During this time when it is forbidden to gather in procession in most countries of the world, aerial processions have proven to be an effective way for hierarchs and clergy to bless the people and lands entrusted to them.
The Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved and most venerated wonderworking icons of the entire Orthodox Church. The icon has traveled throughout the world, blessing the faithful who turn to the Mother of God for her prayerful intercessions.
Most recently, the icon took to the skies to bless Manhattan and Greater New York, reports the official site of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
On Wednesday, May 13, the feast of Mid-Pentecost, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated the Divine Liturgy, followed by a moleben and akathist to the Mother of God at the St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, New York, after which the miraculous icon was taken to the skies.
During this time when it is forbidden to gather in procession in most countries of the world, aerial processions have proven to be an effective way for hierarchs and clergy to bless the people and lands entrusted to them. The flight with the Kursk Root Icon is at least the second such procession in America: On Thursday, April 9, Archimandrite Fadi (Rabbat) of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese took to the skies to bless El Paso with holy water.
Vladyka Nicholas was joined on Wednesday by Protopriest Serafim Gan, Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur, and parishioner Vladimir Sushko of the St. Seraphim Church in the flight, during which New York City and the surrounding area, including Long Island, were blessed with the Kursk Root Icon.
Prayers are offered daily before the icon at the ROCOR Synodal residence in New York, where the First Hierarch His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion and Bp. Nicholas have been staying throughout the New York City shutdown, for the health of doctors and medical staff and the sick, and an end to this dangerous pandemic.
Perhaps the first aerial procession of the coronavirus pandemic was held on March 22, when His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk blessed the Belarusian capital with a wonderworking icon and relics from a plane.