The Guiding Mother of God Weeping Icon

 

Above is the Weeping Icon at St Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church, Chicago Illinois.

 

August 21, 2015 - [Read/view] article titled Rouman: a Dr. Who Believes in Miracles. (Dr. James Rouman witnessed the icon cry). [See/view] large photo of the The Guiding Mother of God Weeping Icon crying.

 

This Icon is from an [Albanian Orthodox Church] in Chicago named St. Nicholas. In December 1986 there was a shock in the community when the people in the church found out that the Icon of the Theotokos was weeping actual tears! They started holding services and people from all over the United States flocked to Chicago to see this miracle. I was present and got to see it first hand, and it was incredible. I even served a liturgy there with my cousin, Nicholas Chakos, and we both noticed that the back of the icon was perfectly dry, and it had been weeping for about a half of a year by the time we got to see it.

Also, myrrh started flowing from the right hand of the Virgin Mary. It was truly a miracle-working Icon. The icon stopped and then started back up crying for a short time after that, and then it eventually stopped for good. The crying, however, did not stop. After that, the tears from that Icon were used to anoint other Icons, and those Icons started crying! Icons to this day still weep from those tears. Cotton balls in plastic bags are still moist from that Icon in Chicago. God blessed us with a sign calling us back to faith. May we recognize this sign from God in our own lives. Amen.

On December 6, 1986 the very Reverend Archimandrite Philip Koufos arrived at his church with a good feeling in his heart. His three year pastorate at the 250 family St. Nicolas parish on Chicago's Northwest Side was beginning to bear fruit. He was pleased with the noticeable spiritual renewal and rebirth and rebirth his congregation was undergoing. The church had been quite the night before for Vespers on the eve of the Holy Day of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. He anticipated the same response today, as the parish celebrated their patronal feast.

Lillian George and Bessie Tolbert, two dedicated parishioners had also gotten to church well in advance of the beginning of services to make some last minute preparations. As Father Koufos lit the candles burning in the lamps before the icons on the ornate Icon Screen, he reflected upon the sermon he had preached the previous evening, which, in retrospect, had been almost prophetic. In his homily, Father Phillip, in extolling the many virtues of St. Nicholas, concentrated on his role as a worker of miracles and as a healer. He spoke about the great responsibility of today's clergy to be "healers" as well.


After staring at this sight in speechless wonder for a few seconds, Father Koufos was able to compose himself and get the attention of the two woman, who were now in the back of the church. They hurriedly approached the sanctuary, where they, too, stood totally awe struck before the sacred image of the Mother of God. If this were not enough for the astonished trio to comprehend, moisture literally began to "spurt" from the fingers of hands of the Virgin, causing Father Philip to fall prostrate before the Holy Icon.

The weeping Icon

September 1988 - Moisture was visually noticed on the face of the Holy Virgin and remained visible for almost two weeks.

July 23, 1995 - The holy Icon began to weep copiously as She had originally on December 6th 1986.

The weeping Icon of Theotokos at St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church, which many now refer to as "Our Lady of Chicago," was painted some 23 years ago by the renowned Byzantine Iconography, there are many types and styles of icons of the Mother of God. The Icon of the image known as the Hodigitria in Greek or, in English, the Directress. The Mother of God in this style of icon is depicted as "the one who points the way."

According to an ancient tradition of the Church, this style of icon of the Blessed Mother is traced back to an original painting of her done by the Evangelist Luke. It is said that the Theotokos herself gave her blessings to this portrait, saying"My Blessing will always remain with this Icon." St. Luke is said to have sent this Icon, along with the text of his Gospel, to Theophilus in Antioch. In the middle of the fifth century, this holy image was taken to the city of Constantinople by the Empress Eudoxia, as a present to her mother in law Pulcheria. It was in the ninth century that the name "Hodigitria" began to be used in reference to this special painting.

In the reproduction of this icon, the Christ Child always appears seated erect on His Mother's left arm. The Infant is no longer shown as a "Baby," but rather as the "Pre-Eternal God," full of wisdom. He holds a scroll on His left Hand, and is shown giving a blessing with His Right Hand. The Mother of God is portrayed in a majestic manner. Her right hand is pointing to Her Son, in a grand gesture of presentation. It is the Son of God, the One we must follow and obey.

The Theotokos embraces all

Since December 6th, 1986 it has been estimated that over two million people have come to St. Nicholas Church to view the Weeping Icon. Orthodox Hierarchs, representing nearly all jurisdictions in the United States, have humbly knelt in prayer before the Miraculous Lady. The Weeping Icon has reached out and touched the lives of more than the hierarchs and dignitaries of the Orthodox Church. Pilgrims from all walks of life, of all ages, and of all faiths have made a point of visiting and re-visiting the moderate Albanian parish to view this miraculous sign. They come for a variety of reasons. Some come out of curiosity. Others come looking for "miracles" in their own lives. Still others come merely to pray and meditate before the Icon of the Mother of God.

In the words of Father Koufos:

"We have a treasure which God has entrusted to us. We thus have even more of a responsibility to share it with all of our brothers and sisters, be they Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant. For perhaps as a mother seeks to bring peace to her own family, The Mother of God, even now, is helping to bring to all of the family of those who honor her Son." From the Paraklesis to the Most Holy Mother of God. For those In great sorrow you are joy, And for the oppressed, a protection, And for the hungry, their food, Comfort unto those estranged: You are a staff to the blind, Visitation of all those sick, And to those held by pain Shelter and a comforting, And to the orphaned, an aid: Mother, of God in the highest, You who are the Spotless One, hasten, Save your servants from their sin, we ask you.

 

[Visit] Saint Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church. [Address] 2701 N. Narragansett Ave. Chicago, IL 60639.