Catholic World News

Icon prominently placed on Russian spacecraft during TV broadcast

November 17, 2011

An icon of the Mother of God was prominently displayed on a Russian spacecraft during a recent television broadcast from the International Space Station. The display of a religious image, during a broadcast that was seen around the world, illustrates the enormous change in Russia since the fall of the Communist regime.

The icon—an image of the beloved Mother of God of Kazan—was a gift to the Russian space program from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The Orthodox leader had expressed the desire that the icon would be taken on the historic journey marking the 50th anniversary of man’s exploration in outer space.

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  • Posted by: billG - Nov. 18, 2011 8:01 AM ET USA

    Now that the shuttle no longer flies, the only way we can get to the International Space Station is via Russian rockets. The Russians are having their priests bless the rocket before launch and are carrying sacred icons aboard the ISS. It seems so very strange to me that we now rely on the Russians and the Russians - they now rely on God. They are going to the heavens and we are going to ....

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Nov. 17, 2011 9:32 PM ET USA

    The return of Orthodoxy to Russia has been nothing short of astounding. It is the Russians who know first hand the lie of atheism and the evolutionary theory that goes hand in hand with it. Infact there is a lot of work done in Russia today to teach the Patristic doctrine of Creation. If I recall correctly the Orthodox Patristic view of Creation is even taught in some schools over there. Things are looking up in Russia.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Nov. 17, 2011 4:52 PM ET USA

    This reminds me of a statue of the Devil which I saw in a church of Our Lady in Fuessen long ago. The devil is trying unsuccessfully to hide behind a pillar, but yet is obliged to turn to the icon and, grimacing, bend his knee. I'll bet he and his friends on Earth are grimacing in anger at this new intrusion of Our Lady into 'their' realm.