KAZAKHSTAN: September 26, 2019
A press conference is held on the forthcoming visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign"
On September 25, 2019, Interfax-Kazakhstan held a press conference with His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astanai and Kazakhstan, the head of the Kazakhstan Metropoliate of the Russian Orthodox Church, on the forthcoming visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign.”
Before the conference began, a film by Semirechiye Productions titled “Source of Miracles” was shown, illustrating the history of the miraculous icon.
Metropolitan Alexander talked about the events beginning on October 4, blessed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the consent of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He mentioned that the icon’s first visit to Kazakhstan took place in 2011 for a short visit, during which over 200,000 people venerated it.
His Eminence noted that an exact copy of the image was made by outstanding iconographers for the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan. The icon will be consecrated during night-time Divine Liturgy on October 10-11 at St Sophia Cathedral in Iveron-St Seraphim Monastery in Almaty.
“We will bless this new icon in the presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, and we will beseech the Most-Holy Mother of God that Her blessed power be bestowed through this copy, which will remain here in Kazakhstan.”
Another topic discussed at the press conference was the completion of the capital renovation of Voznesensky Cathedral in Almaty, ordered by the first President of Kazakhstan-Yelbasy, Nursultan Nazarbaev. The head of the Metropoliate invited the journalists to the opening ceremony of the cathedral to be held on October 8, which will be led by archpastors and clergymen of Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the “near” and “far” abroad.
“Since 2016, by order of the first President of Kazakhstan, the esteemed Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbaev, Voznesensky Cathedral underwent a full capital renovation, involving high-end specialists from Kazakhstan, Russia and Western Europe. This effort brought together many interested individuals of Kazakhstan regardless of their national of religious background. By its scope, we can call this the second birth of this unique cathedral, a monument of architecture of national import, a masterpiece of wooden construction. The renovation… draws yet more attention of a great number of people to the rich history and spiritual legacy of Kazakhstan, to the great importance that the Orthodox Church has on our nation,” said Metropolitan Alexander. The head of the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan then answered numerous questions. He was then congratulated on the coming 30th anniversary of his archpastoral service. The press wished His Eminence health, well-being, peace and success in his service.