With the arrival of the icon of the Virgin Mary “Axion Esti” in Pomorie on Wednesday, the 19th International Festival of Orthodox Music began in the coastal Bulgarian city, according to the Bulgarian news agency.
With the permission of Patriarch Neophytos, the icon was transferred from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia and will be on display at the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the city until June 11.
The icon has been an integral part of the Festival since 2013.
Mayor Ivan Alexiev officially opened the festival, welcoming the participants.
This year’s edition of the Orthodox music forum will feature 340 participants in 14 musical ensembles from Bulgaria, Serbia, and Poland.
The icon of the Virgin Mary “Axion Esti” was gifted to the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria by monks of Mount Athos.