Miracle of our Mother of God “Of the Sign”

reposted by John Siounis on Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:17pm

 

 

Icon of Mother of God

Glory be to God for all things!    Today a great consolation was granted to our parish in spite of our sins.  This past Friday was the feast of "Our Lady of the Sign".  As you know, Fr John has been staying at the church and Friday evening he decided to celebrate the Akathist Hymn for the feast and he brought forth an icon of Our Lady of the Sign which hangs in the confessional.  While he prayed he lit some candles to petition Our Lady to console him in some of his struggles.  Late that night he returned the icon to its usual place.  Nothing unusual happened yesterday until Vesper time.  The icons of the day were put out on the analoy and annointed with fragrant oil as usual.  Fr Rodion sat in the  confessional all through Vespers hearing confessions without noticing anything unusual.  As soon as the service was over a sweet rose like fragrance was noticed in the church becoming overpowering as one neared the confessional.  Upon investigation the fragrance was found to be emanating from the very icon of Our Lady of the Sign.  We took it down and inspected it and visually saw nothing unusual but the sweet scent of roses was pouring from the icon.  We decided to put it in the altar behind the Holy Table for the night and upon returning this morning  found the icon to be still exuding the smell of roses.  At this time we noticed small areas of the icon  to be moist and we showed them to the few parishioners who were already in church.

Fr Rodion then called the monastery for advice and then as he was told said a Prayer of Exorcism and sprinkled the icon with Holy Water.  We then proceeded to celebrate the Liturgy to see what would happen.  After the Communion of the clergy the icon was again inspected and found to be still beautifully fragrant with the entire top third of the icon glistening with moisture.  This was announced to the worshippers and the children recalled from Sunday School.  The icon was brought into the middle of the church and a service of supplication to the Mother of God was celebrated after which the faithful were given cotton balls to take of the blessing.  Following trapeza we returned to find the icon essentially dry after being wiped down with  the cotton of the faithful but still powerfully fragrant. 

HOMILY FOR THE FEAST DAY OF THE ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD “OF THE SIGN”

(November 27th / December 10th)

The icon of the Mother of God “Of the Sign” essentially depicts the mystery of the Nativity of Christ. The seventh chapter of the Prophet Isaiah tells us of how Jerusalem was besieged from all sides. There was no longer any hope of salvation, and people’s hearts fluttered like leaves in a strong wind. However, the prophet urges the king to appeal to the Lord and ask for His protection, and ask the Lord to give a sign that this will be fulfilled. King Ahaz refuses: “I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.” Then the prophet says: “The Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), which means “God is with us.”

This event tells us not only of the mystery of the salvation of mankind, of every individual, of every nation in the midst of terrible tribulations to which people are subjected, but also of how we should accept this gift from God. Usually we are either full of arrogant belief in our own strength, as was evinced by those who surrounded Jerusalem, or what is hardly any better - false humility, when man is so full of despair that he cannot bring himself to appeal to the Lord and ask for His help.

Today during the service we have heard the odes of the canon “In the waves of the sea,” which tell us of the mystery of divine attrition, of how God becomes man. Our participation in this mystery is bound up with many trials and many tribulations, of which the word of God says that we must accept them with great joy, knowing that tribulation, as Apostle Paul says, engenders patience. And patience makes us perfect. Every man inevitably passes through these trials. He can, for example, experience deep disillusionment in the great hopes of his life. Or he can be visited by terrible misfortunes or great temptations. A man can pass in the waves of the sea through persecution together with the entire Church, or through death, which unfailingly comes to each one of us irrespective of time. And each one of us is summoned in his personal life to learn true patience, which leads to perfection.

 

Icon of Mother of God

We know that today’s holiday is connected with an event that took place in the 12th century - in 1170, when the city of Novgorod was also besieged by the joint forces of Russian princes who, relying solely on their own strength, wished to teach the free citizens of Novgorod a lesson by conquering them. The Novgorodians, finding themselves in desperate straits and realizing that there was no way out for them, placed all their hope in the Lord and His Most-pure Mother. The icon of the Mother of God “Of the Sign” was taken out of the church and carried in a solemn procession around the city walls. At that moment, while an attack on the city was in progress and a cloud of arrows rained upon the Novgorodians, one of the arrows hit the icon of the Mother of God, and tears flowed from the eyes of the Most-pure Virgin Mary. Upon being hit, the Mother of God on the icon turned Her visage towards the Novgorodians, as though rejecting the attackers, who were suddenly over-come with fear and confusion and became rooted to the spot. The Novgorodians, seeing that the Mother of God was looking upon them, and being conscious of Her divine intercession, streamed out upon their enemies and routed them soundly.

Many parallels can be drawn to what is happening today to Russia and to the whole world. And we must not forget what is happening to each one of us amid all the trials which the Lord visits upon us. But there is always only one deliverance, and none other, only one sign of our victory over all evil, over all danger, over death itself. And that sign is - the Mother of God, Who has conceived in Her womb the Pre-eternal God, Immanuel, which means “God is with us”!

And this sign has been manifested in Her countless miraculous icons since ancient times. In the tomb of St. Agnes in Rome there is an icon of the Mother of God, raising Her arms in prayer and holding on Her knees the Infant Jesus, blessing the people. And the 6th century Byzantine icon in Nicopea, where the Mother of God sits on a throne and holds before Her a shield with the image of the Saviour Immanuel.

This is our shield, this is our invincible wall, this is our victory in everything that takes place in the life of each one of us, our people, our Church, the entire world. “God is with us, - let us sing in the days of Christ’s Nativity this prophetic Old-Testament hymn, - comprehend, ye nations, and submit yourselves: for God is with us!” - such is our New-Testament confession. Christ is among us and within us, in our life and in our death. And we are together with Him in His victorious incarnation, passion and Resurrection. Amen.

Protopriest Alexander Shargunov


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Many of those who subscribe to, and some who have caused or are the cause for, these things to happen are involved in or with the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church (which is not the seat of all things "Catholic") as well as its protestant daughters such as the cultic Jehovah's Witnesses, the Pentecostal Churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon Church and far too many more to list. 

 

Yet, at this web site we do provide some of the reasons about why they are opined to be the harbingers of that which is prophesied in Holy Scripture for the bringing about of the End Times which we have already entered.  It is not necessarily their individual members or parishioners that should be blamed since they are only the "Sheep" and not the Shepherds... So do not think we castigate individual people of themselves as we castigate those "money changers" who Jesus Christ chased out of His Father's House as the Bible Describes; for they exist in these present times too.

 

Events are already rushing toward that time in which this is beginning to happen and will become more fully wide-spread. In these present times all you need to really do is look around both your local and larger areas as to what is really on-going through.  Things so very little or miniscule that they are barely noticeable except to the more informed observer may become apparent. 

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[ * Non-Denominational = Synchrestic Ecumenism, Disease of Scholasticism, altering the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ to accommodate the disease of Political Correctness and CULTIC PROTESTANTISM, and the Roman Jurisdiction (Latin Church = Vatican) of the Catholic Church) breaking of - or failure and refusal to respect and abide by  - the ancient Seven Ecumenical "Do Not" Canons which leaves everything else open to God's gift of creativity... failure & refusal to abide by and have respect for those who diligently protect one of the other Pillars of the Church, the Seals of the Confessional, but "Non-Denominational" also includes worshiping Satan's religion of Muslim, Islam by praying with them and other heretics such as 'Pentecostalism,' 'Jehovah's Witnesses,' 'Mormons,' 'Church of Christ,' any so-called church with "Community Church" in their nomenclature and others who by their false and misleading dogmas and doctrines are actually against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ upon whom and for exacting reason we are called "Christian" in both spirit and truth from which non-denominational protestant sectarian claimants have departed from as being so-called Christian] Only a skilled spiritual father can help you!

Remember: You cannot ride two horses or serve two masters for one of them will be harmed by your thoughts, your very words and your actions which is to blaspheme the Holy Ghost (Spirit) who will depart from you.  And when the Holy Spirit departs, the great deceiver (unbeknownst to you) will rush in to fill the void under disguise of being the Holy Spirit!  Testing of the Holy Spirit to insure it is the Holy Spirit does not, for many a Sectarian Protestant and Roman, work because the Great Deceiver (Satan) is most skilled in worming and snaking his charms around your mind and heart to feign being the Holy Spirit.  Remember, Satan has the same gifts similar to the Holy Spirit but Satan's gifts are UN-HOLY and lead all who accept him (unbeknownst to you) to perdition.

 

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"I understand the idea of sodomy and homosexuality, but to say that homosexuality is not a sin is incorrect and not just in my mind but all of Orthodoxy and again, not just in Orthodoxy but all of Catholicism and again, not simply all of Catholicism but all of Christianity with the exception of those who have this in their personal life as sin or are very close to someone who does. Celibacy or Married Life is the ultimate ideal.  For both Homosexuality and Heterosexuality are truly sinful if... and below is the hard part of this understanding..." (Ed. Note: We have never said "homosexuality is not a sin or okay... however, there are those who, being homosexual, are that way for a variety of reasons.  Jesus Christ talked of these kinds as referring to Eunuchs.  The conversion tactics employed by many other groups, bespeaks of a "politics" that is not wholly honest either spiritually or even materially.  For, in their endeavors they have failed to show forth the truth that one is driven into a "closet" style of life.  It is better, we believe, to become wholly celibate, be it a homosexual or even heterosexual... and to learn what "celibacy" really means and requires).

 

If a man looks on a woman who is not his wife with lust, he has sinned. If he and she are married to other people he has committed adultery. If a man looks at a man with lust he has sinned the same as a man who looks at a woman. Sodomy does not have to enter into it, lust for someone is a sin by itself and must be removed. But people do this all day long to be sure but it is still a sin. To say that homosexuality and heterosexuality are not a sin due to their lusting, allows both heterosexuals and homosexuals to live in sin without repentance and this is wrong to do to them spiritually.

 

It is for the sake of their own soul that one has to recognize sin that is in them and not to excuse it regardless of the sin or the preference of the sinner. Sodomy is indeed a sin regardless of what any one may tell you, the act of attraction or the lust is a sin even without action and simply must be repented of by both heterosexuals and homosexuals. I must also add this; woe to all who misguide others into sin and especially those who are of the clergy who do this. For the sake of your own soul and others, you must recognize this and repent. I know that it is not easy to overcome and if it is never overcome then one must live a life of constant repentance, that is the only choice.

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