After a morning filled with chanting and team building at the “spider web”, Fanari Camp headed over to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Libertyville. One word cannot encompass the varying emotions that were held by every staff member, counselor, and camper as we drove to venerate St. Mardarije. Some of us were excited for this spiritual experience, while others were anxious to venerate an incorrupt body. Upon entering the church, we were enveloped by walls filled with iconography and a sense of calm and peacefulness. We not only learned about the life of St. Mardarije, but we also discussed how one becomes a saint, and the miracles that happen that truly show us that God is with us.
As we approached the reliquary, we could see St. Mardarije in his vestments, his hands folded across his chest. While we could not see his face, his black beard still peeked out from underneath a cloth. It is mind boggling to see a body that has defied the laws of human nature and through the grace of God, is still intact.
Many words could be used to describe this evening. As a member of the leadership team, I found this to be a very impactful experience for our youth. God-willing, they will remember this evening as a night when they saw their faith come to life.
– Katerina Rallis, Program Coordinator