DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: March 4, 2015
The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" Visits Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Cabramatta
On Sunday, March 1, 2015, the Sunday of Triumph of Orthodoxy, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" was brought to Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Cabramatta, NSW, Australia.
The holy icon arrived during all-night vigil the evening before. It was eagerly awaited; the exact time of her arrival was unknown—vespers passed, matins began, the Gospel was read. The parishioners’ impatience grew; the icon’s arrival was delayed from some reason. But what joy overtook the worshipers when just as the choir sang “More honorable than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim,” as a car containing the icon stopped at the front doors of the church! Protopriest Boris Ignatievsky, the parish rector, said that the Mother of God, in Her humility, did not wish to overshadow the rest of the service, but only arrived when She was being glorified.
The following day, a multitude of worshipers from all over Sydny came to honor the Most-Holy Theotokos. After a ceremonious Divine Liturgy, during which many faithful partook of the Holy Gifts, a procession of the cross was held. As Fr Boris pointed out to his flock: “Just as in the year 843, the believers of Constantinople went on a procession of the cross, bearing icons, to Hagia Sophia Cathedral to confirm their veneration of holy images, so do we today as we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy.”
The bells pealed joyously as the worshipers circled the church holding icons, and, under the auspices of the Kursk-Root Icon, lifted their prayers, beseeching the aid of the Savior and His Mother. Thus ended a double holiday: the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” to Cabramatta.