KURSK, RUSSIA: September 27, 2017
The Traditional Procession of the Cross with the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" Takes Place
On September 25, 2017, the Apodosis of the Nativity of the Mother of God, by ancient tradition, a procession of the cross with the miracle-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” took place from Kursk-Root Hermitage of the Nativity of the Mother of God to Znamensky Monastery in Kursk.
The icon, which had become the main holy image of the Russian diaspora in the 20th century, first appeared near the city of Kursk in 1295. The site where it was discovered became a monastery known as the “Kursk-Root Hermitage.” Since 1618, the icon mostly remained in Znamensky Cathedral in the city. After the Revolution, at the end of October 1919, when the forces of General AI Denikin left the city, the icon was taken with them. Fate would bring it through Belgorod, Taganrog, Rostov-on-the-Don, Ekaterinograd and Novorossiisk. In 1920, the icon was taken abroad, to Serbia. Since 1957, the miraculous icon made its home at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York.
In 2009, the Kursk-Root Icon, after a ninety-year sojourn abroad, was brought to Kursk, and now a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia brings the icon to the region every year for the traditional procession of the cross. This year, the holy icon arrived in Kursk-Root Hermitage on September 22 and remained there until September 25.
In the morning of that day, His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God along with His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan; His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk; His Grace Bishop Paisy of Shchigrovsk and Manturovsk, along with a host of clergymen.
After Liturgy, to the peal of bells and the singing of prayers, the procession of the cross commenced with the Kursk-Root Icon and a multitude of worshipers.
The people of Kursk joyfully greeted the icon at Vvedensky Church. The procession continued through the streets and plazas of the city. This day is the official holiday of the city of Kursk. An enormous stream of people accompanied the icon of the Mother of God, including city and oblast officials and fifty pilgrims from Canada.
The procession ended at the courtyard of Znamensky Cathedral, where Metropolitan German, Archbishop Mark, Bishop Nicholas and Bishop Veniamin performed a moleben before the holy image. Metropolitan German then delivered a sermon and expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the people of Kursk on this great day. He blessed the people of Kursk with the historic icon, then brought the icon inside the cathedral. The clergymen and laity were then given the opportunity to venerate the icon.
The icon will remain there until October 2, where molebens will be performed several times a day, along with the reading of the akathist to the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, which will be available for prayer and veneration 24 hours a day. On September 26, the icon was taken to the Shchigrovsk Diocese for the day, and on September 29, the icon will be taken to visit the sick in medical institutions of the city.