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Korennaya Monastery
Article & Photography by Paul Hechtman November 2010
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church.
Click On The Left Image To A Watch Slideshow

The Korennaya monastery was established around 1597, but there has been a Church since theKursk Root
Icon was found in 1295. The first Church at the monastery was dedicated to the Life Saving Kursk Root
Spring Water.
The main church was built midway on the hillside above the spring where a hunter originally founded the
Kursk Root icon.
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church was just completed this past year. It is an exact replication
of the church that existed here before the revolution of 1917 when the atheists were going around
destroying everything that would remind people of God.
In 1597 under orders by Tsar Feodor Ioannovich the icon was brought to Moscow. The holy image was returned to the original spot later that same year. The Korennaya monastery was founded later that year
and a Church of the Icon of the Mother of God "The Life-Bearing Spring" began to be built.
Address: Kursk region, Zolotuhinsky area, village of Svoboda, Sovietskaya St., 17

The Bell Tower
Upon entering the monastery gates you see a long wide staircase, which le ads to the Bell Tower.On both
sides of the Bell Tower are monk cells. The entrance to he Bell Tower leads to the main courtyard of the monastery.

The Wonderworking Kursk Root
Icon of Our Lady of the Sign

The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign

In the year 1295, on September 8th some hunters were walking along the river Tooskar. One of the hunters came upon a large tree and noticed something at the root of the tree. The hunter pulled the object out of
the ground and spring water appeared at the moment the object was removed from the ground. The object that was pulled from the root of the tree was “The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign”.

The hunter built a small wooden chapel where he found the icon and the icon was placed in the chapel. It
was not long before the residents of Rylsk started to visit this chapel on a regular basis. Many miracles
started to occur to people who believed in God.
The Tatars once again attacked Kursk in 1383. They tried to set fire to the chapel, but they were not able to burn it down.
The Tatars accused Priest Bogoliub of sorcery and then one of the barbarians took his ax and cut the holy
icon in half and through one of the pieces away and held onto the other piece, which was disposed at
distant location from this chapel. The Tatars where able to burn the chapel after the icon was cut in half and Priest Bogoliub became their prisoner for the next twelve years.
After Priest Bogoliub release from captivity he returned to the site where the chapel had been burn down.
He prayed to God for three days as he was searching for the two halves of the icon.On the third day Priest Bogoliub came upon a plant that he had never seen grown in this region.He went up to the plant and while looking at the plant he found one half of the icon.
At one of the campsites that Priest Bogoliub had stayed at with the Tartars the barbarian that had the
second piece of the icon was making fun of Priest Bogoliub and the icon and then proceeded to throw the
icon into the open field. It was not long after finding the first half of the icon that Priest Bogoliub came upon
a second plant of the same verity in the opened field. He found the second half of the icon in this plant.
Priest Bogoliub placed the to pieces of the icon together and the icon fused itself together.
At the original site where the Icon was found a new wooden chapel was built. The Wonderworking Kursk
Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign remained in this chapel for about 200 years.
Today there is a church Saints Joakim & Anna Church Domes on the location of where the second half of the icon was found.
At present, the icon is in the United States. The icon is celebrated on the following days: September 8/21, November 27/December 10 and the 9th Friday after Easter.


St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759–1833)

Saint Seraphim was born on July 19, 1754, in Kursk, Russia.  At the age of 10, Seraphim became seriously
ill. During this period of time Seraphim saw the Mother of God in his sleep. She promised to heal him. Days later the Moshnin family took part in a religious procession in Kursk.Due to bad weather the procession had
to stop and the icon was taken into the Moshnin family’s home and Seraphim was left in the room with the Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign. Seraphim recovered rapidly after this.
In his youth he loved to attend church and read about the lives of saints. At age 19 he entered the
monastery of Sarov and worked as a monk for a while and then moved to the forest and became a hermit.
Seraphim had a pet bear named Misha during this period of time while living in the forest.
Pilgrims would seek Seraphim out in the wilderness for spiritual consulting and for healing. At one point in Seraphim’s life he spent 1000 days and nights on a rock praying to God for forgiveness.
In 1825 Seraphim was attacked by bandits so he returned to the monastery to live out the rest of his life.
After being silent for fifteen years and 8 years before his death he began to receive visitors.

Saint Seraphim passed away in 1833
There are 80 verified instances of miraculous healing worked by Saint Seraphim. The church proclaimed Seraphim a saint in 1903.  The Church commemorates St. Seraphim on January 2, and the opening of his relics on July 1.

Znamensky Monastery
The first church built on this spot was in 1612 and the miracle-working icon of Our Lady of Kursk was kept there.
In 1826 Znamensky monastery was built to replace the old church that was once there. The Znamensky monastery is located in the center of the city of Kursk. When you drive into the city you can see the huge
silver dome. The golden cross on its top is one of the largest in the country.
In 1898 a group of anarchists, placed a bomb in the Cathedral of the Sign. There was significantly damaged
to the church, but the icon remained undamaged.
In 1919 the white Russian Army evacuated the city of Kursk and they also transferred The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign to the city of Belgorod Russia.
In the 1930’s this building was made into a movie theater. In the early 1940’s the building was destroyed by Germany. The building was reconstructed in the 1950’s, but not as a church.
After the fall of the Soviet Union this building was restored and once again became the Znmensky monastery.
Address: Kursk, Lunacharskogo St., 4 305000, g.Kursk, Red Square.

Sergievo-Kazansky Cathedral

Built in 1778 in memory of St. Sergiy of Radonezh and the icon of “Our Lady of Kazan”. There is a chapel on the side of this cathedral that is dedicated to saint Seraphim Sarovsky. The Kursk theological seminary is located here and they have Sunday school for children. Visitors can masterpieces from the 18th century.
Service was just starting when I arrived at this cathedral so I was not able to take any photos inside. It is
very beautiful inside.
Services begin at 8-00 am and 6-00 pm. Address: Kursk, Gorkogo St., 27

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