Kremenets, Ternopil Province, Ukraine, November 8, 2023
More than 10 hierarchs, a host of clerics, and scores of monastics and faithful pilgrims of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church filled the Holy Theophany Convent in Kremenets on Monday for the feast of the monastery’s greatest sacred treasure.
On that day, the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Mother of God was led by the local hierarch His Eminence Metropolitan Sergei of Ternopil, together with another ten UOC hierarchs, including His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir, abbot of the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra, reports the Vinnitsa Diocese.
The Vigil service the night before was held entirely by candlelight, as the electricity was turned off by the Kremenets-Pochaev State Historical and Architectural Preserve that legally owns the monastery and which is trying to run the nuns out of their home of more than 30 years.
The nuns have been sounding the alarm about persecution against them at least Authorities now targeting nuns in Western Ukrainian conventVideo published by the UOC showed several dozen police officers and several police vehicles outside the monastery.
“>since September. The Museum also evicted the UOC from its cathedral in Kremenets Ukraine evicts Ukrainian Church from cathedral in western Ternopil ProvinceShould the Orthodox community refuse to leave the cathedral, the Preserve will apply to law enforcement bodies to enforce the court’s decision.”>last month.
Despite the state’s harassment of the monastery and its sisterhood, enough pilgrims came for the Liturgy to fill the cathedral church to overflowing.
Special prayers for peace, for the persecuted Church, and for all who are suffering were offered during the service.
Following the service, the monastery’s wonderworking Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon was carried in procession around the monastery.
The Holy Theophany Monastery in Kremenets was founded as a male monastery in the first half of the 17th century. In 1725, it was taken over by Uniate Greek Catholics and did not return to Orthodoxy until 1839. In 1953, the monastery was transformed into a convent, and by 1959, there were 67 sisters living there. On July 29-30, 1959, the monastery was closed and the church was used as a gym, while the monastic residential building housed a hospital.
The rebirth of the monastery began on August 26, 1990, when the Sorrowing Icon of the Mother of God, kept in the monastery before the revolution and moved to the Pochaev Lavra after its closing, was carried in procession back to its former place. Nuns returned to the monastery in 1991.
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