In his homily delivered Thursday at the Chapel of the National Cathedral, His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti referred to the advanced stage of the construction works at the National Cathedral noting that ‘this edifice is the proof of the miraculous work of the Prodromitissa wonderworking icon.’
‘This is how we can explain how in such a short time, marked by economic crises and various distresses, this work could continue at an impressive pace.’
A replica of the Prodromitissa Icon of the Mother of God from Mount Athos was enshrined in 2011 at the Cathedral’s Chapel in Bucharest.
The feast of the Prodromitissa (Forerunneress) Icon of the Mother of God, celebrated each year on July 12, is one of the Chapel’s three patronal feasts.
On this occasion, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti, one of Patriarch Daniel’s auxiliary bishops and the secretary of the Holy Synod.
In his speech, Bishop Varlaam stressed that the replica of the wonderworking Icon of the Theotokos from the Romanian Hermitage of St john the Forerunner of Mount Athos was made at the personal request of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.
The patriarch ‘wished that this icon would be close to the construction site of the National Cathedral when its building began so that the Mother of God would be an intercessor for the works.’
The Mother of God – The new Eve
The day’s gospel reading, the Bishop said, pointed to the fact that ‘the Mother of God was honoured even by those who followed the Saviour during his earthly ministry.’
‘A woman from the crowd, whose name is not mentioned by St Luke the Evangelist especially to show that she spoke on behalf of all those present, called out: Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you,’ he said July 12.
At the same time, ‘the Mother of God is called the new Eve,’ Bishop Varlaam emphasised, ‘because she was born to help God’s Eternal Son become incarnate from her own body so that He may redeem the entire human race from the sin of disobedience.’
He recalled that in the Old Testament the Mother of God is represented by the Ark of the Law ‘because it kept the two Tables of the Law received by Moses on Mount Sinai.’
‘The Mother of God carried in her womb as an Ark the Saviour who brought the New Law,’ he added.
At the end of his sermon, His Grace urged believers that whenever they venerate the icon of the Mother of God to ask her to vouchsafe them to fulfil her counsel every moment of their life, to do whatever her Son tells them (John 2:5).
Concelebrants for the Divine Liturgy included the Abbots of the Great Lavra and the Prodromos Skete, Elder Prodromos Lavriotes and Elder Athanasios Prodromites.
Photo by Raluca Ene/Basilica.ro