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NEW YORK: August 30, 2007
The Reigning Icon of the Mother of God to Arrive Today Accompanied By an Official Delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate and Sretensky Monastery Choir

Photo: Michael Rodionov / Pravoslavie.ruToday, an official delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Metropolitan Isidoro of Ekaterinodar and Kuban, flew from Moscow to participate in celebrations of the reestablishment of canonical unity within the Russian Orthodox Church. Accompanying the visitors is something dear to all Orthodox Christians--the Derzhavnaya , or "Reigning" Icon of the Mother of God.

Photo: Michael Rodionov / Pravoslavie.ruThe Icon was brought to Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery the night before. The miracle-working icon arrived at the monastery on August 29, not long before all-night vigil. As the bells pealed, the monastic brethren and parishioners of the monastery church solemnly greeted it. After matins, an akathist was performed before the icon, after which over two hundred worshipers venerated the holy image.

On Thursday, after Divine Liturgy, a moleben was performed before the icon for the safe passage of the delegation abroad. Attending the services were His Eminence Metropolitan Isidor of Ekaterinograd and Kuban and His Eminence Archbishop Evgeny of Verey. Divine services will be held in the churches and monasteries of the Russian diaspora d uring the fraternal visits to the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The icon and the delegation will be greeted at the airport by Protopriest Serafim Gan and other members of the Church Abroad.