Appeal from Mitre-bearing Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We recently celebrated the feast of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, which by God’s Providence revealed itself abroad.

Let us recall the precious words written by Vladyka Seraphim (soon to be translated), who in 1951 founded the New Kursk-Root Icon Hermitage in Mahopac, NY and has tirelessly served in this convent.

This most coveted holy item in the Church abroad has widely traveled through the Church outside of Russia, and I myself have been blessed with the opportunity to travel with it, too – to San Francisco. I have experienced that the more time you spend with the Icon, pray, read the Troparion and Akathistos, the more you notice the pleasant aroma emanating from It, and the stronger you feel God’s grace. Therefore, I would like to remind you that our faith has weakened, and we forget that we have this precious Hodegetria in our Church Abroad. All of us need to approach Her in prayer, sing the Troparion and read the Akathistos. From my pastoral experience I can confirm, that She helps all, especially the needy and sick.

The whole world is currently plagued with various unrests, wars, and disasters, many people suffer and perish. Times are such that everybody should pray. Our Church is suffering a crisis, too, and therefore, I appeal to all of you: Pray to the Most Holy Theotokos, read the Akathistos and rely on Her help and intercession.
Metropolitan Philaret of New York, who often prayed before this Holy Icon, has left us this bequest: «Keep what you have» – let us pay homage to these words!

Mitre-bearing Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff.