9.19.2005

St. Gibmeahraag: Patron Saint of Erotic Body Oils?


'Myrrh?! That's a dangerous animal! Quick, throw it in the trough!'

Icon Weeps Anew

from The Jersey Journal

More than 100 people of various faiths and ages descended upon the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Sophia yesterday to witness The "Miraculous, Myrrh-weeping Icon of St. Anna."

"I believe that it's a miracle," said Bayonne resident Sarah D'Alessio - a Roman Catholic - outside the church yesterday just minutes after inspecting the vibrant painting. "People can choose not to believe, but I do. I said some special prayers."

Droplets of myrrh, an aromatic substance used in perfume and incense, could be seen yesterday on the body of the colorful icon which has purportedly wept for the last year.

Bayonne resident Richard Jendras is responsible for bringing the artwork to St. Sophia's after seeing it four months ago at a church in Wilmington, Del., he said yesterday. The icon arrived yesterday from Pennsylvania strapped securely in the back seat of a Toyota Forerunner.

"It's really just an honor to have it," said parish president and former Bayonne resident Donald Zyry. "Hopefully people will come away from it with a sense of spirituality. In the time we live in now, many people aren't spiritual."

Mark Taufik, a 24-year-old member of St. Mary and St. John Coptic Orthodox Church, which rents space at St. Sophia's, said he has heard about similar occurrences but wanted to see one for himself.

Another middle-aged Bayonne woman, who said she is Roman Catholic, was not convinced that the icon was in fact a miracle but said it was beautiful nonetheless.

"I'm not sure what it was, but if people want to believe it is miraculous, then that is fine with me."

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