The much venerated icon of Our Lady of Kazan has arrived in Moscow on the eve of the Eastern Orthodox feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, brought by a delegation of high ranking Vatican officials headed by Walter Cardinal Kasper.
The icon will be handed over to Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and all Russia after Saturday’s festive liturgy in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
“Like numerous treasures of the Russian Church, it was taken out of the country in the 1920’s, and we’re thankful to the Vatican for this act of good will,” said a Russian specialist on the icon.
“We’ve seen a return to Russia of many icons and liturgical objects that the Russian Church lost in the years of repressions against faith, and this replica of the icon of Virgin Mary is a new instance in that line of repatriations,” he added.
Bishop Alexander of Dmitrov and father Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy chairman of the department for external relations, came to the Sheremetyevo airport to welcome the Vatican delegation.
Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the representative of the Holy See in Russia, and the Catholic Archbishop, Monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, also went to greet the delegation at the airport.