On Friday, October 4, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign was brought to southern capital of Kazakhstan – the city of Almaty. The icon, for the second time, has visited the confines of Orthodox Kazakhstan with the blessing of His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow & All Russia, and with the gracious consent of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
The visitation of the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God coincides with the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Astana & Almaty, and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Synaxis of the New Martyrs & Confessors of Kazakhstan.
The icon was brought from the Almaty International Airport to the Cathedral of Sts. Faith, Hope, Charity & Sophia in Our Lady of Iveron-St. Seraphim Convent, where it was greeted by clergy and many worshippers. With the singing of the troparion "Having acquired thee as an unassailable rampart" (the troparion of the icon), the hierarchs brought the icon under the eaves of the cathedral, placing it in a kiot in the center of the church, after which a moleben was served by Metropolitan Alexander of Astana & Kazakhstan.
Serving alongside the head of the Kazakhstan Metropolitanate were Bishop Nicodemus of Edineț & Briceni, Bishop Nectarius of Taldıqorğan, Bishop Gennadius of Kaskelen (Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan), Bishop Barnabas of Pavlodar & Ekibastuz, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Archpriest Valery Zakharov (dean of Almaty), heads of departments and commissions of the Metropolitanate in clerical orders, rectors and clerics of Almaty parishes, and clergy accompanying hierarchs.
Upon conclusion of the moleben, Metropolitan Alexander congratulated those gathered with the great and momentous occasion of the arrival of the wonderworking icon of the Queen of Heaven to the southern capital, and delivered a sermon.