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MOSCOW: September 19, 2011
Patriarchal Epistle on the Visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Kazakhstan

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent an epistle to the archpastors, clergy and flock of the Metropolitan District of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Kazakhstan on occasion of the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign.”  The icon’s visit is scheduled for September 19-23, 2011.

To the Eminent Archpastors, Clergymen and Flock of the Metropolitan District of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Kazakhstan

Honorable Brother Archpastors, Reverend Fathers, God-loving Monks and Nuns, Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I send my heartfelt congratulations on the important occasion of the visit to the Metropolitan District of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Kazakhstan of the great Orthodox holy icon and the main one of the Russian diaspora, the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign.”

This icon was revealed to Orthodox Christians in the end of the 13th century, and, having endured along with our people many catastrophes and tribulations, became the visible sign of Divine help to all who come in faith to the Lord and His Most-Pure Mother.

Common folk and eminent figures of state all prayed before this icon. Warriors departing for the struggles of war would beseech the Queen of Heaven to grant them strength as well as her intercession. The young Prokhor received healing from terrible illness through this icon, later becoming the great holy man, St Seraphim of Sarov.

In the turbulent 20th century, the Kursk-Root Icon was taken abroad, becoming for many years the Hodigitria, the Protectress and Guide to the Russian diaspora. Today it is a visible symbol of the spiritual union of all Orthodox Christians, united by the glorious history of Holy Rus.

I am certain that the visit of this miraculous icon to the dioceses of Kazakhstan will strengthen in faith and love all the flock of our Church who carry out their Christian service here.

Let us fall to our knees before the Mother of God, and beseech Her “all-powerful aid, recalling the miracles that from times past till now have been wrought through Her icon” (from the akathist to the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”), praying that the Most-Blessed Queen would strengthen us in all our labors and endeavors to the benefit of our neighbors and to the glory of the name of Christ. 

+KIRILL,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA