SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA Communications] -- The 104th annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery here will be held over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-26, 2008.
Special highlights of this year's pilgrimage will be the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which will arrive at the monastery in the late afternoon on Saturday, May 24 and be available for veneration throughout the remainder of the pilgrimage. The relics of St. Seraphim are being sent from the OCA Chancery Chapel and will be present throughout the entire pilgrimage.
The Kursk icon will be visiting St. Tikhon's Monastery with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, newly-elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. In a letter greeting Metropolitan Hilarion on his election as First Hierarch of ROCOR, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman wrote, "We look forward to the spiritual joy of greeting the Holy Kursk Icon of the Mother of God at St. Tikhon's Monastery at our Memorial Day Pilgrimage. Your positive response to our request for the presence of the holy icon at our annual pilgrimage is deeply appreciated."
The Kursk Root icon was discovered September 8, 1259, by a hunter outside the town of Kursk, Russia. He found the icon lying face down by the root of a tree. When he lifted it he saw that the image of the icon was similar to the Novgorod "Znamenie" Icon. With the appearance of this icon immediately there appeared its first miracle. Just as the hunter lifted up the holy icon from the earth, right then, at that place where the icon lay, gushed forth a spring of pure water. The hunter decided not to leave the icon in the forest, placing it instead in a small, ancient chapel.
The icon was transferred to the city of Ryl'a and put it in a new church erected in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. But the icon soon disappeared and returned to its initial place of appearance. The people of Ryl'a made several attempts to bring the icon to their city, but it repeatedly returned to its former place. Everyone then realized that the Theotokos preferred the place of the icon's appearance.
The special help granted by the Mother of God through this icon is associated with important events in Russian history. Several copies of the icon were made, which also were glorified.
In conjunction with the Monastery pilgrimage, the 66th annual commencement of St. Tikhon's Seminary will take place on Saturday, May 24. The day will open with the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. Commencement exercises will begin with an academic procession at 2:00 p.m. Delivering this year's commencement address will be His Eminence, Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada. On Sunday, May 25, the commencement grand banquet will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Genetti's Convention Center, Dickson City, PA.