Bright Wednesday

On Bright Wednesday we commemorate the holy monastic Fathers who have shone forth on the God-trodden Mt Sinai. This commemoration was established by the Church of Russia on April 17, 1997.

Saints Theocharis and Apostolos are local saints of Arta. The first fell asleep in 1845 and the second a little later. St Theocharis was a teacher at Komboti, Arta. The icons of these saints are in the church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) in Arta.

The Kasperov Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is also commemorated today. Tradition says that this holy icon had been brought to Cherson from Transylvania by a Serb at the end of the sixteenth century. Passing down from parent and child, the icon had come to a certain Mrs. Kasperova of Cherson in 1809.

One night in February of 1840 she was praying, seeking consolation in her many sorrows. Looking at the icon of the Virgin, she noticed that the features of the icon, darkened by age, had suddenly become bright. Soon the icon was glorified by many miracles, and people regarded it as wonder-working.

During the Crimean War (1853-1856), the icon was carried in procession through the city of Odessa, which was besieged by enemy forces. On Great and Holy Friday, the city was spared. Since that time, an Akathist has been served before the icon in the Dormition Cathedral of Odessa every Friday.

The icon is painted with oils on a canvas mounted on wood. The Mother of God holds Her Son on her left arm. The Child is holding a scroll. St John the Baptist (Janurary 7) is depicted on one side of the icon, and St Tatiana (January 12) on the other. These were probably the patron saints of the original owners of the icon.

The Kasperov Icon is commemorated on October 1, June 29, and Bright Wednesday.