RIGA, LATVIA: October 10, 2018
Archpastors, clergy and parishioners of the Latvian Orthodox Church escort the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign”
On October 10, 2018, the fullness of the Latvian Orthodox Church escorted the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” to its departure for the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York.
Divine Liturgy at Riga’s Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ began at 6 am, celebrated with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Riga and Latvia by His Grace Bishop Ioann of Jelgava, Vicar of the Riga Diocese. Metropolitan Alexander prayed and communed of the Holy Gifts at the service; also praying was His Grace Bishop Alexander of Daugavpils and Rezeknes. Also serving were Mitred Protopriest Iakov Prisyazhniuk, Dean of Riga, and his fellow clergymen.
Special petitions were read during the augmented litany for the unity of Holy Orthodoxy and peace in Ukraine.
Afterwards, a moleben was performed before the holy icon. The worshipers who gathered shed tears as they bid farewell to the miracle-working image of the Most-Holy Mother of God, Who had gathered the faithful under Her blessed veil from October 5-10.
“I bid farewell to the icon, but my love for the Most-Holy Queen, the Mother of God, will forever remain in my heart,” said His Eminence. “I truly hope that the visit of the Most-Holy Mother of God in the form of Her miraculous Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign” to Latvia will long remain in the memory of our people. We will pray that the Queen of Heaven once again visit our land.”
Vladyka Alexander thanked His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, for their blessing to bring the icon to Riga. His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, caretaker of the icon, and his delegation of clergymen were thanked by Metropolitan Alexander.
The Kursk-Root Icon was then taken on a procession of the cross around the cathedral, after which it was used to bless the city, the nation and all those who came to venerate the image, before departing for New York.