Bulgaria’s main cathedral, St. Alexander Nevsky, saw a massive influx of visitors this weekend as hundreds of faithful crowded the church to catch a glimpse of just a copy of the iconic Dostoino Est icon of Virgin Mary from Mount Athos.
As part of a celebration honoring the 130 years since the laying of the cathedral’s first stones, the visitation of this Orthodox miraculous icon testifies to the strength of the religion in Bulagaria. To see an explanation and find out more about the icon, please visit this site and even hear a chant of the prayer. In English, the Hymn to the Ever Blessed Mother of God translates loosely into:
“It is right and just to bless you O Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, we magnify you.”
According to the news, the icon will stay in Bulgaria. The origin of the the icon comes from the first line of a hymn devoted to Virgin Mary, one that was supposedly revealed by Archangel Gabriel to a novice monk, in proximity to the icon.
According to the tradition, back in 980 a stranger in monastic robe appeared before the novice at the Holy Mount Athos, staying for the night. The guest corrected a hymn which the novice sand, adding the new “It is Truly Meet” context, which the visitor inscribed on stone with his finger. The instructions he Gabriel left were for all Orthodox Christians to henceforth sing the prayer so.
The icon, is a copy of the original inscribed tablet.