to us sinners.
During the visit to Brazil of the Myrrh-streaming Iveron icon of the Mother of God, Brother Joseph agreed to accept from us a new kiot for it, and to leave the old kiot here. We commissioned him to paint for it a copy of the Iveron icon, to which he agreed. Meanwhile, so as not to leave the kiot empty, a [xerox] copy was made, glued onto cardboard and covered with plastic. We placed this copy onto the original on the day Brother Joseph left to return to Canada. For a week the kiot with the copy stood in our dining room, in the same place that the original had stood.
Yesterday morning I served the Divine Liturgy, and afterwards blessed water. After lunch our cleaning lady (a Brazilian woman who is a pious Roman Catholic) called me in a state of great excitement. While the Myrrh-streaming icon was with us, she had venerated it each day and prayed before it, and, after Brother Joseph left, she likewise prayed before the copy.
I did not immediately understand the reason for her agitation. "Look," she exclaimed, "oil is running down the icon!" I could scarcely believe my eyes. In fact, a stream of myrrh was trickling from the head of the Saviour down to the hand of the Mother of God. Examining it more closely, we noticed that the entire image of the Mother of God was covered with myrrh, which in some places had formed drops.
Straightway, in the presence of my matushka Tatiana, our church warden Xenia Cadrelli, my brother-in-law Vladimir Bibikov, and the cleaning lady Elliette, I served the first moleben with an akathist. Then I phoned Fr. George Petrenko, and he soon came to our house. Carefully looking over the icon, he confirmed that which seemed impossible. He served a second moleben with an akathist, at which his son and newly-arrived members of our family were also present.
Today Fr. George came again, and this time in the church, with quite a number of parishioners in attendance (last night, after our phone conversation, we tried to inform our parishioners), he served a moleben with an akathist. Wondrous are the works of the Lord! One is filled with fear and awe on receiving such a great mercy from the Queen of Heaven.
In the evening we served another moleben with an akathist, which again attracted a number of faithful. If God blesses, we shall try to serve a moleben and akathist to our fervent Intercessor daily until the end of the Dormition Fast...
Entrusting myself to your high priestly prayers, I remain
Your Eminence's unworthy servant,
Priest Constantine Bussyguin
Sao Paulo, 2/15 August 1997