Icon of Righteous Brother Jose Munos- 1JO45

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Righteous Brother Jose Munos

 

Jose Muñoz was born in Chile into a pious Roman Catholic family of Spanish descent. When Muñoz was 12, he became acquainted with local Archbishop Leontius (Filippovich), and under his influence Muñoz was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia two years later, with his mother's consent.

A talented artist, Muñoz moved to Canada when he secured a job teaching art at the University of Montreal. While there, he began studying iconography.

In the summer of 1982, Muñoz went to Mount Athos, in northeastern Greece, to visit some sketes and monasteries specializing in icon painting.

At the small skete of the Nativity of Christ, Muñoz felt an immediate and strong attraction to an icon of the Mother of God, a contemporary (1981) copy of the ancient and revered Panagia Portaitissa (Iveron Icon). He was disappointed to learn that it was not for sale, but to his great joy, as he was leaving the skete, Abbot Clement unexpectedly handed the icon to him, saying that it pleased the Mother of God to go with him to North America.

Back in Montreal, Muñoz began reading an akathist daily before the icon. A few weeks later, on November 25, he awoke and smelled a strong fragrance. The new icon was streaked with myrrh, miraculously emanating from the hands of the Mother of God.

For the next fifteen years, as myrrh continued to flow from the icon, Muñoz devoted himself to its care, accompanying it on numerous trips to parishes all over the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, and Europe. Muñoz was also faithful in fulfilling the countless requests for prayers that he received, daily commemorating scores of people, among whom were several dozen godchildren.

In October 1997, during one of his trips with the icon, Muñoz was tortured and murdered in a hotel room in AthensGreece during the overnight hours of October 30 or 31. The icon was stolen, and has not been seen since. Muñoz had planned to return to Canada the following day to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the appearance of the miraculous myrrh on the icon.