Chicago Tikhvin Icon Concludes Two Day Journey to Cleveland Deanery

CLEVELAND, OH [DOM] – The Chicago-Tikhvin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, of Holy Trinity Cathedral and the Diocese of the Midwest, began traveling in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the return of the original Tikhvin Icon to Russia in 2004. With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Midwest, the icon made her first visit of the year to the Cleveland Deanery.

On Thursday, February 22, the icon traveled to St. Nicholas Church, Mogadore, OH, where she was greeted by the ringing of bells, clergy, and faithful from the Cleveland Deanery. Archpriest Nicholas Wyslutsky, Dean, presided over the Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos and was joined by, Priest Alexander Koranda, Archpriest Don Freude, Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Priest Jan Cizmar, Priest Peter Simko, and Protodeacon Samuel Slimak.

After the singing of the Akathist, Fr. Alexander Koranda read an address from Archbishop Daniel who welcomed the clergy and faithful gathered to pray and venerate the Holy Icon. Following the Archbishop’s address, Fr. Alexander Garklavs, the grandson of Archbishop John (Garklavs) – who’s protection the original icon was under – taught those gathered the history of the icon, along with its impact in local life within the diocese. Fr. Alexander also preached on the importance of gathering before the icon seeking a miracle and interacting with God and His Holy Mother. Fr. Nicholas expressed his gratitude to Fr. Alexander for bringing the Icon to the deanery. He encouraged those gathered to make the most of the opportunity to pray before this holy Icon and to beseech the prayers of the Mother of God.

The clergy and faithful venerated the icon as the choir sang hymns to the Mother of God. The temple remained open for over an hour after the service with people singing hymns and offering prayers before the holy icon was processed out of the temple. Refreshments in honor of the occasion were offered in the parish hall.

On following day, Friday, February 23, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Theodosius Cathedral, Cleveland OH. Divine Liturgy was presided over by Priest Jan Cizmar, Dean, and concelebrating with him were Mitered Archpriest Basil Stoyka, Archpriest John Adamcio, Archpriest Andrew Clements, Priest Alexander Koranda, Priest Christopher Moore, Priest Peter Simko, Priest Aaron Rutz, Priest Mark Therrien, Protodeacon Michael Timko, Protodeacon Joseph Carter, and Protodeacon Samuel Slimak.

Following the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Jan welcomed the clergy and faithful from the deanery and thank Fr. Alexander for traveling with icon and then Fr. Alexander read an address from Archbishop Daniel. Fr. Alexander Garklavs was in prayerful attendance and once again was invited to speak about his intimate experience growing up and traveling with the Tikhvin Icon. During his talk, Fr. Alexander also highlighted that the original icon made several visits to the historic Cleveland cathedral during its time in America which some of the clergy and faithful were present to experience.

A Molieben to the Most Holy Theotokos was then served by Fr. Alexander Koranda and the gathered clergy. The veneration of the Icon and the Cross took place after the service. A festive meal in honor of the Icon’s visitation was held in the parish hall.

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