Today are celebrated many icons of the Mother of God: the appearance of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, the Weeping Icon of the Mother of God "Of Tender Feeling" in Novgorod, the Icon of the Mother of God "Our Lady of Sitka", and the Miracle of the Annunciation Icon at Ustiug.
Appearance of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
The Wonderworking Copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, found in 1579, is in the Kazan cemetery church named for the holy Prince Theodore and his sons David and Constantine. The holy icon is venerated by the residents of the city.
The Weeping Icon of the Mother of God "Of Tender Feeling" in Novgorod
On July 8, 1337 a caretaker in Holy Trinity Church in Novgorod heard a noise inside the church and went to investigate. He was astonished to see that the icon of the Mother of God from the second tier of icons above the northern door of the iconostasis had left its place and was floating in the air, and tears were flowing from the eyes of the Virgin.
Archbishop Alexis was notified, and he and his clergy came to the church with a large crowd of people. A special shrine was built for the icon, and July 8 was appointed as its date of commemoration.
That same year, a plague appeared in Novgorod. People flocked to pray before the wonderworking icon, and the plague was stopped. In 1352, Archbishop Basil ordered that an annual procession be made from the church of Holy Wisdom to Holy Trinity Church.
In the summer of 1366 Holy Trinity Church burned down, and the “Tender Feeling” Icon floated in the air above the flames. Archbishop Alexis came to the church to serve a Molieben, and the icon descended into his hands. The fire went out, but a burn mark seven inches long was left on the back of the icon.
Great Prince John III took the icon to Moscow in 1397, where it remained until 1508. At that time, the Mother of God appeared to Princess Maria in a dream and ordered that the icon be returned to Novgorod.
The Icon of the Mother of God "Our Lady of Sitka"
Located at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel in Sitka, Alaska is one of the most revered Icons in North America: the Sitka Mother of God.
This Icon has been attributed to a famous Iconographer, Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky (1758-1826), a protégé of the Empress Catherine II who was instructed at the Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In addition to being a great portrait painter, Borovikovsky also painted many of the Icons for the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon in Saint Petersburg.
Painted in the style of the Kazan Mother of God Icon, on canvas, the Sitka Mother of God Icon is 36 x 17-1/2 inches in size. An exceptionally beautiful and detailed riza of silver covers the Icon of the Theotokos and Christ child, and the Image of God the Father blessing from above.
The Cathedral received the Icon as a gift from the laborers of the Russian American Company in 1850, two years after the Cathedral was completed. Even with their meager wages, these men generously made their contribution to the Church.
Miracles have been attributed to the Sitka Mother of God Icon over the years. It is believed that the gaze of the eyes of the Theotokos have led to the restored health of those who prayed before the Icon.
Because of the peaceful gaze of the Theotokos, the Icon has been described as a “pearl of Russian ecclesiastical art of ineffable gentleness, purity and harmony....” And “...the most beautiful face of the Mother of God with the Divine Child in her arms is so delicately and artistically done that the more one looks at it the more difficult it is to tear one’s gaze away.”
Originally part of the main Iconostasis at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel in Sitka, Alaska, the Icon is now permanently located on the far left side of the Iconostasis in a special place of honor.
Miracle of the Annunciation Icon at Ustiug
The Ustiug Annunciation Icon of the Mother of God The “Ustiug Annunciation” is a venerable icon, before which Saint Procopius, Fool-for-Christ (+ 1303) prayed with intense fervor on June 25, 1290 for the salvation of the city of Ustiug from the wrath of God.
The icon was painted by a Novgorod iconographer when the holy Prince Vsevolod-Gabriel (February 11) ruled in the city. In 1567, under Metropolitan Philip (January 9), the holy icon was transferred from Great Ustiug to Moscow and placed in the Dormition cathedral. At the present time it is located in the state Tretyakov gallery.
(courtesy of oca.org)
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We respectfully remind all visitors that Holy Communion is given only to Orthodox Christians in good standing with the Church who have prepared themselves through prayer, fasting, and confession.
Following Divine Liturgy, coffee and light refreshments are served in the attached Fellowship Hall.