May 28th: Our Lady of the Sign of Kursk-Root (2)
As soon as Prince Vasily Shemyaka of Rylsk heard of the miracles operated by the icon of Our Lady of the Sign, he ordered that the icon be brought into the city of Rylsk. This was done in a most solemn manner, with a grand procession through the city and everyone coming to greet the icon of the Mother of God on its way; but the prince himself declined to attend the festivities and for this reason he was punished with blindness. Realizing his mistake, he repented and immediately recovered his sight. Moved by this miracle, Shemyaka constructed a church in the city of Rylsk in honor of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos, and there the miraculous icon was enshrined on September 8th, the day of its manifestation.
But the icon did not remain there; on that same night, the icon disappeared and returned to its original chapel, in the outskirts of the city. The inhabitants of Rylsk repeatedly tried to carry it to the city, but the icon always miraculously returned to its former place. Finally, everyone realized that the Theotokos preferred the place of appearance of Her Icon. Innumerable pilgrimages came to the chapel. For many years, the services were celebrated there by a priest named Bogoliub, who lived the life of and ascetic at the site of the wooden chapel.