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April 10, 2014

‘Wonder-working’ Kursk-Root icon presented at local parish


The holy Kursk-Root icon of the Sign made its way to Saint Brigit Orthodox Christian Church Friday during a tour among churches within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) Diocese of Mid-America.
Father Steven Tolbert, rector at Saint Brigit, said the icon is one of the oldest in the Russian Orthodox Church, and has been linked to important events in Russian history, as well as, thousands of miracles around the world.
He said the history of the icon dates back to the 13th century when it was discovered by a hunter in the Kursk province of Russia. 
During the Tatar invasion, the province of Kursk was emptied of people by the Horde of Batu and its principal city Kursk, became a wilderness. Afterwards, the city of Rylsk often traveled to the site to hunt wild animals.
On Sept. 8, 1259, one of the hunters, which was not far from ruined Kursk, noticed the icon lying face down on the ground next to the root of a tree. The  hunter lifted it and saw the image of the icon was similar to the Novgorod “Znamenie” icon of the Mother of God, such as was enshrined and venerated in the city of Novgorod. Just as the hunter lifted the holy icon, a strong spring of pure water surged up at the place where the icon rested.
WIth the help of friends, the hunter rebuilt a small chapel and place the newly-found icon in it. Residents of Rylsk began to visit the place of the holy object where glorified miracles of healing occurred.
Not long after, the icon was moved to Rylsk and placed in a new church in honor of the Nativity of the Theotokos, however, the icon did not remain there. It miraculously vanished and returned to its former place that is now the grounds of the Kursk Root Hermitage. 

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