About the Miracle-Working Icon of the Mother Of God
Kursk Root (Kurskaya Korennaya)


Icon of the Mother of God Kurskaya

The miracle-working icon of the Mother of God Kurskaya Korennaya was discovered in 1295 in the woods not far from the city of Kursk (Russia). One of the hunters found it laying face down on the roots of old oak tree. As soon as he picked the icon up, a spring of pure water burst out from the ground where the icon was found. This spring is still found on that place.

The hunters built a small wooden chapel in honor of the discovered icon. Since that time people came to venerate the icon of Mother of God named Kurskaya Korennaya (found on roots of the tree). Many miracles associated with this icon were recorded that took place:

In 1383 Priest Bogolub who lived close by and served in the chapel, was captured by  Mongols who had invaded Russia at that time.  Mongols burned the chapel and hacked the icon in two pieces and tossed them apart. When Priest Bogolub returned from his captivity, he was fasting and praying hard to find the icon and finally he found the pieces. He tried to put the two pieces together; and they joined without leaving a seam. 

In 1613, the people of city of Kursk founded a monastery of the Sign dedicated to the Kursk icon of the Mother of God as a sign of their gratitude to the Mother of God for their deliverance from the Polish invaders. The icon was permanently installed there.

In 1676, this Holy Icon traveled to the Don River for blessing the Don Cossack troops,  In 1684, Tsars Ivan and Petr Alekseevich sent a copy of this Icon with the order that it accompany Orthodox troops into battle. In 1687 the holy Icon was sent to the "Great Army."  The miracle working icon helped the worriers to free their land many times.

A number of copies of the Icon were painted later to give them to the armies in the Crimean campaign, and to many Russian generals, including Prince Kutuzov. St. Seraphim of Sarov was healed in the presence of this icon.

After the Bolshevik revolution, on April 12, 1918, the holy Icon was stolen from the cathedral of the Monastery of the Sign of the Mother of God and stripped of its golden ornamentation, but on May 2 it was found and returned to its place.

In 1919, while accompanying Bishop Feofan of Kursk and some monks of the Monastery of the Sign, the holy Icon crossed the border of Russia though Constantinople to the neighboring Serbia. In 1920, at the behest of General Wrangel, it again visited Russia at the Crimea and remained there until the final evacuation of the Russian Army in the first days of November, 1920.

The holy Icon returned to Serbia, where it remained until 1944, when, together with the Synod of Bishops, it went abroad, to Munich (Bavaria) with Metropolitan Anastassy. In 1951 Metropolitan Anastassy moved from Munich to America.

Since 1957 the Icon had resided in the main cathedral dedicated to it in the Synod of Bishops in New York. The holy Icon regularly travels to all the dioceses of the America and is often called “Odigitria of Russian Dispersion”.