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KURSK, RUSSIA: October 5, 2016
The People of Kursk Bid Farewell to the Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign

On October 4, 2016, the Apodosis of the Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, five archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia celebrated Divine Liturgy in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign at Znamensky Cathedral in the city of Kursk, Russia.

His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk was joined by His Eminence Metropolitan Zinovy of Saransk and Mordovia, His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and His Grace Bishop Paisy of Shchigrovsk and Manturovsk and a host of diocesan clergymen.

For eleven joyous days, the people of Kursk were visited by their great icon, which in the 20th century became the main holy icon of the Russian diaspora. Discovered in 1295, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign visited the Kursk Metropoliate.

On September 29, the miracle-working icon was, as by recent tradition, brought to medical centers in Kursk. This year, the icon was brought to Oblast Specialized House for Children, to Hospital No. 2 and Oblast Clinical Childrens Hospital. Some 5,000 patients and medicial workers venerated the icon on that day with trepidation and tears. It was impossible to remain untouched by the presence of the Queen of Heaven Herself in the form of the miraculous icon, offering consolation and strength to struggle against illness.

About 80,000 people were able to venerate the icon during the trip to Kursk, who included pilgrims from Belgorod, Orel, Voronezh, Lipetsk and other cities. The Kursk Icon was made available around the clock, and molebens were performed and akathists read constantly.

On this day, a multitude of Kuryane (the people of Kursk) came to bid farewell to the departing icon. It is hoped that next year, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God will once again visit in the fall. The brightness and good will introduced to the hearts of the people of Kursk will remain as they continue to live and work and overcome sorrows and tribulations.

After Divine Liturgy, to the singing of hymns to the Mother of God, Metropolitan German blessed the city with the icon and left for the airport. The delegation of the Russian Church Abroad will accompany it to the city of Saransk of the Mordovian Metropoliate (Russia).

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