Expectation in Russia for return of Marian icon

.- Shortly after the papal announcement at Castelgandolfo regarding the return of an icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the Russia, nearly all of the media in Russia covered the remarks by Pope John Paul II.

According to the NTV channel, the Pope had hoped to personally return the icon to the Russian People, but the revered image will be taken to Moscow instead by Cardinal Walter Casper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, due to fierce opposition by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II regarding a papal visit to the country.

The Marian image, the object of widespread devotion in Russia, has a basilica named after it in St. Petersburg, but the 15th century icon disappeared at the beginning the 20th century.

Years later it reappeared in Warsaw and later in the United States, where a group of Catholics purchased it and donated it to the Pope in 1993.

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