KURSK, RUSSIA: October 4, 2013
The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" Leaves Russia

With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and by decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the main holy image of the Russian diaspora, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,” was brought to the Kursk Metropoliate in Russia from September 23-October 2, 2013.

During its sojourn in Kursk, some 130,000 believers were able to pray before the icon and venerate it, receiving spiritual support, including not only the people of Kursk oblast and pilgrims from other areas of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The icon is making its fifth visit to Kursk, but the number of worshipers wishing to pray before it is not diminishing. Znamensky Cathedral remained open twenty-four hours a day for veneration of the image of the Mother of God, as molebens and akathists were performed before it.

On September 24, His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk performed a moleben before the holy icon, along with His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Grace Bishop Zinovy of Elistinsk and Kalmytsk; His Grace Bishop Sofrony of Gubkinsk and Graivoronsk; His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk and other clergymen of the Kursk Metropoliate.

On September 25, the Apodosis of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God, in accordance with ancient tradition, a procession of the cross was held with the icon from the Kursk-Root Hermitage to Znamensky Cathedral in Kursk. On September 29, the 400 th anniversary of the founding of Kursk-Root Hermitage was celebrated.

On the nights of September 28-29 and 29-30, the miraculous Kursk Icon was, at the request of medical personnel, brought to a new oncological center and the oblast’s oncological clinic. On the night of October 1, the icon was brought to Kursk Oblast Perinatal Center. Later that day, a moleben was performed with sign-language for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

On the morning of October 2, before Divine Liturgy at Znamensky Cathedral, Metropolitan German performed a moleben before the icon with his clergymen. Despite the early hour, many residents of Kursk were there to worship, including Governor Alexander Mikhailov and Deputy Governor Lyudmila Grebenkova.

After the moleben, Metropolitan German addressed the faithful and expressed the hope that the icon would once again return for a visit. The hierarch then said a longer stay in Kursk would be beneficial, since it makes night-time visits to medical facilities, bringing great joy and consolation to many sick people.

The Kursk-Root Icon then departed for St Job of Pochaev Monastery in Munich, Germany.

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