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KURSK, RUSSIA: September 26, 2016
The Traditional Procession of the Cross with the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign is Held

On September 25, 2016, the Apodosis of the Nativity of the Most - Holy Mother of God, the traditional ancient tradition of a procession of the cross with the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign went from the Kursk - Root Monastery to Znamensky Cathedral in the city of Kursk.

The icon, which became the main holy icon of the Russian diaspora in the 20 th century, first appeared in Kursk in 1295. A monastery was established at the site, now called the Kursk-Root Hermitage. Since 1618, the icon was kept at Znamensky Cathedral in the nearby city of Kursk. After the Revolution, at the end of October 1919, when General Anton Denikins soldiers fled the city, they took the icon with them. Its sojourns included Belgorod, Taganrog, Rostov-on-the-Don, Ekaterinodar and Novorossiisk. In 1920, the icon was taken abroad, to Serbia. Since 1957, the miracle-working icon has resided at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City.

In 2009, the icon was brought to the Kursk region for the traditional procession of the cross. The icon arrived on September 22 and remained until September 25.

On the morning of September 25, His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk celebrated Divine Liturgy along with His Grace Bishop Andrei of Rossoshansk and Ostrogozhsk, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, His Grace Bishop Paisy of Shchigrovsk and Manturovsk and a multitude of clergymen.

Afterwards, under the peal of bells and the singing of prayers, the procession commenced with the holy icon of the Queen of Heaven, accompanied by a multitude of pilgrims.

At Vvedensky Church in the city of Kursk, the miracle-working icon was joyously greeted by the people of Kursk and visiting worshipers. The procession continued along the city streets and plazas of the city. This day also marked the citys official holiday. A flood of faithful joined the procession within the city limits, including city and oblast officials, as well as fifty pilgrims from Canada.

The procession then approached Znamensky Cathedral, where Metropolitan German, Bishop Nicholas and Bishop Paisy performed a moleben before the Kursk Icon. His Eminence then addressed the crowd with a sermon, and expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Kuryane on the great event, which is greatly anticipated every year: the return of their historic icon for a visit. Vladyka German told of his profound joy that we can now pray before and venerate this icon all together every year.

Today, thousands of people once again gathered together despite the inclement weather to greet the icon of the Mother of God. To our delight, the icon will be at Znamensky Cathedral until the morning of October 4. Thousands and thousands of people, as in years past, will have the opportunity to dome here to venerate the icon and pray before the Mother of God with petitions for their dear ones, to pour out their prayers and pleas in the presence of the Queen of Heaven. In meeting the miraculous icon, we must remember that we are in fact greeting the queen of Heaven, the Mother of God, Herself, Who appears to us in this ancient image. As we behold the visage of the Most-Pure Theotokos, we remember the millions of people who would gather for such processions, pouring out, as we hear in the prayer, streams of tears of endearment and petitions. And now we ask the Most-Holy Mother of God to intercede for us for Gods mercy, that it cover our God-preserved Russian land, our city of Kursk and all the people who with faith, love and hope in God and Her holy prayers, stream to venerate Her miracle-working icon.

May the Lord preserve you all in good health and in peace, in prayer, with the intercession of the Most-Holy Queen, our Mother of God and Most-Pure Virgin Mary.

The Ruling Bishop of Kursk then blessed the city and its residents with the Kursk-Root Icon, the Protectress and Intercessor of their land, and to the singing of the troparion to the icon brought it into the cathedral, where it was placed onto an analogion in the middle of the temple. The clergymen and laity were then provided the opportunity to venerate it.

From September 25-October 4, the icon will remain in Znamensky Cathedral, where moleben services and the reading of the akathist will alternate. Access will be provided from 6 am until 1 am daily . On September 29, the clergymen will visit hospitals in the city to visit the sick.

On October 4, after Divine Liturgy, which will begin at 8 am, the holy icon will leave the Kursk region and be brought to the city of Saransk in the Mordovian Metropoliate.

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