On the Apodosis of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God, September 25, 2019, the traditional procession of the cross was held with the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” starting at Kursk-Root Hermitage and ending at Znamensky Monastery in Kursk, Russia.
After many years of “wandering” throughout the world, the miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” made a return visit to the Kursk-Root Hermitage in 2009, ten years ago. Now, every year, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the icon visits the site of its discovery in 1295. This year, the icon was ceremoniously greeted on September 20; His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk celebrated Divine Liturgy along with His Eminence Metropolitan Ioann of Belgorod and Starooskolsk; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan of ROCOR; His Grace Bishop Veniamin of Zheleznogorsk and Lgovsk,; His Grace Bishop Paisy of Shchigrovsk and Manturovsk and a multitude of clergymen.
After the service, under the peal of bells and the singing of hymns, the procession of the cross with the holy image of the Queen of Heaven commenced, in which over 7,000 people participated, including local believers and pilgrims from all over the world.
The Kursk-Root Icon arrived in Kursk three hours later. At Vvedensky Church, the miraculous image was greeted by the people of Kursk and guests. Metropolitan German blessed the city and the procession with the icon, after which it continued through the streets of the city. On Perekalsky Square, the icon was greeted by the Governor of the Kursk Region, Roman Starovoit and Kursk Mayor Viktor Karamyshev, who joined the procession.
The icon was then brought to the courtyard in front of Znamensky Cathedral, where the hierarchs performed a moleben. Metropolitan German then delivered a sermon, noting that the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God has a special mission in the world. The image does not remain in place but travels throughout the world, bringing consolation to the faithful and stirring spiritual feelings within them. Most importantly, the icon unites the Russian world. His Eminence thanked the delegation of ROCOR for bringing the icon and bringing such joy to the people of Kursk.
The icon was then placed in the center of the cathedral, and the faithful were given the opportunity to venerate it.
Metropolitan German then told Governor Starovoit of the ongoing reconstruction of Resurrection of Christ Cathedral, including the painting of its frescoes. Architects discussed the excavations taking place on the church territory, which reveal that this was the very center of the ancient city. Experts hope to establish the identities of the ruling princes.
The Kursk-Root Icon will remain in Kursk until October 3, at Znamensky Cathedral, where prayer services will be held throughout each day, and access to the icon provided on a round-the-clock basis. On October 1, Metropolitan German will visit medical centers of Kursk, and on October 3, the icon will be taken to Zheleznogorsk Diocese, and then on to Kazakhstan, where the 15th anniversary of the completion of the Cathedral of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia will be celebrated, along with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Astanaisk and Almaty.