22 January 2010

Macedonian Orthodox celebrate Epiphany - Vodici

Orthodox believers Tuesday celebrate great Christian holiday - Epiphany. The holiday marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Christian Bible.
The first event was when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus.
The second event was when St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
The Head of Macedonian Orthodox Church, Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan performed the Great Theophany Blessing of Water, dipping the Holy Cross and blessing the water of the river Vardar. Ilija Stojanovski from Skopje caught the Holy Cross that the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church HH Stefan threw in the waters of river Vardar on occasion of Epiphany.
Twenty-eight year old Stojanovski, who is professional swimmer, congratulated the holiday to all Orthodox believers and wished them happiness. He expected to catch the Holy Cross since he registered to participate at the cross-throwing ceremony. 168 believers jumped into the river Vardar to catch the Holy Cross. Stojanovski was given a laptop, DVD surround system from PM Nikola Gruevski, golden coin from Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, an icon and "Gorenje" products from Centar municipality mayor Vladimir Todorovic and other gifts.
It is considered that the one who catches the cross will enjoy happiness, health and welfare all year long. - Let's change, improve and repent! St. John's message: Repent - is sent to us - meaning to be more compassionate, to have bigger faith and hope, to forgive and to help, is today's message by HH Stefan to Orthodox believers.
The traditional ceremony of throwing the Holy Cross was held throughout Macedonia, with the largest event in Ohrid, where Jovan Rilkov from Varos was the luckiest one among 1.200 believers who participated at Holy Cross throwing in Ohrid Lake.

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