Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14-15
The wonder-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God arrived at St. George Russian Orthodox Church in the Cincinnati suburb of Loveland on Monday, March 10. The icon’s first visit was to the home of the parish’s rector emeritus, Archpriest Paul Bassett. Overjoyed at the Holy Virgin’s presence in his home, Fr. Paul reminisced about how he had first seen the icon at Holy Trinity Monastery in the 1970s while he was starting to learn about Orthodoxy.
The icon then travelled to the parish’s newly-built Church for an early afternoon moleben and akathist. Over 60 of the faithful gathered for the service, which was lead by the parish clergy, priest Daniel Marshall and priest Pavel Akmolin.
Then the icon went to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to visit five-year-old Sofia Kharchyk. Sofia came to Cincinnati with her parents from Ukraine 18 months ago for treatment of cancer, which has since been eliminated. This January, Sofia suffered several strokes as a result of side affects from the treatment. She underwent surgery last week to improve the blood circulation in her brain, which should help restore her sight and increase her mobility. The grace brought by the Lord’s Most-Pure Mother was palpable; it was a great comfort to everyone in the hospital room. With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Peter, donations to support Sofia's treatment can be made directly to her account at PNC Bank, listed on this website: http://savesofiakharchyk.org.ua/en/for-donations/.
The Most-Holy Virgin then returned to the parish for the Sacrament of Holy Unction, at which His Grace, Bishop Peter presided. Also serving were Archpriest Steven Kostoff, rector of Christ the Savior ~ Holy Spirit Orthodox Church (OCA, Cincinnati); Archpriest Miroljub Ruzic, Rector of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Orthodox Church (OCA, Columbus); Hieromonk Alexander from Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR, Wayne, WV); and Priest Nicholas Olhovsky, who accompanied the icon from New York. The choir was prayerfully directed by St. George’s parish deacon, Fr. Alexander Petrovsky. More than 150 of the faithful participated in this sacrament of spiritual healing, which had not been served for several decades at St. George parish and had never been served with a full complement of seven clergy.
Late Monday night, the parishioners of St. George dispersed to their homes, carrying with them the Grace of Holy Unction, the blessing of the Mother of God’s presence, and gratitude to the Lord for his mercy to us, sinners all.