On October 24 / 2017, St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia hosted the Hawaiian Myrrh- streaming Iveron icon of the Most Holy Theotokos . The faithful, from multiple Orthodox jurisdictions in the Philadelphia area, filled the church to celebrate the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God. The Canon was served by Fr. Nicholas Dellerman (Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (OCA), Phildelphia), Fr. Martin Browne (St. Mark Orthodox Church (OCA), Newtown), Archmandrite Christopher (St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, Broomall) Fr. Joel Gillam (St. George Anitochean Orthodox Churvh, Upper Darby), Fr. James Thayer (St. Philip Orthodox Church, Souderton) and Fr. Milorad Orlic. The beautiful responses, sung by the Pan Orthodox choir of Philadelphia under the direction of Dan Drobish, magnified the beauty of the service. Many of the faithful present expressed their awe at how the scent of myrrh filled the church throughout the service. At the conclusion of the Canon, Fr. Milorad thanked all present for attending and conveyed the greetings and blessings of His Grace, Bishop Irinej who, due to a previous commitment, was unable to attend. Fr. Milorad then invited Sub-deacon Nectarios, the guardian of the icon, to familiarize the faithful with the icon. Sub-deacon Nectarios explained its history and encouraged all to be fervent in their prayers to the Mother of God. The faithful then had the opportunity to venerate the icon, to be anointed with the myrrh for the healing of soul and body, and to receive a small copy of the icon. The service was welled attended by many of the families of the St. Nicholas church-school; for many parents and children this was their first experience of a myrrh-streaming icon.
The Hawaiian Iveron Icon is particularly dear to the St. Nicholas parish for the miraculous healing of Vukan Milenkovic, who was born after only 22 weeks of gestation. Weighing less than 1 lbs., given little chance for survival – and facing severe brain damage if he did survive – the icon was taken to him in the Critical Care Unit of Cooper Hospital in Camden NJ. For the first time since he was born, Vukan was taken out of his incubator, placed on the icon and anointed with myrrh. Sub-deacon Nectarios was overjoyed to see Vukan as a perfectly healthy five year-old, with none of the consequences that the doctors had predicted.
Unfortunately the time came for the icon to be taken to its next visit - St. George Georgian Orthodox Church in Bensalem. Nevertheless, the blessing of the Iveron Icon experienced by those present will remain with them.