Saskatoon’s St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church greeted the Kursk-Root Icon Wednesday – an item believers say is capable of miraculous healing.
The gold and jewel-laden image depicts the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. The icon has been viewed by millions, according to Father Florin Soane with the church.
“In a visible way, we can say, the Mother of God, the Mother of Church, is coming to us,” Soane said.
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The icon was discovered in 1295 in a forest near Kursk, Russia. When a hunter picked up the artifact, its first miracle occurred and a gush of water appeared, church leaders said.
The Kursk-Root Icon was nearly destroyed multiple times, including an attempted burning during a Tatar invasion in 1383.
In 1918, during the Russian Revolution, the icon was stolen from the Cathedral of the Sign. It was later found and travelled with people displaced during the Second World War.
Since 1951, its permanent home has been in New York. However, it travels the world for people to see.
Darby Sovyn attended the church Wednesday in hopes of praying for health and wellness. She called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“I’ve got three children and that’s always a mother’s main goal to keep them safe and healthy and happy,” Sovyn said.
Twelve-year-old Anna Hrycay didn’t want to miss what she considered “a big deal.”
“To come here and venerate it, that’s a big opportunity. It doesn’t happen all the time, really,” she said.
After departing Saskatoon, the icon is scheduled to travel to Regina and Winnipeg.