Brother Joseph, or monk Amvrosii.
Born 05/ 13/ 1941, Valparaiso, Chile – †10/ 31/ 1997,
Doctor of Theosophy and World’s Arts History. Unique Icon-painter
The faithful guardian
of the greatest Miracle of the XX century: the Iberian Montreal
Icon of the Virgin.
Jose Cortes in his student years.
Flag and coat of Arms of Valparaiso.
Captain of the Corvette «Esmeralda» Agustin
Arturo Prat Chacon,
the national hero of Chile (04/03/1848 –
SON OF OCEAN
Jose Cortes was born on the day of St. Apostle James Zebedee
on May 13th, 1941, in the city of Valparaiso, Chile. The life of Jose is intimately
connected with the Apostle Jacob as his conversion to Orthodoxy took place in
the town of Santiago, the site of the Apostle's holy relics. Furthermore,
Jose's birth city of Valparaiso, which is no less remarkable, translates to
“Paradise Valley.” The emblem of that city depicts an eagle with wings
outstretched over the Virgin Mary. In the hands of the Virgin Mary, a lantern
illuminates the path of the sailors. The motto on the coat of arms reads:
"Guardian of Paradise Valley." Jose is and was in life to become a
faithful Guardian and Knight of the Virgin Mary.
On his mother's side, Señora
Maria Clementina del Carmen
Cortes-Fernández's, José is a
descendant of an ancient Catholic clan. It is safe to assume that Jose was
destined to be the heir to the royal Borbon Dynasty
since the family's coat of arms depicts three golden crowns as well as a shield
decorated with golden lilies that are characteristic of the clan. Jose's family
was not wealthy, but his mother and grandmother reverently preserved rich,
generations-old traditions of gallantry, faith, and Knighthood. In his family,
family history was passed from word of mouth for seven centuries to the
firstborn, who must be named after Joseph the Handler. The firstborn also had
an obligation to serve the Most Holy Virgin eventually. Jose knew his family's
traditions and history from early childhood.
Jose's father, José del Transito Muñoz Johnson was
an English sailor. His father’s grandmother, Mary Johnson, was a talented
watercolor painter whose work has always inspired Jose. His relationship with
his great-grandmother was the first and most significant exposure to art. Under
her guidance, the boy soon began to draw and became passionate about pursuing
art. However, with the cares of a deeply religious mother, Jose grew up at a church, served as an altar boy, sang in the church
choir, and participated in church celebrations. In fact, from an early age, he
was given over to the Service of God. Nevertheless, the craving to draw, to
experience everything beautiful and valiant, would forever persevere throughout
THE SON OF THUNDER
James the Great choose and blessed the boy from Santiago,
was born in Santiago’s Feast Day
Jose was a kind and obedient boy. He respected his elders and
took care of his siblings. Jose was the firstborn of his large family, which
included two brothers and three sisters. He bore responsibility for them,
raised them, defended them, and he also supported and helped his mother.
Collected and disciplined, learning was easy for Jose. He read a great deal,
particularly history, biographies, and adventure books. In his free time, when
he was not in church or helping around the home, he loved to swim and dove into
the vast ocean to argue with the waves. The stormy winds brought him courage,
tempered his will, and gave him strength. The Pacific Ocean, with all of its
might, beauty, and romance, has molded the future Chosen One.
Jose swam like a dolphin, and for hours, he could sit on the
shore, admiring all the ships and sailboats that would travel along the ocean.
He would also spend his time collecting seashells and building sand castles.
His heart would beat from the bright blue vastness which carried vague
presentiments and a mysterious call from the future. Surely, he often
envisioned himself to one day step onboard his corvette and to conquer the
world. His father encouraged his son's dreams and saw the potential for him to
eventually grow up to be a navigator and a sea captain since Jose was so tall
Moreover, Jose himself, like all other boys who grew up by
the sea, dreamed of travel, of exploits, and of adventure. He wanted to be like
just like his role model, Captain Arturo Prat.
Tellingly, a family photo of Jose from when he was about two years old, still
in his mother’s arms, reveals him already in a sailor suit with a blue beret
and a white pompom.
WITH BISHOP LEONTY
Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Santiago,
where the Chosen One was
In 1954, at the age of 13, Jose accidentally heard church
singing on José Street. The incredible beauty of the Church of the Most
Holy Trinity, the mystery of the Icon of the Kazan Mother of God, the gorgeous
melodies--all struck the young man as he stumbled upon the Sunday Liturgy in
the Russian Orthodox Church. As José entered the Temple, he suddenly
felt an inexpressible grace, a sign of God's presence. His purpose was then
clearly revealed to him, which was to be part of this Church. He soon after
became a parishioner of the Russian Church Orthodox Abroad, as well as a
disciple of a famous ascetic, Archbishop Leonty of
Chile (Filippovich). With the consent of his mother,
he converted to Orthodoxy.
Lord Leonty was not just a
like-minded person to Jose, but he was also very akin to John of Shanghai and
San Francisco. He grew to love the unusual Chilean boy with all of his heart.
He often said to the boy: «No, not in vain,
not in vain did you enter our Temple! Nothing is
accidental in the world. You have called the Mother of God. For some reason,
She need you ...» Soon,
with the consent and blessings of his beloved mother, who had always understood
her son like no one else, Jose converted to Orthodoxy through the Holy
Sacrament of Chrismation.
The Archbishop Leonty often spoke
to Jose about Religion, History and the modern world, as well as the Russian
perspective on the Apocalypse. He visited the boy and his family in their home,
and he raised Jose to be a faithful monarchist. Moreover, the Holy Educator, as
he was born and became the priest in Kiev, passed into Jose’s hands the great
spiritual treasures of Russian Church. The treasures included the relics of the
Saints of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
Later in Montreal Jose will put his Icon near relicts and soon, the miracle
will happen… With the care and prayers of Father Leonty, José did not
take a personal interest in the social protests that swept the youth of Chile
at the time. By his essence, Jose was a natural leader; if he did not become an
Orthodox leader, he might have well become a social leader akin to Che, or Victor Hara.
Archbishop Leomty of Chile with
youth Russian Orthodox Christians
It can be said that the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad of
Russia nurtured and saved the Chosen One by sheltering him from the evil that
was rampant in 1973. The Church watered and fed him, formed his views, his
character, his passions, and gave him direction in life. That time was
particularly difficult for him since his large, relatively poor family did not
have much food. So, Jose ate mainly in the Temple of the Most Holy Trinity.
There he grew up to be almost 2 meters tall--a real giant. Besides seafood, his
favorite food was always Russian bread, borsch, buckwheat, piroshkis,
and Russian sweets.
Generously gifted with many talents from birth, José
graduated from high school with honors and entered the University of Fine Arts
in Santiago. He graduated from the university with excellence and promptly
began to write his doctoral thesis on World Art History. While working on his
thesis, he worked as a teacher, gave art lessons, and continued to paint. Under
the watchful supervision of the Archbishop Leonitius,
Jose increasingly began to understand what it meant to live a spiritual life.
Eventually, he became determined to become an iconographer. Upon hearing Jose's
wishes, Father Leonty did everything he could to help
Jose's dream come true. In June 1973, just before the tragic events that
transpired in Chile, Jose moved to Canada at the personal invitation of
Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinov). Jose planned to
eventually arrive at Jordanville Seminary (USA) to
dedicate his life to Iconography. The Artist had no issue moving to North
America since he was fluent in English. After all, it was his native language
since his father's side was English.
Jose was only 32, the same age as Christ, when he left
his beloved home country to make the Church of Canada his new home.
SECOND STAGE OF
was a professor of Art History at the University of Montreal. Canada.
This photo was taken in the 1980’s, probably in Athens,
these hopes could not be realized. In the New World, Jose did not meet the
warmth and support that Father Leonty gave him so
generously in Chili. The young artist, a passionate romantic and a dreamer from
a colorful country who grew up in an ardently religious family, had to adapt to
the coldness, emptiness, and disunity of the materialistic West. However, it
was not without reason that he was trained by the powerful ocean to press
onwards as he remembered his heroic ancestors. With a mighty hand and
outstretched arm, the Chosen One of the Queen of Heaven was guided along the
path of self-growth and development. Adhering to strict religious beliefs, Jose
performed daily a prayer rule form the monastic Charter, which helped him
maintain a vital creative outlet in Canada.
social services directed toward émigrés, José took courses
in French and enrolled in the University of
Montreal where he studied in the Theological Department. Because he
studied the History of Christianity in depth, he regularly toured the Holy Land
in Jerusalem. He visited the Church of Mary Magdalene in Bethany, where he
received the wimple of Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna. It was the same wimple that was found in the
mine near Alapayevsk. Over time, he acquired a great
collection of shrines and relics of God's saints from all over the world in his
humble apartment in Montreal. José particularly treasured the wimple of
the Great Mother. Understanding the full degree of responsibility towards
maintaining the holy relic, he searched the archives for all possible
information about her, collected photographs, and constantly prayed to the
graduating from the University, he received his diploma in Higher Education and
a Doctoral degree in Theology. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was
"Mission, Sermon, and Routes of the Apostle Paul." As he studied
theology in all these years in one of the most prestigious universities in the
world, Jose did not neglect his love for painting. He devoted much time to
studying different schools of iconography and worked in the workshop of one of
the most famous icon painters, Nikolai Shelekhov.
this time, he plunged into World Culture and became more deeply involved with
Russian History and Emigration. He attended exhibitions, museums, and concerts
of classical music. He loved Bel Canto, Opera, Flamenco,
and he danced superbly. Jose also wanted to gain experience in the Byzantine
ascetic manner as it resonated the most with him, so nearly every year, he
visited the Holy Mountain Athos and was acquainted with all of the monasteries,
hermitages, and cells. There, he was tonsured and advanced into the rassophore degree of monasticism. He was renamed to Amvrosy. Theology, spirituality, artistic technique, music
and culture all went hand in hand in Jose's life, and they freely developed
without contradicting or interfering with each other.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE
MIRACLE OF THE XX CENTURY.
Royal, gorgeous Icon started to stream myrrh on November, 24 1982,
was the Feast Day of St. Alexander of Nevsky
the end of October in 1982, he received an indication from Above to return to
Athos. He visited the Nativity Skete and was struck
by a copy of a Byzantine icon that was created by the schema-monk-icon painter,
Fr. Chrysostom in 1981. That was the year when the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia (ROCOR) glorified the Royal Martyrs and the New Martyrs of
Russia. Jose persistently asked Fr. Chrysostom to sell him the Icon, but Jose
received a firm refusal. However, at the very last moment during his departure,
Jose miraculously still received the Shrine as a gift from the abbot of the skete, Clement (†1997). When presenting the Holy Object,
the rector said, "The Blessed Virgin wished to go with you, but when she
finishes Her Mission, She will return to us again." The Holy Father did
not take the money that Jose offered for the incredible Icon. Jose was joyous
and amazed, as well as shocked by what happened.
very first thing Jose did was take the Icon to the Monastery of Iveron so that the copy could touch the ancient Original.
Jose stayed close to the Icon until his departure in the early morning. When he
arrived in Montreal on November 3rd, he placed the Mother of God between the
holy relic of Elizabeth Feodorovna and the relics
from Kiev-Pechersk. Every day he chanted the Akathist and made prostrations for weeks. The icon started
to stream on November 24th. As Jose recounted,
«On the 24th of
November, I was awakened at three o’clock in the morning by the powerful aroma
of roses – the whole room was filled with it. At first, I thought that it
emanated from the relics or from a spilled vial of perfume; but upon
approaching the icon, I was struck! The whole icon was covered with oil—a
fragrant oil! I froze on the spot at such a miracle! Soon, the Icon was carried
to the temple and constantly streamed myrrh, with the exception of Holy
Week...the myrrh streamed mainly from the hands of the Mother of God and
Christ, as well as the star on the right shoulder of the Most Pure...the back
side of the Icon was always dry.»
GLOBAL FAME AND GLORY
At the tomb of St. John of Shanghai and
Easter of Christ, 1995. San-Francisco. USA.
The news of the miraculous phenomenon quickly spread. At
first, Jose often brought the Icon to St. Nicholas Cathedral in Montreal, where
a vast number of people visited the Icon. According to eyewitnesses, the myrrh
had a robust and specific aroma, resembling a rare variety of African lilies.
There was so much of the precious myrrh that people collected it in vessels.
Moreover, when the Icon visited the Lesninsky
Monastery in France, a site of special veneration for the Grand Duchess
Elizabeth and all of the Romanovs, the myrrh flowed like a river from the
Icon--it streamed unto the floor and the stairs. The Holy Myrrh flooded the
monastery. Every drop of that precious myrrh, even just the fragrance of it,
can heal any disease. The Montreal Myrrh-Streaming Icon, or also simply,
José Icon, was soon termed the «greatest miracle of
the 20th century». The whole world learned about this
Church faces flew in to worship the Mother of God and to honor the great
Miracle that occurred, as well as public figures, such as presidents, monarchs,
models, and actors. The people who came to see the miracle first hand were from
all walks of faith--not just Christian. All those who met Jose in church during
liturgical services noted his great modesty that can even be described as
shyness, but Jose's world fame and popularity has caused an enormous impact in
not just the Church, but also on the world like no other before. Even Vitaly Ustinov, the future metropolitan and the last
Primate of the ROCOR, heeded Jose's advice and followed any instruction.
Jose became a sensation in the modern world, but he
maintained his simplicity and devotion with his purity and innocence. His
humility had a greatness that was felt by everyone who was lucky enough to see
or exchange words with Brother Joseph. Even his appearance was unusual as it
was regal: a majestic posture with chivalrous manners, yet he had a soft-spoken
voice that was warm and sincere. José was the Godfather of 60 children,
as well as the Russian Diaspora. Orthodox baptisms were received by thousands
of people after Jose's visits with the Icon. The Iveron
Montreal Icon has formed a world family that raised a whole generation of
convinced idealists, and Jose became a leader and role model for all Orthodox
EAGLE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN.
THE CHILEAN LION &
KNIGHT OF STEEL
BRIGHTERST STAR OF XX CENTURY:
1992 ã. The
10-th Anniversary of Miracle.
«God’s Finger», the Hale-Bopp comet. 1997. Easter of Christ.
all of the history of the Church, no one has seen such a phenomenon where the Hodegetria streamed for so long and so abundantly.
Moreover, the Hodegetria that streamed represented
the Orthodox State, the Russian Throne, the Russian
Tsars. Jose himself has said that the Icon showed approval of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad as the Church glorified the New Martyrs of Russia in
1981. For 15 years, Jose was the faithful keeper of the Shrine, bringing the
Icon not only to Orthodox parishes but also to those who would benefit from the
Icon's visit, such as those in hospitals, schools, shelters and in the homes of
believers of all denominations. The Theotokos
directed the guardian where to go and who needed them most that day. As a
faithful son, he was accustomed to listening, which at times caused objection
from the church leadership.
often with the case of fame, there was a dark side of Jose's glory; the envy,
greed, moral pressure, and criticism from church politics bombarded him from all
sides and it brought him nothing but grief and problems. “Where there is grace,
there are temptations,” José acknowledged to his trusted friends. Only
they knew the price of a victorious march through the world with an Orthodox
Shrine--truly one had to be a Chilean lion, an Eagle and a Knight of Steel to
keep, to protect, and to bring the Miracle to all. After all, the antiChrist ruled not only the world but also the Church in
the '80s and '90s, so a person of mighty character was required to withstand the
onslaught of evil. If the Mother of God spent 15 years in the ROCOR, this means
one thing: that José accomplished an unprecedented feat by heroically
surviving within peaceful churches as he guarded the streaming Hodegetria for 15 long years.
the continents of the Earth have been consecrated, ennobled, and cleansed with
José Icon. The souls of the people were transformed and united in
repentance and in gratitude to the Creator. They accepted Holy Baptism, were
healed, and millions of people were converted to the faith. Jose was a mentor
for countless people seeking Salvation as well as a
Godfather to 58 children--the world has changed as a new generation of
people basked in the glory of the Montreal Iveron
Icon. In all countries, Jose was known as Brother Joseph, and he truly was as
he was always available to pray for others or to come to help those in need.
Only in one week in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria (October 1995), more than half
a million believers came to the Icon. There was an enormous line to the Church
of the Assumption that stretched up to 10 km daily to see the Montreal Icon.
After the Icon's departure, people still flowed into the church, because the
grace and the fragrance did not.
THE WAY OF THE
AND THE FEAT.
Easter of Christ. Jerusalem
was the glory of Christ the Savior, His Most Pure Mother, and the actions of
José, the man who faithfully fulfilled Their
will in the defense and freedom of the People of God. His deeds, of course, could
not but arouse wild rage and hatred of his enemies who had a disdain for the
Orthodox faith. In the summer of 1997, Jose was betrayed by a false priest,
Viktor Potapov, whose real surname is Golden. This
tricky CIA man «Potapov» posted information on his
website about the precious stones and pearls on the Icon's exterior. Such
information can provoke different kinds of criminals. This dirty deed was done
by man, who was a member of the same Church, as Jose was all his life, ROCOR.
It was the ultimate betrayal.
immediately called the «priest» and asked to remove this information. It wasn't
because Jose was concerned about his life, but he told: «Why you deprive
people of a miracle?» He asked, but received
no answer as this man abruptly hung up. Even then in New York, Jose told his
friends that, «They
have been hunting me down for 15 years and it seems they have finally got to
me…» And «They» he meant
the «House of Icon» and the Potapovs.
José was warned by his spiritual mentor, Clement of
Athos, about what would happen in 1997. Jose was aware of the martyrdom to
come. Back in 1995 in Bulgaria, Jose said that to die for Christ, «Is
the greatest honor that a Christian can be given, which shouldn't be feared,
and we should all be ready for it.» He himself was selected and was prepared for the feat from
birth. In the eve of Easter 1997, the comet Hale-Bopp appeared, which foretold
of the coming of incredible events for Christians. On October 29th 1997, the
ancient fresco of the Praying Mother of God began to weep on the eve of the
great historical upheaval. José himself, on the day before his Deed in
Athens, repeatedly told his companion, Fr. Alexander Ivashevich, «I feel that something terrible will happen soon ...» On that night, against the backdrop of the bustling
Metropolis of Athens, Jose recorded a message of his Testament to his future
descendants: «May everyone grow in the Spirit and become holy men and holy women».
is your time and the power of darkness ...»
one was prepared to hear the news of betrayal within the Church. In the depths
of his heart, José worriedly thought, «If the parishioners wanted to see The
Icon in their churches, they need to write to Metropolitan Vitaly
about me and the brutal persecution, surveillance, slander, and persecution
that I have endured.» Jose was caught in a conspiracy that was designed to
eliminate him, to seize the Miracle, and to destroy the ROCOR, the Moscow
Patriarchate. It is also important to note that Ms. Rosnianskaya,
the secretary of M. Vitaly, was part of this
conspiracy as she was responsible for isolating the Metropolitan from Jose. The
people involved were attempting to block the gracious, saving guidance to the
First Hierarch from the Queen of Heaven. It was also becoming increasingly difficult
for Jose to travel. On October 1997, for the first time in 25 years of living
in the West, the renowned keeper of the priceless Orthodox Shrine,
was denied a visa. And to where? To Mount Athos; to the very home of the Mother
of God, which has also been Jose's home.
The murder was designed by both the CIA and the KGB. The
conspirators studied Jose's way of life and they knew about all of his plans
and followed his every step. From the beginning of October 1997, the Montreal
Myrrh-Streaming Icon ceased to produce its fragrance and began to weep. On
October 13th, Jose, alongside Alexander, arrived in Athens to attend the Global
Exhibition of Orthodox icons with the intention to visit the Holy Mountain at
some point. But, as previously mentioned, they were denied a visa. On October
30th in Athens, a conman pretended to be a victim of a tragedy and asked for
Jose's help. The conman made an appointment with him for the following night.
On the night of October 31st, 1997 in room 806 of the Grand
Hotel, Jose was murdered by satanic band. It is significant to highlight that
October 31st is the same day as the American holiday of evil. Politics in
Washington ordered this atrocity, this crime against all mankind, and they are
still free. And what's more, is that these people continue to murder and
destroy the Church. And even more interesting – from the pulpit they are
teaching Orthodox parishioners how to live a Godly life. Everyone knows the
names of the responsible, but the truth about the monstrous atrocity apparently
no one needs. After all, it has been said that, «It is your time and
the power of darkness ...»
THE IVERON MOTHER MARY –
IS OUR FUTURE
The Holy Trinity Monastery
Copies of the Montreal Iveron Icon,
or Jose's Icon as it is now often called, were distributed: the petals of the
Miraculous Rose have spread throughout the world. Many of them are also
myrrh-streaming and the Miracle continues! On December 9th, 1997, on the 40th
day after the Feat, candles lit up on their own and continued to burn for an
unusually long time by Jose's tombstone. On the Feast of the Trinity, believers
repeatedly observed burning candles that had blue flames and were also
non-burning. They even heard Angelic singing. Many other wonders and signs
occurred in Jordanville, at the Cross of the faithful
Guardian, the gatherer of the People of God.
The martyr confers fertile protection and helps everyone who
addresses him in prayer. In 1998, on the eve of the Anniversary of the Feat, a
revelation of a young girl named Darya saw José at the Throne of the
Most Holy Trinity in a crown with a shining ruby in the shape of the Iveron Icon.
and magnificently, Jose's mission on Earth began, but it was executed and completed
even more gloriously and magnificently. The Montreal
Iveron Shrine that was in the hands of José
has become the new greatest victory of Christ in the Golden Age of Universal
Orthodoxy. The royal Sacrifice of the 20th century glorified and highly
elevated the Church of Christ, and it preserves our
world and guides a transformed humanity into the Millennium of the Righteous.
Praise be to God and His saints!
the grateful humanity
with all the Love and appreciation!
Thank You, Jose!
LUCH 2015 – 2019