Abkhazian house becomes place of pilgrimage after supposed face of Mother of God appears in window

Moscow, April 25, 2017

Photo: Sputnik-Abkhazia Photo: Sputnik-Abkhazia

On the evening of Pascha an outlined appeared in the window of a home in the southern Abkhazian village of First Gali, reminiscent of the image of the Mother of God. Since then, a stream of Orthodox believers have flooded the village, including the head of the independent and non-canonical Abkhazian Orthodox Church Vissarion (Aplia), reports Sputnik-Abkhazia.

Homeowner Badri Ketsbaya explains that he and his wife discovered the image around six in the evening on April 16, on Pascha day. At first they assumed their children had put some kind of paint on the window, but upon closer examination realized there was no paint on the glass.

“We realized this was something unusual,” Badri said.

Their twelve-year-old son took pictures of the image in the window and published them on social media, which brought an endless stream of cars, buses, minivans, taxis, and pedestrians to the rural home already the next day.

Photo: Sputnik-Abkhazia Photo: Sputnik-Abkhazia

“No words can describe these feelings. It’s a miracle!” exclaimed Asmat Churguliya from the village of Chkhortol, barely keeping from crying. Several others in the overflowing yard gave the same reaction.

The image, similar to the outline of the Mother of God seen in so many icons, cannot be seen from afar, or from straight ahead, but only becomes visible from the correct side angle. Badri Ketsbaya observed that the image of the Theotokos is as if inside the glass, which remains externally as smooth as before.

The Ketsbayas had to build a wooden frame outside their house to accommodate all the candles being lit by the faithful, and set up benches under their 250-year-old ash three for the many elderly and infirm who have been arriving.

Some in the crowd have said the Mother of God appeared to one of the visitors to say that a church once stood on the spot of the home, and that her image appeared in the window as a sign that God wants to return to His place, although Badri Ketsbaya has said that his family has lived on that spot for 250 years, and never heard about a church formerly standing there.

The owners of the house have been advised by Fr. Vissarion (Aplia) to observe the window for another week, and keep track of any healings that may come to visitors, before declaring that the image is miraculous.

Meanwhile, the flow of visitors continues, but Ketsbaya does not complain, saying that the recent events have proved a blessing.

25 апреля 2017 г.

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