Replica of Holy Protection Icon weeps oil from her hands, Greensboro, North Carolina
A Miracle at St. Seraphim's
In March 1992 at the Shrine of St. Jude in [Barberton], Ohio, an Icon of the Holy Protection of the Theotokos wept. Thousands of pilgrims witnessed this miracle and have made annual pilgrimages to the Shrine in Barberton each year to commemorate this miracle. Several people were healed after they visited the Shrine and prayed in front of the Miraculous Weeping Icon.
Father Michael, the Parish Priest of St. Seraphims, attended the Diocese Clergy Conference held at the St. Judes Shrine in 1998. Father Michael took one of the post cards with a photo of the Miraculous Icon to Kinkos Copy center and had the post card copied, enlarged, and dry mounted on cardboard. This dry-mounted replica of the Miraculous Weeping Icon was framed and placed in the Nave at St. Seraphims in honor of the miracle in Barberton, Ohio.
At the Annual Clergy Conference in 1999 at Barberton, Ohio, Metropolitan Roman gave Father Michael part of a paper towel that had been used to soak up some of the tears that came from the Miraculous Weeping Icon. The fragment of paper towel was laminated by Father Michael and attached to the back of the replica Icon at St. Seraphims in High Point.
In 2000 Father Michael received a splinter from the Miraculous Icon in Barberton, Ohio from Metropolitan Roman. This splinter was also attached to the back of the replica Icon at St. Seraphims. It was also in late 2000 that our faithful Sub-Deacon Longinios, was diagnosed with cancer and was given only six months to live.
Early July 2001, at the Annual Clergy Conference, Father Michael prayed in front of the Miraculous Weeping Icon in Barberton, Ohio for Sub-Deacon Longinios. Consequently, at the same time, Sub-Deacon Longinios was praying at the replica Icon at St. Seraphims in High Point. After Father Michael returned to North Carolina, he contacted Sub-Deacon Longinios, who told him that while he was in the middle of the Matins prayers that the replica Icon at St. Seraphims in High Point began smelling strongly of roses. The beautiful fragrance filled the Church within minutes. The Sub-Deacon was very touched by the beautiful fragrance, but did not notice anything different about the Icon.
On July 7, 2001 while the church was being cleaned, it was discovered that the replica Icon of the Holy Protection had oil coming from her hands. So much fragrant oil came from the hands of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) that it was running down the wall, all the way to the floor. Even though this Icon was framed with glass in front of it, the oil did not collect on the glass; it ran to the bottom of the Icon and pooled in the frame below. When the Icon was removed from the wall, it was then discovered that the oil had not seeped through the cardboard that the Icon was mounted on, which is quite unusual. The oil continued to pour from her hands for seven days, eventually removing part of the color on the icon.
Father Michael contacted Metropolitan Roman with the information concerning this event, and after examination of the information, Metropolitan Roman declared July 7th officially as the commemoration day for Our Lady of the Holy Protection of High Point.
In early 2002 one of our members that was going through a painful divorce, stood near the Icon during the Diving Liturgy. As this member shed tears for the pain in her life, she was enveloped with the scent of roses, and felt as if the Virgin Mary had, in her words, "hugged her" to comfort her. She noted that when her tears subsided, so did the fragrance. This happened at least three times during that Sunday Liturgy.
It was August of 2002 when Sub-Deacon Longinios was nearing death that he was serving in the Altar during a Divine Liturgy. During the Divine Liturgy a beautiful Angel of Light appeared to Sub-Deacon Longinios. Three days later the Icon of the Holy Protection again poured oil from her hands, this time for only one day. Shortly after this event Sub-Deacon Longinios fell asleep in the Lord.
On Palm Sunday, April 20, 2003 oil came from the hands of the replica Icon again for only one day. The Icon to this day emits a beautiful fragrance of roses, and you can visibly see the stains from the oil that has ran down from her hands.
The parishioners of St. Seraphims have quietly enjoyed this miracle, choosing not to make it public because of what happened in Barberton, Ohio when the Icon of the Holy Protection wept. It attracted media attention, and so many visitors that traffic was completely snarled. So many people visited the Shrine Church that it was difficult for the congregation to worship in their own church. Another reason we have kept it quiet is due to the fact that we rent our facility. We share the grounds with another church, which makes it impossible for us to receive large groups of pilgrims. We have, on occasion allowed small groups to visit when the visit was scheduled in advance.
Visiting pilgrims are always welcome to worship with us during the Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 11:00 AM. The church is usually open every Sunday at 10:00 AM for pilgrims that want to pray for special needs in front of the Miraculous Icon. We will be placing a basket under the Miraculous Icon soon, this basket will contain prayer requests that we receive from faithful Christians.
If you have a special prayer request you may write it down on a small piece of paper and mail it to us at: St. Seraphim Of Sarov Parish P.O. Box 77342 - Greensboro, North Carolina 27417-7342
Visit Saint Seraphim of Sarov's [website].