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Skopje cross retrieved, dedicated to all Epiphany participants

Igor Jakimovski retrieved the Holy Cross lowered into the Vardar as part of this year’s Epiphany celebration in Skopje. But unlike previous years, swimmers did not jump after the cross. They waited for it in the water while embracing each other.

Skopje, 19 January 2022 (MIA) — Igor Jakimovski retrieved the Holy Cross lowered into the Vardar as part of this year’s Epiphany celebration in Skopje. But unlike previous years, swimmers did not jump after the cross. They waited for it in the water while embracing each other.

“We dedicate this year’s cross to everyone as a sign of unity and togetherness,” the group later told MIA.

Jakimovski said it was his 29th time trying to fish out the cross, highlighting that he retrieved it by chance.

“You all saw how we performed the retrieval of the Holy Cross united, so it just happened to come into my hands,” he said.

“But believe me, it was the same as if it fell into the hands of all the believers who were down in the water.

“Here are all the guys, we are celebrating together. I was honored the cross came into my hands and they all respected me as if I had literally caught it. But it belongs to all of us. We showed unity in these difficult times.”

“I hope the year ahead is worry-free and things return to normal,” Jakimovski added.

Epiphany, which is a religious public holiday in North Macedonia, celebrates the baptism of baby Jesus by John the Baptist.

The Skopje celebrations began with an Epiphany liturgy led by the Macedonian Orthodox Church head Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan earlier this morning at the Nativity of Virgin Mary church.

Archbishop Stefan then lowered from the Sloboda Bridge near the Holiday Inn hotel the Holy Cross into the Vardar as part of this year’s Great Theophany Blessing of Water Epiphany tradition for believers to retrieve. mr/

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