On November 4, on the feast of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, especially revered in the Gornensky Convent in Jerusalem, Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, who is in the Holy Land with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of All Saints who shone in the Russian land – the main church abodes.
Bishop Anthony was served by Archimandrite Alexander (Elisov), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, adviser to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, Acting Deputy Chairman of the DECR, Priest Alexander Ershov, assistant Chairman of the DECR, Hieromonk Ambrose (Ignatov), acting clerk of the Compound of the Mission in honor of the Holy Forefathers in Hebron Missions in honor of the Holy Righteous Tabitha in Jaffa Archpriest Nikolai Zhdanov, cleric of the Gorna Monastery Hieromonk Innokenty (Bespalov), cleric of the Vyksa diocese Priest Viktor Klinshov, members of the Mission: Abbot Nikon (Golovko), Hieromonk Dometian (Markarian) and Hieromonk Athanasius (Bukin); patriarchal deacon of the Primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Archdeacon Mark (Henderson), as well as pilgrims in holy orders.
During the service, the abbess of the Gornensky Monastery, Abbess Ekaterina (Chernysheva), and her sisters, the executive director of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage, E.I. Skopenko, the representative of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Palestine, the manager of the Pilgrim's Residence in Bethlehem, Y.A. Romashuk, numerous parishioners, pilgrims and guests of the monastery prayed.
At the end of the Liturgy, the glorification of the Most Holy Theotokos was performed. Then Metropolitan Anthony and Archimandrite Alexander exchanged welcoming speeches, after which many years were proclaimed.
Then the procession of clergy and sisters with the singing of the stichera of the feast went to the Kazan church of the monastery, where all the worshipers worshiped the local revered Kazan image of the Most Holy Theotokos.
After the monastic meal, Metropolitan Anthony celebrated a litany at the grave of Abbess Georgia (Shchukina; 1931-2022) and visited her cell, carefully preserved by the Gornensky sisters in memory of their deceased abbess.
The history of the special veneration of the Kazan Image of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Gornensky Convent in Ain Karem dates back to 1916, when a cholera epidemic raged throughout the Holy Land. Unable to receive earthly help, the inhabitants of the monastery offered their prayers to the Queen of Heaven, reciting the Akathist to the Kazan image of the Mother of God over and over again, until, through their prayers, the disease stopped. Since then, the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, before which the sisters prayed, has been a particularly revered image in the monastery.