PERM: October 9, 2012
A Delegation of the Russian Church Abroad Brings the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Divine Services in St Stefan Monastery
On October 7, 2012, His Eminence Metropolitan Mefody of Perm and Solikamsk and His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany celebrated Divine Liturgy at the main church of the city of Perm’s Holy Trinity-St Stefan Monastery. The archpastors were joined in the service by clergymen of Perm Diocese. Many worshipers were in attendance and partook of the Holy Gifts of Christ.
At the end of the service, Metropolitan Mefody expressed his heartfelt thanks to everyone:
On the feast day we heard the Gospel account of how Apostle Peter, beholding the Lord, said “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8).
Such is the humility and cognizance of unworthiness that Apostle Peter exhibited. He shows us the example of what our emotional state must be as we approach prayer, how we must address the Lord and the Mother of God. We must remember that we are not worthy to even speak Their names. How often we turn persistently to Them that They hear us. We turn to them without compromise, only thinking about “me” and my problems.
Today, as we have the opportunity to venerate this great icon, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” we should ponder what our emotional state should be. If we approach with a trivial, fleeting request, it will be unworthy. We must approach the holy icon remembering today’s words from Apostle Peter from the Gospel. St Peter felt himself unworthy to be in the presence of God, but hopes for Divine mercy, that He will not reject him and would cover his sinfulness. It is in the mood that we are to address the holy icons here and everywhere.
Once again I wish to express my joyful welcome and gratitude to Archbishop Mark, who joined us in celebrating Divine Liturgy today. This is joyful, it is ceremonious, it is brotherly and truly spiritual. I also wish Vladyka and his delegation God’s help and Divine blessings, and I ask his holy prayers. I wish you a joyous feast day, Your Eminence, dear Vladyka, Archbishop Mark!
In his response, Vladyka Mark thanked Metropolitan Mefody and the believers of Perm for their hospitality:
Over the several days of our brief visit to the Perm region, we have come to know the holy sites of the Perm Diocese, we have sensed that we are among Orthodox Christians here, and we have a genuine spiritual bond as we pray for each other. I hope that the Lord strengthens you in your efforts to restore and strengthen your spiritual life.
After this, Vladyka Mefody gave his guest a gift: an icon of St Stefan of Great Perm, painted in the studios of Holy Trinity-St Stefan Monastery.