KAZAKHSTAN: October 7, 2019 Celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan and the arrival of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign"
The fifteenth anniversary of the canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Kazakhstan and the arrival of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" were celebrated on October 6, 2019, in Almaty.
Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St Sofia Cathedral in Iveron-St Seraphim Monastery, where the Kursk-Root Icon arrived on October 4 with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York. The icon will remain there until October 11.
Officiating was His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, who was joined by hierarchs from Uzbekistan, Russia, Poland, Moldova, as well as His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
A multitude of worshipers came to celebrate the anniversary and venerate the Kursk-Root Icon, among them government officials and representatives of social and cultural organizations. The hierarchs prayed for the unity of Holy Orthodox Christianity, the preservation of the Church from divisions and schisms and for the cessation of internecine strife in Ukraine. Many Years was then sung for Patriarch Kirill, the Ruling Bishop and hierarchs of Kazakhstan Metropoliate, President Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan, along with the government, armed forces and people of Kazakhstan.
His Eminence Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan read a congratulatory message from the Patriarch to Metropolitan Alexander, who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his consecration, and gave him a pectoral cross and panaghia from the hierarchs, clergy and flock of the Mid-Asian Metropoliate.
Vladyka Nicholas, who is accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon, read a greeting from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and gave him a painted copy of the holy image.
The Union of Semirechiye Cossacks headed by Ataman VS Shikhotov provided security at the event.