With the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop IRINEJ, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos visited St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Elkins Park (Philadelphia) PA.
This ancient (over 700 years old) miraculous icon, before whom prayed St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco, was escorted by His Grace NIKOLAI, Bishop of Manhatten, and Vicar Bishop to His Eminence HILARION, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia. A large number of faithful from the various Orthodox parishes in Philadelphia greeted His Grace as He entered the church with the Icon. His Grace explained the history of the Icon to the faithful, and thanked His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ, for bestowing His Archpastoral Blessing for His visitation. His Grace then celebrated a Moleban to the Theotokos, assisted by Fr. Milorad Orlic. Responses for the Moleban were sung by the Pan-Orthodox Choir of Greater Philadelphia, under the direction of Dan Drobish. At the conclusion of the Moleban, Fr. Milorad thanked His Grace for braving the stormy weather (intensive rain showers encompassed the north-east coast) and bringing to Kursk-Root Icon as a blessing for the St. Nicholas parish, and for all the faithful present. As a token of appreciation, on behalf of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Elkins Park, Fr. Milorad presented His Grace with an icon of the new martyr Hariton of Kosovo, which His Grace joyously accepted. The faithful then approached to venerate the Icon, and receive a copy of the Icon from His Grace. All the proceeded to the church hall to enjoy a wonderful luncheon prepared by the Circle of Sisters, and to continue to venerate and pray before the Icon which was brought into the church hall. After a lengthy enjoyment of fellowship, His Grace thanked all for the wonderful reception, and expressed His hope that another visitation would occur in the near future. Accompanied by the choir which chanted the Troparion of the Icon: “Having obtained Thee as an unassailable rampart…”, His Grace processed with the Icon to his vehicle, blessing the faithful with the Icon before returning to New York City.
Most Holy Theotokos Save Us!