Several tens of Orthodox Christians on January 19 went to the Metropolitan Cathedral “God’s Birth” in Chisinau on Epiphany. They say the water blessed on Epiphany has miraculous powers and can cure illnesses.
Priest Vadim Cheibaș, secretary general of the Moldovan Metropolitan Church, has told IPN that on this day the Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. On the eve of Epiphany and on Epiphany, churches celebrate the Great Blessing of Waters. The blessed water is said to be curing diseases and also to be removing sadness and angers. It is used to splash the homes so as to remove evil that accumulated during the year. All the waters are blessed on this day.
The diving in icy water in lakes and ponds on Epiphany is a manifestation of piousness and faithfulness and does not replace baptizing itself. It is not baptizing that is freeing from sin, as some say. “It is wrong when they say that diving in rivers and lakes on Epiphany is a heroic deed. Removal of sins is the work of God and Jesus Crist and takes place within christening,” stated the priest.
Vadim Cheibaș noted that Epiphany is a day of joy. Asked if one should not work on this day, he said that doing work is not something bad. But when the people do not work, they should pray and when they do not pray, they should work. “We should not urge each other not to work and to do nothing this way,” said the priest.
Usually called the Feast of Theophany, Epiphany it is one of the Great Feasts of the liturgical year. The row of winter feasts is closed by the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist that is observed on January 20.