More than four years ago. with the blessing of the highest metropolitan of Odessa and Ismail, there was opened the friary in Odessa, devoted to the Iverskaya Virgin icon.
One can view the history of this icon from IX century – the time of iconoclast persecution in Byzantine. According to the emperors order the icon worshippers should be executed, and the icons – burnt.
Not far from town Nikei, during the reign of iconoclast emperor Fcophil (829-842), there lived a pious widow with a son. She had an ancient Virgin icon. Once, at night the soldiers burst into her house and stabbed the icon. The CUE began to bleed. The executors got frightened and agreed to wait till the dawn, for the widow to collect the money for ransom.
The widow prayed at the seacoast and lowered the sacred image into the water. She noticed with joy that the icon didn’t sink but turned its front side to the coast and began to move away floating. Then it vanished. At that very night the mother had entreated her son to leave the house, while she herself remained to be martyred for icon worshipping.
In the time of St. Euphimy being the Father-Superior of Iversky monastery, the monks were stricken by a strange and dreadful vision: on Tuesday, April 27, 999 they had seen the fiery pillar, and an icon in the waves at its Foundation. In three days Euphimy, accompanied by canticles of numerous monks, who stood on the shore with gonfalons and censers, entered the sea and stepping in a miraculous way above the waves, assumed a saint look.
The icon was hung forever at the top of the gates, behind which the monks had built then a temple to the Virgin, With the blessing of Odessa and Ismail Metropolitan, there was ordered an exact copy of Iverskaya Virgin Icon on sacred mount Aphon. The Aphon old man combined the work at the sacred image with prayers and fasting. In June, 2000 the wonderful image of Iverskaya Virgin was delivered in Odessa, on the territory of Iversky monastery, the place is constantly visited by the parishioners with the matter to get the consolation in prayers. The folk prayers are various: thanksgiving for mercy, appeal for healing and for blessing for the good deeds.
Nowadays. the prior of the monastery and deputy – archimandrite Veniamin together with the small community do their best reconstruct the destroyed temple. There was opened an artesian spring with splendid pure water “Iversky Istochnik” (“Iversky Spring”) there.
photos from http://iverskiy.od.ua/