On Tuesday, April 16, the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God "Softener of Evil Hearts" continued its visitation through the Eastern American Diocese, arriving in Columbia, SC from Atlanta, GA.
That evening, the icon visited St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr Church in Columbia, where a moleben with the Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos was served. The service was led by parish rector Archpriest Mark Mancuso, co-served by Archpriest Thomas Moore (rector of Holy Apostles OCA Church in Columbia), Priest Alexis Baldwin (rector of Holy Resurrection OCA Church in North Augusta, SC), and parish Protodeacon Columba Wilson. The church was filled with worshippers from local parishes, many of whom sang the akathist along with the choir.
The following morning, Wednesday, April 17, the icon was present for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in St. Elizabeth Church, celebrated by the parish clergy. Afterward, the icon remained in the hall into the afternoon for veneration by the faithful.
On Wednesday evening, the icon traveled to Charlotte, NC, where a moleben with the Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, followed by the blessing of the water, was served in the Church of the "Reigning" Mother of God. Leading the service was parish rector Archpriest Alexander Logunov, co-served by parish clerics Archpriest Alexander Stepanenko and Deacon Ivan Makarow.
On Thursday morning, Fr. Alexander Logunov served several molebens from 10 o’clock in the morning until after 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Priest Steven Webb (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Fletcher, NC) came on Thursday and served a moleben and akathist before the holy image. Clergy, faithful, and monastics came to venerate the icon, some traveling several hours from the parishes in Mebane and Fletcher.
That afternoon, the icon, accompanied by its guardian Sergei Fomin, departed from Charlotte for New York State, where it will spend Passion Week and Pascha before returning to Moscow.
Columbia, SC: Myrrh-Streaming Icon "Softener of Evil Hearts" visits the Carolinas - 04/16/19
Photos: Sergei Fomin