Ancient Kursk Icon at St. Athanasius

With the blessing of the bishops of both the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Orthodox Church in America, the 700-year-old Wonderworking Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God will visit St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Nicholasville at noon on December 21, 2010.

The celebration of a special Moleben (Intercession Service) with Akathistos Hymn will take place at 12:15pm. Visitors will be able to pray and be anointed with blessed oil before the icon following the service.

Tradition holds that a hunter discovered the Kursk-Root Icon lying face down by the root of a tree outside the town of Kursk Russia on September 8, 1259. Though Kursk at that time was a virtual wasteland because of the Mongol invasions, the icon, depicting Christ and the Virgin Mary, became associated with that place and was seen by the residents of that part of Russia as a sign of divine consolation and visitation.

The special help granted through this icon is associated with many important events in Russian history. The icon was brought to America at the time of the Russian Revolution, where it continued to be the source of numerous healing miracles throughout the last century. When icon visited Kursk, Russia last year, almost half a million were on hand to greet it (see photos attached).

Priest Justin Patterson, rector of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, and the entire parish community invite the people of the greater Lexington area to join them in prayer before this sacred treasure, and to celebrate the Akathistos Hymn, to venerate this icon, and to be inspired and blessed by the icon’s miraculous presence.

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