Myrrh Weeping Icon Comes To Bakersfield

This Weekend, 'Window To Heaven' Appeared At St. George Greek Orthodox Church

An icon from Hawaii of the Virgin Mary started weeping myrrh a few years ago, and this weekend it came to Bakersfield.

According to Tom Dorlis, the vice president of the parish council for St. George Greek Orthodox Church, a portrait of the Virgin Mary that came from Hawaii started to cry an oily substance that smells like roses.

It happened back in 2007, around the time of the financial crisis.

Parishioners at the church, located at the intersection of Truxtun Avenue and U Street, said there's no doubt that the weeping icon is a gift from God, whether you're a believer or not.

“What the myrrh-streaming icon is, is basically a window to heaven,” said Grace Cornett, a St. George parishioner.

For many, mysteries and unanswered questions are all a part of believing in something greater, with nothing written in stone, and everything left to faith.

"How wine and bread become the blood and body of Christ?" asked Pamela Jones, another parishioner. "We don't know. It's a mystery. What happens at baptism? We don't know. It happens."

For Jones and dozens of others, they can add the mysterious icon to that list.

"It's a mystery," said Jones. "There are mysteries we don't understand."

According to the Bible, myrrh was one of the gifts bestowed upon baby Jesus. Parishioners said the icon has now brought them gifts of their own.

"It brings spiritual gifts out -- patience, kindness, love," said Cornett. "It heals a lot of relationships. Hardened hearts are softened. It even performs physical miracles, too, if that's what needs to happen for that person's salvation."

The church said this specific icon of the Virgin Mary is especially important to their parish.

"The intercessions of the Virgin Mary are very meaningful to us," said Dorlis. "The Virgin Mary can intercede on behalf of Christ, so (the Virgin Mary) is very powerful to us."

For many like Jones, the icon wasn't just a symbol of God's power, but one of reassurance.

"I think at some point in peoples' lives, they try to find their creator," said Jones. "When you find it, it does bring this peace and joy that you just can't explain."

The icon -- originally from Hawaii -- is a smaller copy of the ancient original, which has been at a monastery in Greece for over a millennium. Other copies have been produced in Montreal and Moscow. Some of those weep myrrh as well.
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