(Stillwater, Okla.)– On  May 11, 2016, St. Nino Equal-to-the-Apostles Orthodox Christian Church of Stillwater, OK is honored to host the 700 year old Miracle-Working- Kursk-Root-Icon of the Birthgiver of God..

This ancient Christian relic will arrive in Stillwater and will be available for public viewing starting at 5:30 pm at the Lee Company Event Room, 1002 South Lewis Stillwater, OK.

Father Deacon Aaron Taylor will present a brief, but lively and interesting talk concerning the history of Christian iconography from 6:30 pm – 7 pm.

At 7 pm an Orthodox Christian Moleben (prayer service) will be conducted.  This service lasts about 40 Minutes.  Any and all are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Refreshments will be available for all from 5:30 pm – 7 pm.

“The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign dates from the 13th century, and is one of the most ancient icons of the Russian Church.” said Toma Mallett, St Nino’s choir director.  “This is an enormous honor for our small mission parish here in Stillwater and we want to share our joy with everyone in the area.”

The history of the Kursk Icon begins In 1295, when a hunter stumbled upon it lying face down on the roots of a tree near the city of Kursk. He picked it up and saw a clear spring gushing from the ground. The hunter told the people of the nearby town about his find. Soon the icon, which attracted a stream of pilgrims, began to work various miracles.

The icon itself depicts the Birthgiver of God with the Christ child before her. Her arms are outstretched. Above her is the “Lord of Hosts,” and on either side and below are nine prophets who wrote about the birth of Christ (clockwise, starting in the top right): King Solomon, Prophets Daniel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Habakkuk, Judge Gideon, Prophets Isaiah, Moses, and King David. The wooden icon is covered with an intricately worked cover of blue and gold.

During the dark days of the Bolshevik revolution, in 1918, the icon was stolen but then recovered in miraculous fashion. When the White Army, who had been fighting against the godless Communist regime, had to retreat from Russian lands, the Kursk-Root icon was taken into exile with the Russian Orthodox bishops that would form what would become the Orthodox Christian jurisdiction known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. During the subsequent diaspora of Russian Orthodox immigrants fleeing the repressive Bolshevik regime, the Kursk-Root icon became a comfort and a symbol that God ultimately conquers evil.

The Icon is taken to Russia regularly, and attracts tens of thousands of the faithful wherever it goes.  See Video Here

The icon has been credited with many miracles throughout history, including the healing of St. Seraphim of Sarov.  Locally, one Stillwater, man had his vision restored several years ago after venerating this holy icon. A parishioner of St Benedict Russian Orthodox Church in Oklahoma City attributes the intercessions of the Birthgiver of God, sought through prayers at the Icon, with a cancer cure.

“The use of icons is a bit odd, or even objectionable, to our Protestants and Evangelical friends”, Mallett said, “but I like to point out that a nativity set at Christmas is also an icon. Both are statements of theology.”

Mallett went on to say, “We should be very clear that when miracles have occurred in connection with this Icon, it is God that works the miracles not the Icon itself.  Did the Bronze Serpent heal those bitten by snakes?  Did the Prophet Elisha’s bones raise a man from the dead?  Did St. Peter’s shadow heal the sick?  Did aprons and handkerchiefs that had touched St. Paul heal the sick and caste out evil spirits?  The answer to these questions are, Yes.  Nevertheless,
to be precise, it was God who chose to work miracles through these material things.  So yes, Icons can work miracles—but to be precise, it is God who works miracles through Icons.  The Incarnation of Christ sanctifies all Creation; it is through Christ that objects, and creation itself, is reoriented towards its true purpose, which is service to God.”

The people of St Nino extend a warm welcome to all to come and see this beautiful and ancient piece of art and locus of Christian piety. If you need a miracle, then come and see what God might do.  If you simply want to see a 700 year old piece of Christian art, then come. If you want the unique cultural experience of attending an Orthodox Christian service, then come and see..

For more information, please contact Toma Mallet at

Stillwater Phone:  (405) 698-1993 

Email: [email protected]

Church Website:  StillwaterOrthodox.org

St. Nino Equal-to-the-Apostles is a new Orthodox Christian mission in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  We are an English speaking parish, started in December 2015, by Americans, primarily Stillwater natives.  St. Nino is under the jurisdiction of Bishop Peter of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The Greek Orthodox Church is probably the most familiar Orthodox jurisdiction to many in the USA, however with nearly 170 million members worldwide and dating from 988 A.D., the Russian Orthodox Church is the world’s largest Orthodox Christian jurisdiction.

 

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