Undoubtedly, the visit to Australia of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” brought great spiritual support to the believers of the diocese, for it is the main holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. “This icon has enormous meaning in the life of every Orthodox Christian. She protects us before the Lord and opens the path towards light to all who seek it,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, who is accompanying the icon on its travels.
The holy icon arrived at the Dandenong parish on the eve of Forgiveness Sunday. The fates of many parishioners of the Dormition of the Mother of God Church in this city has been closely bound to St John of Kronstadt Russian Welfare Society. Protopriest Michael Protopopov, the parish rector, is the president of the organization. On Friday, February 20, 2015, an akathist was performed before the Kursk-Root Icon at St John Chapel at the senior home known as the “Kronstadt Gardens.” Metropolitan Hilarion served along with Fr Michael, Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov) and Deacon Alexei Zhukov. All the residents of the home were able to venerate the holy icon.
In his sermon, Fr Michael stressed the importance of the visit of the image of the Mother of God on this 60th anniversary of the organization’s founding. After the service, Fr Michael, along with Fr Tikhon and the choir, visited the seriously ill in their rooms with the Kursk-Root Icon. Especially touching was the meeting with 100-year-old Anna Vikhrova.