KURSK, RUSSIA: September 24, 2015
The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" Visits its First Home
On the afternoon of September 23, 2015, the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" arrived at Kursk-Root Nativity of the Mother of God Hermitage, the location where it was first discovered 720 years ago.
The icon was brought by a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.
At the gates of the ancient monastery, the icon was greeted by His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk, His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk, Hegumen Serafim (Kotelnikov), Prior of Kursk-Root Hermitage, along with his monks, clergymen of the Kursk Metropoliate and a multitude of pilgrims.
The holy icon then led a procession of the cross as the troparion to the icon was sung and under the peal of church bells, and brought to the cathedral of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God and placed upon an analogion adorned with wreaths of flowers.
The archpastors and attending clergymen then performed a moleben service before the Kursk Icon, after which everyone in attendance sang “My Most-Blessed Queen.” Vladyka German congratulated all in attendance on this joyful event, the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon to the Kursk Metropoliate. The people of God had received many blessings through this icon, and with hope, faith and piety prayed before their Heavenly Intercessor. The icon is now the chief holy symbol of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, now united with the Church in Russia. It is referred to as the “Hodigitria” [Guide, Protectress] of the Russian diaspora, and performs her mission by visiting many nations of the world, uniting Orthodox Christians, giving them support.
The head of the Kursk Metropoliate then expressed heartfelt gratitude to the delegation of the Church Abroad for bringing the Kursk-Root Icon for veneration by the people of Kursk, for whom the Mother of God is likewise their Heavenly Intercessor.
Vladyka German announced that the icon would remain at the Hermitage until September 25, during which time molebens would be performed before it. On September 25, after Divine Liturgy, the traditional procession of the cross will bring the icon to the city of Kursk, where it will be placed in Znamensky Cathedral until October 2.
Metropolitan German then showed the ROCOR delegation the monument depicting the late Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of ROCOR holding the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, a project executed by the group Vossoedinieniye. This memorial was created and erected on the monastery grounds with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and will be consecrated during the icon’s current visit.