The Miracles of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign

The first to be healed was my wife (at that time she was not yet my wife). It happened thus: Gallia Alexandrovna, with her mother, Vera Dionysiyevna, came to live in our DP camp, Purshen, near Mulldorf (80 km from Munich) in the spring of 1949. She was a healthy, young, energetic woman, but in the middle of the summer she fell ill, severe pains began and she had to enter the DP hospital. There the causes of her sickness could not be discovered and so she was treated by guesswork; basically she was given pain killers. The sickness, however, continued to develop, the pains kept growing more severe, and her body quickly weakened.

Within a month and a half, upon our demand, she was transferred to a German hospital in the small city of Mulldorf, not far from the camp hospital. The doctors there could not establish the cause of her sickness either; according to all the symptoms, the cause was gallstones, but repeated X-ray tests did not confirm this.

September ended and G.A. had become a skin-covered skeleton (exactly as in Turgenev's Living Relics). At the beginning of October she could not even sit up, let alone walk; the nurses (Catholic nuns) had to feed her with a spoon. During the last weeks her temperature was very high. It was impossible to perform an operation because of the complete weakening of her body and her high temperature. The German doctors (perhaps to "wash their hands") decided to send her to the DP hospital in Munich. We knew that she would not be able to endure the trip, and it was doubtful that she would make it there alive.

At that time, the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos was approaching our camp's patronal feast. A visitation by the miraculous Hodigitria icon (icon of Kursk) was expected, accompanied by the First Hierarch Metropolitan Anastassy, Fr. George Grabbe and a protodeacon. I was a member of the parish council and was entrusted with the duty of meeting the icon, Vladyka and the clergy upon their arrival in the city of Mulldorf (they were traveling by automobile), and accompanying them to the guest house, previously prepared.

On the eve of the feast I left the camp for town early, intending to make one more check on the readiness of the suite in the guest house, and to visit the patient. By 10 a.m., having completed my business, I came to G.A. I told her of the preparations for the feast, of how the wonder-working icon and Vladyka Anastassy were coming, and how I would go at two in the afternoon to the agreed place and meet them there. Because of her weakness she could barely speak. She lay there with her eyes closed. At times I even thought that she did not hear everything that I was saying. Then suddenly she opened her eyes, somehow looked at me very attentively, and we said at the same time, "What if the icon could be brought here!" (to the hospital). I said, naturally, that I would ask Vladyka about this, but I myself deeply doubted the possibility, for shortly after their arrival the icon and clergy were to depart for the camp. There was time for only a brief rest after the long trip.

At twelve o'clock I left the hospital. I had still two hours until the arrival of the icon, but somehow I automatically went quietly to the meeting-place. Suddenly, when I had not even gone three blocks, someone called me, and I saw Father George who was waving to me from the automobile. I ran to them, received a blessing, and shortly we were already in the guest-house. Two feelings crowded inside of me: first, how good it was that I had come early and met the visitors on time, and secondly, that they had arrived two hours earlier than scheduled, meaning that there was hope of serving a moleben at the sick woman's bedside

As soon as the guests were accommodated in the guest-house, I expressed my request to Fr. George, and he passed it on to Vladyka. Vladyka immediately gave a blessing to Fr. George and the protodeacon, and we at once drove to the hospital.

At first G.A. greeted the icon with only a joyful, clear gaze. The moleben began and the sick woman crossed herself several times. Then again. When Fr. George blessed her with the icon, she raised herself from the bed without any help, and on her knees venerated the icon, and this at a time when, for ten days already, she had not only been unable to lift her head from her pillow, but also the nurses had been wiping perspiration from her face — she had been so weak.

After the moleben Fr. George encouraged her with a good word, and having said good-bye, we left. The next day, the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, after the liturgy and festal dinner, I went to the hospital. The nurses told me that the sick woman had slept well the whole night, her temperature was normal, and that she felt much better. When I entered the room I was amazed by the significant change in G.A.'s condition. She looked decidedly better than she did the day before, and conversed with me freely. Due to the late hour I stayed for a very short time and went home. The next day, Saturday, the hospital's main doctor, Dr. Loucks, confirmed the significant improvement in the patient's condition and, having canceled her transfer to Munich, scheduled an operation for the following Monday.

During the operation it was discovered that the gallbladder was so filled with stones that it was beginning to rupture. In view of this condition the journey to Munich might well have ended fatally.

In this whole story it is especially miraculous that: 1) the crisis came just when the icon was scheduled to arrive at our camp; 2) in spite of the previously established time of arrival, Vladyka Anastassy arrived with the icon two hours early, which gave us an opportunity to visit the patient; 3) without any particular reason I went to the meeting-place two hours earlier than scheduled and, fortunately, met the visitors; 4) G.A.'s sick body, without any physical reasons, battled the fever and strengthened significantly at first so much that, although she had already lain immobile for a long time, she was able to rise up on her knees and venerate the icon, and then, within three days, she gained so much strength that she was able to endure a long and difficult operation. But at the time of the visit of the icon the stones were still present. She ate nothing after the moleben, and, as a result of complete weakening, she had no internal "reserves." Of course, only the inexplicable power of God, through the intercession of the Holy Virgin, could have restored the sick woman's strength. 5) The experienced doctor believed in the reality of such an improvement and decided to perform the operation — of course, only by inspiration from above. All this, by the mercy of God and the miraculous help of our Sovereign Lady through her holy icon, led to a fortunate ending — the complete recovery of the sick woman. After the operation she recovered quickly; soon, she checked out of the hospital. In December, together with her mother, she left for Munich for the emigration committee, and in March of the next year, 1950, departed for the U.S.

In the beginning of 1950, when G.A. was before the emigration committee, I also was called before the same committee. At the preliminary medical checkup, spots were discovered on my lungs, and I was sent to the Gauting sanitarium for a detailed examination, and, if necessary, for treatment. I was very disappointed. I did not wish to remain in Germany, nor did I wish to take leave of G.A., as during the time of her illness we became close friends, and after her recovery we considered marriage after arriving in the U.S. G.A. often visited me in the sanitarium, which was located near Munich. Now we had switched roles, and here, not long before her departure for the U. S ., she brought me a prosphora and said that she had been in the Synodal church and asked that a moleben for my health be chanted before the miracle-working icon. During those days the final examination of my lungs began. Many X-rays and bacteriological examinations were made. As a result, the doctors came to the following conclusion: my lungs were normal and there were no obstacles to me entering the U.S.A. After an appropriate waiting period I left for the Funk armory — the emigration center in Munich — from where I departed for the U.S.A. in the month of August. Thus did our Most Holy Lady aid me.

Having met with G.A. in the U.S.A., we were married in the beginning of 1951. As at this time I was thirty-eight years old and G.A. thirty-five; we wanted very much to have children and considered that at our age it was not yet too late. On the other hand, the years were going by and we remained childless. More than three years had passed, and we had lost hope (I had even stopped paying for the "Blue Cross Maternity Plan"). In the autumn of 1954, on the feast day of our church, "The Joy of All That Sorrow." as was customary, the miracle-working icon came to us. Vladyka Anastassy and you, dear Vladyka, were with us then; at that time you recorded from my wife's words, the miracle which had occurred with her.

We did not arrange it, but, on our own (as much as our strength would allow), both of us prayed fervently before the holy image that we would be granted a child. Now the Most Holy Theotokos, having heard our prayers, granted us her favor a third time: in nine and a half months, in August of 1955, God gave us our daughter Marina. In spite of our age, all the illnesses we had undergone, and all the adversities of the terrible years past, the child was born completely healthy, and today, glory to God, is growing strong and healthy, and studies very well.

Glory to God! Glory to His Most Holy Mother — our Protectress! Glory to her honorable miracle-working icon!

By Sergei Shenuk

Source: http://www.kurskroot.com/miracles-series-of-miracles.html