On Sunday, November 4, 1696, during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy
of Father Pap, the faithful noticed that the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos
on the iconostasis was shedding tears. Among the general commotion the the
sexton timidly approached altar and whispered into the priest’s ear: "The
Blessed Mother on the Icon is weeping!" Father Pap finished the Liturgy
and then came out to see what had happened. Standing in front of the Icon,
he also noticed that the Blessed Mother was shedding tears. So, he took the
chalice cloth and thoroughly wiped the face of the Most Holy Mother of God,
but in a short while tears appeared again.
As days passed by, the weeping of the Blessed Mother continued. The news about
the miracle spread rapidly. The curious people of all walks of life came from
near and far, and many of them indeed witnessed the miracle, since the icon
of the Most Holy Mother of God shed tears, at various intervals, until December
8, 1696, when the shedding finally stopped.
The Roman-Catholic bishop of Eger, George Fenessy (1687-1699), being informed
about the miracle, sent a Special Commission to Povch on December 26th, headed
by Canon Joseph Chetge, in order to investigate the miracle. The Commission
heard 36 witnesses who unanimously testified under oath about the miraculous
shedding of tears "in the Ruthenian Greek-Catholic church of Povch," as
marked in the Records of the Commission. These Records are still preserved
at the University Library in Budapest, as part of the so-called Hevenessy Collection
( vol. XI, p. 401-417 ).
The Records show that the first witness was Rev. Daniel Pap, age 60, pastpr
of the Ruthenian Greek-Catholic church in Povch. According to pastor’s
testimony the icon began weeping on November 4, 1696, and continued to shed
tears for the two weeks. Then, after some pause it began weeping again for
an additional two weeks, stopping completely on December 6, 1696. The Icon
shed tears even in the presence of numerous visitors, especially the ofeecers
fo the Austrian army, who were continuing their campaign against the Turks,
who were decisively defeated at Vienna in 1683.
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