Visitation of the Kursk Icon of the Mother of God (Our Lady of the Sign) - 11/05/2012

On Friday the 11th of May, being the 28th of April by the Church calendar, His Eminence Archbishop Mark made a pastoral visitation to our parish, bringing with him the wonder-working Kursk Icon of Our Lady of the Sign.  This second visit of the icon to our parish since we moved into our new church was indeed a great blessing to us, as many people gathered from across the North and Northwest of England to ask the prayers of the Mother of God before her holy image.

We were pleased to welcome Fr Vladimir and Reader Nicolas from our cathedral in London, as well as Fr Gennady from the Manchester stavropegial parish of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God.  We were also delighted to have with us Fr Iakovos of the parish of St Nicholas in Liverpool, and Fr Pancratios from the parish of St Barbara in Chester, both representing the Greek Archdiocese.

Many thanks to all who helped to clean and beautify the church, who sang, took photographs, served, and travelled to make pilgrimage to venerate the Mother of God in her holy icon.  Through her intercessions, may Christ our God have mercy on us.
The parish icons of (top) St Elisabeth the New-Martyr and (bottom) St Elisabeth with Ss Winefride of Holywell, Werburgh of Chester, and Irenachos of Rostov
The clergy during the Moleben (with Akathist)
Fr Paul censes the people at the end of the Akathist
The ad-hoc choir drawn from among the pilgrims along with some of our own parish choir
Vladyka calls the people's attention to the spiritual significance of the icon's visit
Vladyka addresses the people
The people come forward to venerate the icon and are anointed with oil by the bishop
Vladyka blesses a child during the veneration anointing
Most Holy Mother of God, save us!