03/17/2019 The clergy of Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles served the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy and St.Patrick's Feast Day the Bishop of Armagh and Enlightener of Ireland.

The divine service was sung by the HVM choir under the direction of Serge Liberovsky.







The Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy was established in the 11th century to commemorate the victory over the heresy of iconoclasm. Among the persecutors of the icons were a number of Byzantine emperors, and even patriarchs. However, most monasteries remained strongholds of the veneration of icons. The emperors took advantage of this opportunity to seize monastic lands, workers and religious valuables.

In 726, a volcano erupted near Crete. The Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian interpreted this as a sign of God's wrath over the veneration of icons, which he considered idols, and began the persecution of the iconodules.

The first decisive iconoclastic action was the removal of the famous icon of Christ from the city gate in Constantinople. Following the imperial order for its removal, the indignant citizens killed one of the soldiers instructed to remove the icon. This resulted in the beginning of the persecution of the icondules. In 730 Leo III banned the veneration of icons altogether.

Under the Emperor Constantine Copronimus "...some icons were plunged into the swamp, others into the sea, others into the fire, while others were split and fractured by axes. Those icons hanging on church walls were marred with chisels or covered with paint".

Emperor Constantine V declared the icon-venerating monks politically unreliable. They were expelled from monasteries, forcibly married, and in case of disobedience, they were whipped, exiled or executed.

One day a detachment of soldiers broke into the house of a Nicene widow. They searched for sacred images and destroyed them. One of the soldiers pierced the face of the virgin with a spear. And suddenly out of the Board poured human blood.

It was only after the death of Emperor Theophilus, that his widow, Theodora, was able to restore the veneration of icons, which was confirmed by a Church Council in 843. On that day — the first Sunday of Lent — Christians openly took to the streets of the capital with icons in their hands. In memory of this event, every year, on the first Sunday of Lent, the Orthodox Church celebrates the restoration of icon-veneration, called the Triumph of Orthodoxy.