On Monday, September 25, the delegation of the Russian Church Aboard led by His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, continued their pilgrimage to the lands of Kursk. The day began with a Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Metropolitan Herman of Kursk & Rylsk, co-served by Archbishop Mark of Berlin & Germany, Bishop Benjamin of Zheleznogorsk & Lgov, Bishop Paisius of Shchigry & Manturovo, and Bishop Nicholas, and local and visiting clergy.
Not long after Liturgy, the traditional procession with the wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God began from the Kursk Root Hermitage toward the city of Kursk. Thousands of the faithful took part in the procession, carrying icons, reading akathists, and singing hymns to the Mother of God. Young and old, physically fit and infirm all walked together. Monastics from neighboring monasteries joined, along with youth from across the Diocese, who rotated carrying banners, crosses, and icons. In total, the procession lasted for 32 kilometers, and the unexpectedly sunny weather aided the faithful in their spiritual undertaking.
The entire city of Kursk was closed for the city holiday, and thousands more came out to greet the procession as it arrived near the Church of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos; municipal and regional government officials, led by the governor of Kursk Oblast Alexander Mikhailov, walked alongside the icon. The entire road from the church to Kursk’s Cathedral of the Sign had been lovingly adorned with flowers.
The icon and procession were greeted outside of the cathedral to the peal of bells and beautiful hymnody. In the square in front of the cathedral, Metropolitan Herman and Bishop Nicholas served a moleben before the Kursk Root Icon. The icon was then taken into the cathedral, where it will remain (except for some local visits) for veneration by the faithful until Monday, October 2.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Herman, then took the visiting bishops on a tour of the soon-to-be completed restoration of Holy Resurrection Church next door to the cathedral. It was ultimately decided that bullet holes shot into the icon at the high place after the revolution would remain, as a reminder of Soviet persecutions against the Orthodox Faith.