Monastery Pilgrimage 2018
From March 12th-March 14th, several parishioners of St. Mary Magdalene set off on a journey to the oldest Orthodox Monastery in the country--St. Tikhon's in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Elwood City, PA
Along our journey, we were able to stop for a quick visit to Holy Transfiguration Monastery. We were able to celebrate Lenten Services with the nuns and were given a tour of the Monastery where we learned of it's history. The monastery was founded in 1967 by Mother Alexandra (the former Princess Ileana of Romania), whose dream it was to provide a place where American Orthodox women, from all ethnic backgrounds, to come live the monastic life and benefit from a liturgical cycle of the Church in English. This dream was eventually realized at Holy Transfiguration Monastery!
Before we departed, we were graciously given a delicious Lenten lunch prepared by the sisters.
St. Tikhon's Monastery, South Canaan, PA
After departing Elwood City, we took the long drive through Pennsylvania to our final destination: St. Tikhon's Monastery.
We arrived on a very snowy evening to the open arms of the monks and seminarians. While at the Monastery, our pilgrims were able to celebrate Lenten Hours, Matins and a Presanctified Liturgy with the brotherhood and students at the Monastery and Seminary.
Fr. Sergius, Abbot of the Monastery, was gracious enough to offer us a tour of the OCA Metropolitan Museum, where we were able to see some incredible history of the Orthodoxy Church.
After a day of walking around the beautiful monastery grounds, nestled on top of the Pocono Mountains, Fr. Herman of the monastery gave us a talk about the Myrrh Streaming Icon of St. Anna, which was held in the Monk's Private Quarters.
The group ended its trip with a visit and blessing from Archbishop Mark of Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as with His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, who gifted the pilgrims with relics of St. Alexis Toth's tomb..
The Weeping Icon of the "Kardiotisa" (Tender Heart), Taylor, PA
As for one of the highlights of the trip, our Pilgrims were beyond blessed to have a nearly four hour visit with the miraculous myrrh streaming Icon of the Kardiotisa.
While we waited for the priest to come show us the Icon, we sang hymns with an Akathist to the Theotokos as the Mother of God literally wept tears onto the floor of the church. Our pilgrims witnessed a miracle of myrrh gushing forth from the Icon, at some points literally filling the hands of those present with the fragrant tears.