On July 27/August 10, for the sake of the revered icon of the Mother of God “Hodegetria”, the sisterhood of the Gethsemane Convent of St. Mary Magdalene especially celebrate the day of the commemoration of this icon.
In the evening, at the all-night vigil, the akathist to the Mother of God was read in front of the ancient icon that is kept in the monastery. The head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), led the Divine Liturgy with the clergy of the monastery hieromonks Misail (Minin), Feodor (Kiritsa) and Protodeacon Vyacheslav Batalsky.
After the Liturgy, a moleben was served with a procession around the territory of the convent. All the buildings of the monastery were blessed by sprinkling with holy water. At the beginning of the procession, Mother Elisabeth (Smelic), abbess of the monastery, carried the icon and then passed it on to all the sisters so that everyone could participate in the service.
After the service, the holy icon was taken to Bethany, to the community of the Resurrection of Christ. There they also carried the icon throughout the territory of the monastery and school. Every room and classroom were blessed with holy water. The ancient city of Bethany was blessed by the holy image from the roof of the school. Also, the construction site of the new school building was visited.
Despite the heat of a Palestinian summer day, the sisters carried the icon with chants and spiritual joy. Then the sisters invited the worshipers for some delicious cold Jericho watermelon.[foogallery id=”14351″]