On October 2, 2017, the day that the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” arrived in the city of Orenburg, Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Veniamin of Orenburg and Saraktash celebrated Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Cathedral.
He was joined by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan; His Grace Bishop Iriney of Orsk and Gaisk; His Grace Bishop Alexy of Buzulsk and Sorochinsk and other diocesan clergymen. Singing was the choir of Orenburg Theological Seminary under the direction of Priest Alexander Romashkov.
Protopriest Alexander Kutsov delivered the sermon: “The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God ‘of the Sign’ appeared long ago, and survived many tribulations together with the Russian people. And this image always helped people live and follow the path to the Kingdom of Heaven. The Mother of God helped one of the greatest of our saints, St Seraphim of Sarov, when he was but a boy. But the Most-Holy Queen, the Mother of God, helps not only the select few of God, but the greatest sinners of our Fatherland as well. She is called the Mother of All Christians for good reason. Everything She asks for of Her Beloved Son He fulfills. We must all approach the Mother of God with filial love, asking Her intercession and Her aid in rearing our children, in overcoming obstacles, in attaining the Kingdom of Heaven.”