Icon of the Mother of God of “the Sign”

On March 8, 1898, a group of anarchists who hoped to undermine the people’s faith in the Kursk-Root Icon’s wonderworking power, decided to destroy it. They placed a time bomb in the Cathedral of the Sign in the city of Kursk, and at 2 o’clock in the morning there was a devastating explosion that shook the monastery's walls.

The frightened monks ran immediately to the cathedral, where they saw horrible devastation. The force of the blast shattered the gilded canopy above the Icon. The heavy marble base, with several massive steps, had been jolted out of position and had split into several pieces. A huge metal candlestick which had stood in front of the Icon was blown to the opposite side of the cathedral. A cast iron door near the Icon of the Mother of God was torn from its hinges and was thrown outward where it smashed against a wall and made a deep crack. All the windows in the cathedral, including those in the dome overhead, were shattered. Amid the general devastation, the holy Icon remained in one piece and even the glass within the frame was intact. Instead of destroying the Kursk-Root Icon, the anarchists had, on the contrary, become the cause of its greater glorification.

The principal Feast Day of the Kursk-Root Icon is on November 27. It is also commemorated on September 8, the day of its appearance in 1259.