Icon of the Theotokos – “Kursk Root” (Kursk, 1295) – T84

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This is a great miracle-working icon from Russia that was discovered by a hunter near the root of a tree in a wilderness area that had been the city of Kursk before its destruction by the Tartar horde.  At this site a small chapel was built and later, after Kursk had been rebuilt in the area surrounding the icon, a monastery was built nearby in the icon’s honor.  Every year the icon was taken in procession back to the small chapel in the woods, and many came to venerate it and be healed.  Saint Seraphim of Sarov was healed by this icon in his youth when he lived in Kursk.

In 1597 Tsar Theodore Ivanovich had a special frame placed on the original icon with additional images depicting the Lord of Hosts and the Old Testament Prophets.  Now the icon is covered with a special metal cover or oklad in blue enamel.

In 1898 revolutionaries tried to blow up the icon, but even though the whole church was devastated, the icon was untouched.  The icon went with the retreating Russian emigres at the end of the Russian Civil War in the 1920s, and has remained a miracle-working help and guide to many of the Russians abroad since that time.

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