On Saturday, September 9, 2019, 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 Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” arrived at the Mid-Asian Metropoliate. This 13th-century image arrived at the Diocese of Tashkent and Uzbekistan on the eve of the feast day of the Saints of the Mid-Asian Metropoliate.
The main holy icon of the Russian diaspora was solemnly greeted at the gates to Dormition Catherdal in Tashkent by His Eminence Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, head of the Mid-Asian Metropoliate; His Eminence Archbishop Feofilakt of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk; His Grace Bishop Daniil of Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan, Acting Ruling Bishop of the Deanery of Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Turkmenistan; His Grace Bishop Pavel of Dushanbe and Tadjikistan, and His Grace Bishop Arseny of Yurievsk. His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and clergymen from the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand are accompanying the icon.
After a brief moleben service before the miracle-working icon, Metropolitan Vikenty spoke, saying in part:
“Today we are filled with great joy and gratitude towards the Most-Holy Mother of God for Her visit to our diocese. She entered our cathedral, which is likewise dedicated to Her. We say that the Most-Holy Mother of God is present here, and is the Mistress of this temple, which also has several miracle-working icons: the Iveron Icon, Tikhvin Icon, the “Quick to Hear” Icon, all ancient, painted on holy Mt Athos. Today another great image joins them, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” venerated throughout the world.
She came to bless us, to cover us with Her honorable veil, help us in our needs, and of course bolster our faith and piety. We hope that Her presence on the land of Tashkent and the dioceses of the Mid-Asian Metropoliate will bring forth fruit as the mercy of the Holy Theotokos.”
In his response, Vladyka Nicholas congratulated all the worshipers with the celebration of welcoming the Kursk-Root Icon to Tashkent.
“Allow me to extend a congratulatory message to all of you from Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and the Synod of Bishops, along with our entire flock. We rejoice that the Mother of God is here with you today in the form of Her Kursk Icon. We have traveled a great distance, but we are only too happy to make such a trip to accommodate this great celebration. For us it is an honor to bring the Kursk Icon to your metropoliate.
“We recently celebrated the Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God, and sang the troparion with the words: in your falling asleep you did not forsake the world.’ And we sense this today. We see it, we feel it. The Queen of Heaven Herself has visited us, peacefully, quietly, calmly, but bringing us great spiritual uplifting. ‘
“We thank the Mother of God for the miracles She offers us today. The icon has spent 60 years abiding in New York, illuminating our flock. The icon is renowned throughout the world. And today you can all come to Her, venerate Her image, pray and ask whatever you need for the salvation of your souls. We keenly sense the meaning of the words, that She did not forsake us, and will not leave us. May we likewise never abandon the Mother of God.”
The Kursk-Root Icon will be visiting the lands of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bishkek and Dushanbe over the course of two weeks.