By Michael H. Brown
Icon That Has Exuded Myrrh Daily For Four Years Said To Aid Childless Women
An icon of the Virgin and Child continues to exude oil — on a daily basis — at a church in Livonia, Michigan, according to the pastor, Father Michael Matsko of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church.
Moreover, Father Matsko says there have been healings associated with the oil, which has the aroma of myrrh and seems to especially help childless women have children. “It seems to have an affinity toward childless couples,” Father Matsko told Spirit Daily. “There have been ten or 12 cases of women who had trouble having babies. In fact I just came back from a clergy meeting just now and one of the priests was telling me that a parishioner who was anointed with the myrrh not long ago is pregnant after trying to have a baby for a while.”
The Orthodox priest says that “wonderworking” icons, as they are known, have a “propensity” for healing various parts of the body such as the eyes for those with problems of sight. “We’ve had all kinds of miracles take place, from cancerous tumors being removed to the childless couples. But the most striking thing is the spiritual healing that takes place. There was a 17-year-old boy who came every week and died of his cancer, but spiritually he was prepared to enter the next world, knowing that God loves him and his soul was saved. That was the most moving. He had no fear. We do have several cases of people who went back for treatment of their tumors but the tumors were gone.”
Matsko said the entire surface of the 8-by-10-inch icon exudes the oil — not just the eyes or other specific points, as in many cases. The picture is a replica purchased by a parishioner during a pilgrimage to a monastery in Cyprus and first began to mysteriously exude the oily substance in 1997.
The Orthodox priest points out that myrrh is what was given to the Child as a nativity present and through history has been associated with kingship. It has long been considered a healing herb. Orthodox use myrrh as Holy Unction. In ancient times, myrrh consisted of pure oil of a single plant. Later, balsam and aromatic substances were added. There are a number of myrrh-streaming icons around the world. And there have also been similar reputed miracles in the U.S. — including weeping icons at a church in Hempstead, N.Y. and a flow of blood that oozed from the side wound of a small icon of Christ on a Bible at an Orthodox church in Tucson.