Photo: – 2/6/18

This year will mark a major milestone for the miraculous Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. The icon regularly resides in New York, but it returns to Kursk, Russia every year for the consolation of the faithful, who participate in a procession with the icon by the thousands.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the holy procession, reports

The procession, to be held on June 8, will go from the Znamenny Monastery in Kursk to the Kursk Root-Nativity of the Mother of God Hermitage.

The traditional procession with the icon was first held in 1618 by decree of Tsar Michael Fedorovich. It was then that the miraculous icon was first solemnly transferred from the Znamenny Monastery to the Kursk Root Hermitage on the occasion of the consecration of the first, then-wooden Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God.

According to the established tradition, the procession would begin on Friday of the 9th week after Pascha, and the icon would remain at the Kursk Root Hermitage, built on the site where the icon first appeared, until September, after which it would again be carried to Kursk.

This tradition was interrupted in 1919 when the icon was taken abroad. The procession was reborn in its fullness only in 1990, although there is evidence that, despite the prohibitions and persecution, a small group of believers continued to secretly walk the path of the procession to the closed monastery, where they would pray for the return of the holy icon.

The Kursk Root Hermitage, with its main church dedicated to the Nativity of the Mother of God, has been restored in our times. The wonderworking Kursk Root Icon first returned to Kursk on September 23, 2009 after nearly a century abroad. Since 1957, it has been kept in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Cathedral of the Sign in New York.

Read more about the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon here.