Русский | Provided by 'DECR Communication Service of the Russian Orthodox Church'
Port Arthur Icon of
the Most Holy Mother of God
Arrives in Beijing
English Translation by Nina Tkachuk Dimas

The icon "Feast of the Most Holy Mother of God" arrived May 12, 2003 in Beijing from Lǚshùnkǒu (旅顺口, Port Arthur) where it had been on May 9 - Victory Day. Priest-monk George (Letuchev) , a cleric of the St. Petersburg diocese, conducted a prayer service in the Russian embassy; a religious procession followed.

The icon, also known as the "Port-Arthur Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God", has an unusual history. The original icon was painted specifically for the Port Arthur naval base a hundred years ago during the Russo-Japanese war. However the icon never reached the Russian soldiers and later its whereabouts were unknown; then several years ago it was discovered in an antique shop in Jerusalem. A copy of the icon, based on remaining evidence, took ten years to make.

This copy of the Port Arthur of icon of the Most Holy Mother of God traveled for five weeks with four pilgrims from Kronstadt to Khabarovsk. The pilgrims then crossed the Russian-Chinese border and reached the port city of Lǚshùnkǒu (former Port Arthur), and arrived in Beijing. The icon should finish its long journey in Saint Petersburg for the city's 300th anniversary celebration. The construction of a chapel is planned for the icon in this city on the Neva River.

On materials from ITAR-TASS