All Orthodox churches are dedicated to the worship of God, of course, and when Christians first became able to build churches they built them on holy sites associated with events in scripture, the life of Christ, or over the tombs of the martyrs. And if there was no holy site at hand, nonetheless a church would be dedicated in the name of a person or an event marked on the church calendar. We continue this tradition.
Today, Sunday, November 6th (October 24), we celebrate the monastery’s altar feast in honor of the icon of Our Lady Joy of All Who Sorrow. The Church commemorates the icon of the Mother of God based on the event of a woman named Euphymia (sister of Patriarch Joachim of Moscow and All Rus) who received healing from sickness after obeying a voice telling her to find this icon and have the priest celebrate a Molieben with blessing of water. This miracle occurred on November 6 (October 24), 1688.
Our churches and monasteries always have their own special feast day. This is sometimes called the altar feast (престольный праздник) or the patronal feast. The monastery is dedicated to the Mother of God, specially in honor of her icon “Joy of All Who Sorrow.” The celebration of an altar feast is very special, full of prayer and good fellowship, giving thanks for one’s place of worship, for God’s innumerable mercies to us, and for the intercession and protection of the Mother of God on our walk through life.
This year the monastery is marking its third anniversary. In special celebration, the newly-elected Metropolitan Archbishop +Paul and Reverend Father Gregory+ Tumey (pastor of St. Mychal the Martyr, Fort Wayne, Indiana) join the monastics for the festal celebration of the Divine Liturgy and fellowship. We welcome our beloved hierarchs and clergy to the monastery family and beg their continued prayers for us and for our beloved lay apostolate, benefactors, family, and friends.
A Prayer to Our Lady Joy of All Who Sorrow
Holy Mother of God, the Handmaiden who served the Heavenly Father and who art blessed forever, hear our helpless cries. We place our hope in thee that thou wilt pray to thy Son and our God for the remission of sins and for the healing of suffering and sorrow. Teach us to rejoice under thy merciful protection. In thy compassion for sinners, transform our unrighteousness into zeal for the Cross and for the Kingdom of Heaven. Teach us to sin no more, our Lady, and if we sin, teach us to fall down before thy maternal love and to obtain release from our present infirmity and from eternal torment. We thank thee, O thou who art full of grace and the Joy of All Who Sorrow, for thy most powerful intercession. Amen.