Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Holy Cross and St Paraskevi

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Well, the car came in handy again today. We went with our neighbors to a church in Harilaou, which is hosting, for 9 days, a piece of the True Cross and the skull of St Paraskevi, from the Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou on the Holy Mountain.

I’ve heard of several other monasteries from the Holy Mountain bringing some of their many, many treasures into town. In the little village of Petrokerasa (where Fr Peter Heers serves), the Holy Monastery of Xeropotamou has brought one of its treasures, the largest known piece of the True Cross. (Fr Joseph and I venerated it at the monastery back in July.)

Also, I heard that the Holy Monastery of Dochiariou brought its wonderworking icon of the Panagia Quick to Hear to a little village church in Sohos, about 45 minutes outside Thessaloniki.

Apparently, it is a tradition for the Athonite monks to bring some of their treasures to the faithful (and especially women, since they cannot go to the Holy Mountain) between the Feasts of the Dormition and the Elevation of the Holy Cross.

To the photos.

The top photo is unrelated. I just wanted everyone to see a bit of Pelagia’s handiwork. She painted this in our apartment.

The rest are from today.

The second photo is of Pelagia and our neighbor Margo (Ann Lillie’s mother) sitting in the courtyard just outside the church today.

The third photo is looking into the church from the courtyard and the fourth photo is of the entrance to the grounds.

The video is very short. It was too dark to take photos inside – video does a better job in these cases. The main focus in the video is the table with the relics.

Interestingly, there was an exorcism going on when we came in. You can hear the shouting in the last 10-15 seconds of the video.

It was off in a side chapel, which we happened to enter the church through by accident. A priest was standing over two people with his stole over them. He read prayers over them the whole time we were there, while they shouted at him in a very deep, disturbing voice. Someone told us that it was a woman!! The voice was saying things like “Leave, priest!” and “Aren’t you afraid? Don’t you know that we are many and powerful?”

It was very disconcerting. I’m not sure what to make of it, not knowing anything about the case, but it was certainly a different experience.

1 comment:

Gregory said...

I just wanted to say that the top pic is a work in progress - it's not finished yet.... hopefully the green parts will actually look like leaves when it's done.