Dear brothers and sisters,
This coming weekend, we will celebrate the Troeruchitsa (Three-Handed) Icon of the Mother of God, which is associated with the healing of the great Church Father and hymnographer, St John of Damascus.
Around the year 717, the Emperor Leo the Isaurian falsely claimed that St John, a vizier to the Caliph Al-Walid I had committed treachery, and the Caliph had the saint’s right hand chopped off as a punishment. St John fled to the icon of the Mother of God to beg her intercession, and Our Lady, the Theotokos restored his hand. To commemorate the miracle, St John affixed a silver votive hand to the icon.
When St John became a monk at the Lavra of Mar Sabbas, outside Jerusalem, the icon was gifted to the monastery, and was later presented to St Sava of Serbia, who took it to his monastery of Hilandar, on Mount Athos. Tsar Dušan of Serbia took the icon to Serbia and at the end of the 14th century, the icon was in the possession of the monastery of Studenica. However, in the early 15th century, it was returned to Hilandar.
To honour this icon, and the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God whose Appearance is celebrated today, we will offer a moleben at the end of Sunday’s Liturgy. I also hope that parishioners will bring picnic food to eat in the grounds of St John’s on Sunday, to honour the Appearance of the Kazan icon. It was a great joy to do this last weekend before Monika’s film-showing, and I hope that this can become a feature of the summer.
Vespers will be served on Saturday at 16:30, followed by confessions, and the Hours and Liturgy will be served on Sunday morning at 11:00.
Variables for the services may be found here…
It would be helpful to have an indication of who needs confessing on Saturday, simply for the clergy to have an idea of numbers. Please email Deacon Mark mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org asap.
May God bless you all.
In Christ – Hieromonk Mark