On Thursday afternoon, December 17, the commemoration of the Holy Great Martyr Barbara and St. John of Damascus, His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan visited the monastery with the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Archimandrite Seraphim and all the brethren greeted His Grace and the Holy Icon with great joy and with the ringing of a new set of Russian bells recently installed at the monastery by Constantine Stade of New Creation Bellringing. After a short moleben served by the brotherhood clergy, Bishop Nicholas greeted the monastic brotherhood explaining that the schedule of the Holy Icon’s travels has greatly changed this year because of the international travel restrictions. However, now the Mother of God is bringing unexpected joy to the monastic brethren by visiting them even when it was not planned far in advance.
The Holy Icon remained in the monastery church for Vespers and throughout the night while members of the monastic community took turns keeping vigil before the image. It remained in the temple for Matins, and in the morning one of the hieromonks blessed the site for new monastery church with the Holy Icon. Its departure shortly afterwards was accompanied by the festive ringing of the brotherhood’s new bells.