On August 14, 2022, on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, the feast of the Origin (wearing) of the Honest Trees of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, the celebration in honor of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God “Hodegetria” (moved from August 10 to August 14), Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America performed the Divine liturgy in the temple in honor of the icon of the Mother of God “Hodegetria” of the city of Brasilia (Brazil), reports the website of the South American Diocese of ROCOR.
After the dismissal of the Liturgy, the rite of consecration of the newly built cross and the dome of the temple took place, then Bishop Leonid addressed the faithful with an archpastoral word:
“Today, on the first day of the Dormition Fast, the Holy Church presents to us the memory of the Honorable and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.
In the life of any person there are many trials, especially for those who try to live like a Christian, who try to fulfill the commandments of God, who try to go to church and approach holy fasts responsibly.
The Lord tells us: “Whoever wants to follow me, deny yourself, and take up your cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34).
In Christianity, there is a concept of a personal cross that we carry throughout our lives, whether we like it or not, whether we believe or not. Our cross can be big or small, heavy or light, one way or another the Lord gives it according to our strength. Even if it seems to us that the cross is heavy and we cannot bear it at certain moments of our lives, in fact it is not so. This often happens when we want to do or do some good deeds, when we try to pray and go to church, because dark forces – evil spirits always take up arms against people who are trying to live like a Christian. But the Lord is always with us, and He always helps to carry our cross. Therefore, the Church once again turns our gaze to the Cross of the Lord, which the demons fear. And we, in turn, must more often make the sign of the cross over ourselves to help and protect our lives.
Today, the church in which we prayed is celebrating the patronal feast. Each of us has patron saints, and we celebrate the name day on the day on which the Church celebrates the memory of our saint. So every temple is consecrated in honor of some saint, and he has his own name day.
This temple is dedicated to the icon of the Mother of God, called “Smolensk” or “Hodegetria”, which in Greek means “Guide”. When one of us is going on a journey, especially a dangerous one, we usually take a guide or guide with us to get to our destination safely. Our life on earth is a great journey that ends with the attainment of eternal life. And in this earthly journey of ours, we have a Guidebook that shows the right path to eternal life.
I wish all of you, dear fathers, brothers and sisters, to bear your personal crosses with patience and hope in God, to resort to the help of our Guide, the Intercessor of the Zealous, Most Holy Theotokos, and to move firmly towards eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.”
In memory of the joint prayer, the archpastor gave everyone an icon with the image of the Hodegetria icon of the Mother of God.