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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Poland's Holy Mountain

Today I ran across this interesting article from Orthodox News on the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Grabarka in Poland.

The article gives some background to the history of the Church:

"As every year on the 18 – 19th of August, thousands of Orthodox faithful took part in celebrations on the Holy Mountain Grabarka, the most venerated Orthodox holy site in Poland. Many of the people made pilgrimages from the nearby towns and villages. They carried crosses which were placed on the mountain for the intentions of health and spiritual regeneration.

The all night vigil of the feast of Transfiguration was celebrated by Metropolitan Sawa – the head of the Autocephalous Church in Poland - with the assistance of other bishops.

During the night, several services were celebrated – there was an akathist in memory of the dead at the cemetery by the monastery, Divine Liturgies (at 1.00 am, 4.00 am and at 7.00 am). The main Divine Liturgy of the feast of Transfiguration was served by Metropolitan Sawa at 10.00 am. At the end, the procession around the church occurred.

The Holy Mountain Grabarka has a rich and long history. It became famous after the miracle that had happened there in 1710, when lots of people in the region were dying. At this time one of the men had a vision - that the only cure can to be found in the forest on the Holy Mountain Grabarka. As the people came to the mountain and put a cross there, a miracle happened. People started to recover. After that, the news spread among the people and they began coming to the mountain with the pilgrimages."

Today there are several large wooden crosses placed next to the Church by the faithful Orthodox who make the pilgrimage.

The article also mentions that:

"There are about 500,000 Orthodox people in Poland, 1% of the whole Polish population. The church has 8 monasteries – five male and three female. There is a theological seminary and an ecumenical university with a faculty of Orthodox theology."


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