The Kievo-Pechersk Icon of the Uspenie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God
The Kievo-Pechersk Icon of the Uspenie (Dormition) of the MostHoly Mother of God – is one of the most anciently appeared icons in the Russian Orthodox Church. The MostHoly Mother of God entrusted it to 4 Byzantine architects, who in 1073 brought the icon to the Monks Antonii and Theodosii of Pechersk. The architects arrived at the cave of the monks and asked: "Where do ye want to begin the church?" The saints answered: "Go, the Lord will point out the place". "How is it that ye, anticipating impending death, have still not designated the place? – wondered the architects – And still they have given us so much gold". Then the monks called together all the brethren and they began to question the Greeks, saying: "Tell us the truth, who sent you and how did ye wind up hereabouts?". The architects started by saying: "One time, when each of us was asleep in our own homes, early – at sunrise, handsome youths came to us and said: "The Queen doth summon you to Blakhernae". We all arrived at the same time and, in questioning one another we learned, that each of us had heard this command of the Queen and that those sent out had come to all of us. Finally, we beheld the Queen of Heaven with a multitude of warriors. We bowed down to Her, and She said: "I want to build Myself a Church in Rus', at Kiev, and herewith I do bid ye to do this. Take sufficient gold for 3 years". We however, having bowed ourselves down, asked: "Lady Queen! Thou dost send us to a foreign land, – to whom there art we to go?" – She answered: "I send you to these here, to Antonii and Theodosii". – We wondered: "Why then, Lady, dost Thou give us gold for 3 years? With it bid also what concerns us, what we shalt eat and what we shalt drink, and provide us also with what Thou knowest about it". The Queen replied: "This one, Antonii, wilt give only but the blessing and expire from this world into eternal repose. And the other one, Theodosii, wilt follow him after 2 years. Wherefore, take gold abundantly sufficing. And moreover, to esteem you, know that no one is able to do this such as I shall. I shalt give ye, what neither ear hath heard, nor what eye hath seen nor what in heart hath been in ascent for man. I Myself shalt come to look upon the Church and I shalt dwell within it". – She likewise gave us relics of the Holy Martyrs: Artemios, Polyeuktos, Leontios, Akakios, Aretha, James, Theodore, and said: "This place ye within the foundation". – We took gold more than enough, and She said: "Come out the doorway, and behold the resplendid Church". – We went out and beheld a Church in the air. Having come in again to the Queen, we bowed down and said: "Lady Queen, what wilt be the name of the Church?" – She answered: "I wish to call it by Mine Own Name". – We did not dare to ask, what Her Name was, but She Herself again said: "It wilt be the Church of the Mother of God". – And, having given us this icon, She said: "This wilt be put within it". We bowed down to Her and went to our own homes, taking with us the icon, received from the hands of the Queen".
Having heard this account, all glorified God, and the Monk Antonii said: "My children, we never ventured out of this place. Those handsome youths summoning you were holy angels, and the Queen in Blakhernae – was the MostHoly Mother of God Herself. And what regards our image and the gold given as through us, that the Lord only knoweth, how He deigned to do this with His servants. Blest be your arrival, ye have good accompaniment, the venerable icon of the Lady". For three days the Monk Antonii prayed, that the Lord Himself would show him the place for the church. After the first night there was a dew throughout all the land, but dry on the holy spot. On the second morning throughout all the land it was dry, but on the holy spot it was with dew. And on the third morning, having prayed, they blessed the place and measured out with a golden sash the width and length of the church. (This sash had long before been brought by the Varangian Shimon, who had a vision about the building of a church). A firebolt, falling from heaven through the prayer of the Monk Antonii, indicated that what was designated was pleasing to God. Thus was placed the foundation of the Divine Church.
The icon of the Mother of God was glorified by numerous miracles. Two friends, John and Sergei, sealed their friendship before it. After many years John fell mortally ill. He gave part of his wealth to the Pechersk monastery, and the portion for his 5 year old son he gave over for safekeeping to Sergei; he gave over to him also his son Zakharii under his guardianship. When Zakharii turned age 15, he wanted to receive the inheritance belonging to him, but Sergei persisted in saying, that John had distributed off everything to the poor. He persisted to such an extent, that he went into the Uspensk church and vowed before the wonderworking icon, that he had taken nothing. When he made attempt to kiss the icon, he was not able to come near it; he went to the doors and suddenly shouted out: "Holy Antonii and Theodosii! Let me not be struck down for this dishonesty, pray ye the MostHoly Mother of God, that She drive away from me this multitude of demons, to which I am given over. Let the gold and silver be taken away: it is sealed away in my granary". Zakharii gave off all his inheritance to the Pechersk monastery, where he also himself took monastic vows. And from that time no one would take oaths at the wonderworking icon.
The icon more than once defended the land from invasion of enemies. In 1677, when the Turks laid siege to Chigirin and danger threatened Kiev, they carried the icon around the city for almost the entire course of the day of 27 August. The Mother of God blessed Russian armies going to the Battle of Poltava (1709). In 1812 they again carried the icon around Kiev. The celebration of the icon is set twice within the year: 3 May and 15 August.
Icon of the Mother of God Ovinovsk (1425)
This wonderworking icon is in the men's Monastery of St. Paisius (refer to the Kostroma Diocese). It received its name from the Boyar Ovinov, to whom it wonderfully appeared on the shore of Lake Galicia, near the city of Galicia in the princedom of Dmitri of the Don River. On the spot of its appearance Ovinov built the Temple of the Dormition of the Mother of God.
Icon of the Mother of God "Pskov-Pechersk" (1472)
It is found in Pskov Monastery of the Caves (refer to the Pskov Diocese), in which it was wonderfully revealed in 1472. Again it is glorified by miracles in 1523. See October 7.
Icon of the Mother of God "Semigorodnaya" (15th c.)
This wonderworking icon representing the Dormition of the Mother of God was written by the Venerable Dionysius the Deaf in the XV century. Brought by hermits from its monastery it was put into the parish church of the Semigorodny District, beyond the Dvinsk River. After the terrible plague that devastated the Vologda District in XV century, the church stood in desolation for about 150 years. In 1593, through a special vision, the Starets Julian, from the family of Beloozero noblemen, found the icon and constructed a monastery on the spot where the holy icon was found. Now the icon is in the Tupichev Monastery, Mogilev Diocese. The icon is celebrated on the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God
The Mozdok Icon of the Mother of God, a copy of the Iversk icon, was sent in the XIII Century by the holy empress Tamara as a gift to the newly-enlightened Christians of the Ossetian aul (village) of Mar'yam-Kadu. In 1768 this icon appeared remarkably on the banks of the Terek, not far from Mozdok. Bishop Gaii built a chapel for the icon. In 1796-1797 there was built at the place of the chapel a church in honour of the Uspenie (Dormition or Repose) of the MostHoly Mother of God, along which was soon founded a women's monastery (abolished together with the Mozdok diocese in 1799). At the end of the XIX Century the inhabitants of Mozdok built a splendid church in honour of the Mozdok-Iversk icon of the Mother of God. The Mother of God has repeatedly rendered speedy aid to the believing through Her holy icon.
Icon of the Mother of God "Atskursk" (1st. c.)
This holy and wonderworking icon, by tradition, was wonderfully depicted on a board, in which the Mother of God put her figure, and was brought by the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-called to Iberia. Today it is in the Gaiane Cathedral, near Kutais. There the former Princess Saint Tamara had another Holy Icon of the Mother of God that today is called Gaiane.
Icon of the Mother of God "Tsilkansk" (4th c.)
It is found in the Tsilkani Temple of the Theotokos, in Kartli (Georgia), written on a board from the Bethlehem manger and is contemporary with St. Nina, the enlightener of Georgia (January 14).
Icon of the Mother of God "Vlakhernsk"
It is in the Quabtahev Monastery, in the middle of Kartli (Georgia).
Icon of the Mother of God "Vladimirsko-Rostovsky" (12th c.)
It was written in the XII century by the Venerable Alypius of the Monastery of the Caves and now is found in the Rostov Dormition cathedral.
The Icon of the Mother of God of Galich-Chukhlomsk "Tenderness" [Umilenie]
The Icon of the Mother of God of Galich-Chukhlomsk "Tenderness" [Umilenie] appeared in the year 1350 to the Monk Avraam of Galich, having come there from the north for ascetic deeds with the blessing of the Monk Sergei of Radonezh. On the wild shores of the Galich lake near the large mountain, hidden in the dense forest, he turned with prayer to the Mother of God, asking Her blessing for his labours. After prayer the monk sat at rest and suddenly there appeared on the nearby mountainside a bright light and he heard a voice: "Avraam, come up the mountain, where is set an icon of My Mother". The monk went up the mountain where the light shone, and indeed on a tree found an icon of the Mother of God with the Praeternal Infant. With tenderness and in gratitude to God, the holy ascetic took the revealed image and, strengthened by prayers to the MostHoly Mother of God, he built a the blessed place a chapel, in which he put the icon. After a certain length of time the Galich prince Dimitrii Feodorovich, having learned about a trip of the elder, turned to him with a request to bring the icon. The Monk Avraam rowed across the Galich lake in a boat and, accompanied by clergy and a throng of people, he took the wonderworking icon to the cathedral church of the city of Galich. On this day a large number of the sick were healed from this icon. When the Monk Avraam told about the appearance of the icon, the prince offered money for the building of a monastery. Soon there was built a church in honour of the Dormition of the MostHoly Mother of God, around which arose a monastery. Afterwards the Monk Avraam founded several more monasteries, the last being founded was the Chukhlomsk, not far from the city of Chukloma, – from the name of this monastery the ascetic was named "of Chukhlomsk", and the wonderworking icon took on the name "Galich-Chukhlomsk. The commemoration of this icon is also on 28 May and 15 August.