KURSK: October 3, 2015
The Kursk Metropoliate Bids Farewell to the Miracle-Working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign"
In the early morning of October 2, 2015, His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk, His Grace Bishop Paisy of Shchigrovsk and Manturovsk and the clergy of the diocese celebrated Divine Liturgy at Znamensky Cathedral in the city of Kursk, Russia.
The ancient Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign,” found in Kursk at the root of a tree in 1295, had been visiting the area from September 22-October 2.
On September 29, the icon was taken to medical facilities in Kursk. This year it also visited the Church of Holy Great Martyr Panteleimon the Healer which is being rebuilt on the grounds of Kursk oblast’s psychiatric hospital. Some three thousand hospital workers and patients venerated the miraculous image with trepidation, hope and tear-filled eyes. One could not remain indifferent, for the Mother of God Herself was visiting to bring consolation and strength to those with various ailments.
During the Kursk Icon’s visit to the region, over 150,000 believers, including visiting pilgrims, were able to venerate and pray before the image of the Mother of God. Znamensky Cathedral was open around the clock as priests performed molebens and akathists.
Despite the early hour, many residents of Kursk came to bid goodbye to the icon. The head of the Kursk Metropoliate, Vladyka German, noted: “This holy icon is with us for only a few more minutes. We thank God that He granted us the opportunity to experience this great joy, this spiritual and emotional uplifting, which we always sense whenever this miracle-working icon visits the land of Kursk. All of Kursk came to the icon. This is wonderful and brings great joy. The people of Kursk remember their holy legacy. In the hearts of all there is faith, and they come to the Mother of God with the hope for her grace-filled aid, her intercession, and patiently wait in line for three, four hours at a time. I hope that the Queen of Heaven, as She departs from us, leaves us not only good, bright remembrances, but Her grace and mercy, that she strengthens faith within our people. May God grant for all of us to pray to the Most-Holy Mother of God, and follow the commandments of Her Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The people of Kursk expressed the hope that next year, the icon would once again visit the site of its discovery.
As prayers were sung to the Queen of Heaven, Metropolitan German blessed the people and city of Kursk with the icon on the steps to the cathedral. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Vladyka German then accompanied the Kursk-Root Icon on a visit to the Ekaterinburg Diocese, after which it will visit the Ufa Diocese before returning to New York.