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NEW YORK: October 6, 2011
The Keeper of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of GodReports on its Trip to Kazakhstan and Russia

On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, received Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky, keeper of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, at his residence. Fr Nicholas relayed to Vladyka Hilarion the profound gratitude expressed by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan and His Eminence Archbishop German of Kursk and Rylsk, who had warmly received the members of the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad accompanying the holy icon. Hundreds of thousands of worshipers of the Metropolitan District in the Republic of Kazakhstan and of the Kursk Diocese venerated the miracle-working icon, bringing their joys and sorrows, their expressions of gratitude and their supplications to the Most-Holy Mother of God.

On September 30, the feast day of the Church of SS Vera, Nadezhda and Liubov and their mother Sophia in northwest Kursk, its rector, Protopriest Andrei Ivanov, gave His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany an embroidered cloth riza for the icon, in order to remind those venerating it of the Kursk Diocese. Fr Nicholas gave this riza to the First Hierarch, along with a gift from the Prior of Kursk Hermitage, Hegumen Veniamin: a gold medal issued to commemorate the third visit of the holy icon to the Kursk Diocese.

His Eminence Archbishop Arseny of Istrinsk and his aides greeted the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God in the Russian capital, making arrangements for its brief visit to Moscow. At the request of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Hodigitria of the Russian diaspora was taken to Holy Transfiguration Church at the Patriarchal Residence in Peredelkino. There, His Holiness, having just returned from Bukovino, took the opportunity to venerate the icon and bring his patriarchal prayers for the Church and the people in the Fatherland and the diaspora before it.

With the blessing of the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, Deacon Nicholas will bring the Kursk-Root Icon to monasteries, parishes, hospitals and homes of the people of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand from November 4-December 8.

In response to a multitude of requests received by the Chancery of the President of the Synod of Bishops, future trips by the holy icon to the dioceses of the Russian Church Abroad and other Churches were also discussed.

Vladyka Hilarion concluded the meeting by expressing his profound gratitude to the keeper of the holy icon, invoking Gods blessings on his labors.