The Skete of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, “Queen of All”, the healer of Cancer, is a Stavropegial women’s monastic settlement of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, under the omophorion of His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The Skete is nestled in the piedmont region of the east side of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountain Range. Situated on a beautiful and isolated 12-acre property, the Skete encompasses hills, plateaus, springs, creeks, and a forest. Wildlife abounds: deer, black bears, foxes, coyotes, and other woodland creatures. The neighbors are horses, sheep, donkeys and goats on surrounding farms.
The whole area is surrounded by the beautiful sound of silence. If a leaf falls from a tree on a dry day, you can hear the leaf touch the ground. This is the environment conducive to monastic prayer.
HISTORY OF THE HOLY ICON
The 17th-century original of the Holy Icon of the Mother of God known as “Queen of All” (Всецарица, Pantanassa) was brought to Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, from Nea Skete, by the Elder Joseph of Vatopedi (+2009). It is kept in the main Katholikon. The Icon is particularly known for its wonder-working powers to heal people from cancer.
It was first revealed as a miracle icon when a young Cypriot man entered the Katholikon and went to stand before the Holy Icon. Elder Joseph witnessed that suddenly, a bright light issued forth from the face of the Mother of God, and an invisible force knocked the man to the ground.
When the young man stood and came to his senses, he began weeping, and confessed that he lived a sinful life and was engaged in magic. The incredible power and force of the Mother of God, through her Icon “Queen of All”, caused this man to change forever his life and to become a true Orthodox Christian believer.
From that time, prayers before the Holy Icon were regularly prayed by the monks, and many people began to experience healing from all sorts of illness, but especially from cancer. After participating in the Akathist, people have also been helped in difficult life situations, with family issues, and with various problems of everyday life.
Because of the Mother of God, the Queen of All, having revealed the power through this Holy Icon to heal cancer, the Community of Mercy (which has as its patron St. John of Kronstadt) at the Centre for Children’s Oncology at the Science Research Institute in Moscow, requested Patriarch Alexis II+ of Moscow to bless that a copy of the icon be made. He blessed this request, asking for two copies to be made. The Icons were made with all due reverence by Vatopedi Monastery. One icon is kept at the Church of All Saints in Krasnoe Selo in Moscow, and is taken frequently to the cancer wards of hospitals. The other was placed at the Monastery of Christ’s Transfiguration in Novospaski. The Akathist was written in 1996. Icons have since been distributed throughout Russia and the world.