By ČTK / Published 19 September 2007
Prague, Sept 18 (CTK) - A Russian Orthodox icon of the Mother of God which allegedly weeps oil and blood tears will be on display in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, Orthodox Church bishop Jiří Stránský told journalists Tuesday.
The icon called the Softening of Stone Hearts has allegedly caused many miraculous healings and brought many people to belief in God.
After the accident of the Russian submarine Kursk in 2000, in which 118 men died, the icon started weeping bloody tears, Svatava Kabosova, editor-in-chief of the Czech magazine the Voice of the Orthodox, said.
"It is one of the biggest miracles of the 20th and 21st centuries because it was not the original but a paper copy of the icon that started weeping," Kabosova said.
The copy that is to be displayed in Prague as of Saturday was originally found in a pre-fab house in Moscow.
"The aim [of the exhibition] is not a desire to stir up sensation or to persuade somebody about a miracle," Stransky said. A visit to the icon should rather help all people seeking consolation and help, he added.
The icon has so far been on display only in Russia.
After Prague it will be displayed in Brno, south Moravia, Plzen and Karlovy Vary, both west Bohemia, and in Kosice, east Slovakia.
The Orthodox Church estimates to have 30,000 believers in the ten million Czech Republic and 70,000 members in the five million Slovakia.
The church also serves foreign church-goers, mainly Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians and other nationalities living in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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