(United States) – Several Orthodox Christian Churches throughout the United States will host the Kursk Root Icon this year. The icon is currently making its way across the United States, and is scheduled to stop in several churches in the middle of the country, including Saint Louis and the surrounding area. Other upcoming stops include Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and Michigan. The icon made its way to places such as Indiana, North Dakota, and Ohio earlier this year. The icon, which depicts the Virgin Mary, who is referred to as the Theotokos in the Orthodox tradition. It is said to have been painted in Kursk, Russia sometime in the 1200’s, according to legend. It has been associated with many instances of healing and follows a yearly schedule of traveling to various North America churches. It has been said that there are so many instances of healing and miracles that are associated with this icon, it is simply too much to count.
The icon was found shortly after the village of Kursk was destroyed by invaders. Two hunters found it at the base of a tree. They took the icon to the nearest Orthodox Church, and it appeared underneath the tree the next morning. They removed the icon again and took it to the church, only to find it the next morning at the tree once again. When the hunters picked up the icon to bring it back to the church once again, a stream immediately bubbled up under the tree where the icon was located. People from all over the Orthodox Christian world heard of this icon and began to trek to the church where the icon was being housed in order to witness it for themselves. Reports of miracles started to spring up shortly after that. People began to rebuild the village in order to accommodate the crowds that flocked to the site of the icon. After that, the icon was chopped in half by invaders, only to find that it was miraculously fused together once again, and even withstood fighting that broke out during the Revolution. It began to travel shortly after the fighting ended.
Today, the icon spends most of its time visiting various Orthodox Churches, including several Greek Orthodox Churches. For instance, it was at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Honolulu, HI at the beginning of this year and is scheduled to visit a few others.