ORENBURG DIOCESE: October 3, 2017
A Press Conference is Held on the Arrival of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” in Orenburg
On September 28, 2017, a press conference was held at Orenburg Theological Seminary to announce the arrival of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” in Orenburg, Russia. His Eminence Metropolitan Veniamin of Orenburg and Saraktash met with journalists.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and by decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the main holy icon of the Russian diaspora, which is housed in the Synodal Cathedral in New York City, was to visit the Orenburg region for the first time.
“A great holy icon has arrived in Orenburg. The faithful pray mostly for the healing of spirit and body before this ancient icon,” said His Eminence. “Thanks to the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God ‘of the Sign,’ a great many miracles have occurred, including the healing in 1767 of a nine-year-old boy named Prokhor, the future St Seraphim of Sarov.”
The icon was brought to St Nicholas Cathedral, where round-the-clock prayers took place: the daily cycle of services were supplemented by night-time Liturgies. Clergymen performed non-stop molebens with akathists to the Mother of God before the icon, and read commemoration slips submitted by the faithful.
The icon was available to the public for veneration. A separate line was formed for children, the aged and sick, according to Protopriest Alexei Aseev, Senior Priest of the cathedral. Seminarians were also posted at the church to answer questions.
After the Liturgies, water was blessed for distribution to the faithful. Kiosks also provided blessed oil, printed akathists and icons which were placed against the Kursk-Root Icon for blessing.
The miraculous icon will remain at St Nicholas Cathedral until October 9.
Metropolitan Veniamin invited the people of Orenburg to light candles to escort the icon as it departs, as they had greeted the image of the Queen of Heaven upon Her arrival.