The All-Holy Theotokos blessed the pilgrims to open their fourth day on the Holy Mountain by serving Liturgy at the Skete of St. John the Russian. With His Grace Diodore Auxiliary Bishop of Odessa diocese presiding from the Throne, Father Nazari concelebrated with another priest from Odessa diocese of The Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Reader Serge read the Third Hour in Slavonic, but the majority of the rest of the service was read and sung in English. Jonathan and Kevin joined Sergey singing beautifully to the Glory of God. The six pilgrims then set out to the Dokhiari Monastery where they once again met with Metropolitan Agapit and their Ukrainian friends.

Within the monastery they entered into a small room which houses the icon of the Theotokos "Quick to Hear", and sang the Akathist to Her with the Metropolitan. After this service the Immaculate Mother saw fit for the six to meet with Elder Gregorius, the Abbot of the monastery, and they were blessed by his wisdom. Following the great honor of being in the presence of such a holy man, they departed from Dokhiari with the company of Metropolitan Agapit for the Serbian monastery of Hilandar. In the Church of the Entrance of the Theotokos the pilgrims venerated many relics, the icon of the Theotokos "Three Handed", and the tomb of St. Simeon, from which grows a miraculous vine. From Hilandar the group travelled to the Zograph Monastery where they venerated the relics of St. George the Great Martyr. After a brief stop at Dokhiari where they bid farewell to the Metropolitan and their Ukrainian friends the six set out for the Russian monastery of St. Pantelemon where they found their cell for the evening. Having enjoyed a warm cup of tea the pilgrims retired in preparation for the celebration of Liturgy the following morning with Most Blessed Onufry, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.


(written by Subdeacon Peter Winsky)

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