Kursk Root icon, in Starhill (Photo by Rod Dreher)

Kursk Root icon, in Starhill (Photo by Rod Dreher)

Amazing time tonight at our mission parish. The Kursk Root icon visited. It dates to the 13th century, and has an incredible history. It is one of the great treasures of Russian Christianity, and it is here in the United States because an Orthodox bishop smuggled it out in 1920 to keep it safe from the Bolsheviks.

Many miracles are associated with this icon. Tonight our little parish church was full as we worshiped God and venerated the icon. People came from all over. I met some ladies from Biloxi, and a bus full of Greek pilgrims came in from New Orleans. I even met some readers of this blog. It was a powerful time.

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Never have so many candles burned in our church at the same time!

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It was such a blessing to have this icon visiting our little country mission parish. When it returned for the first time to Kursk after the reunification of the Russian Church in exile and the Moscow Patriarchate, 200,000 people came to venerate it and welcome it home (see below). We had 150 or so — not bad for a little Russian mission church on the bayou:

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