New Liturgical Movement: The Icon of Our Lady of Kazan

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

On the Julian Calendar, today is July 8th, the day on which the Russian Church commemorates the miraculous rediscovery of one of its most revered icons, that of Our Lady of Kazan. The original icon is traditionally said to have been brought sometime in the 13th century from Constantinople to the city of Kazan, which sits on the Volga river, roughly 500 miles directly to the east of Moscow. In 1438, the city was captured by the Tartars, at which point, the icon disappeared; it was recaptured by Tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1552, but half-destroyed by fire in 1579. The Muslim Tartar population gloated that the devastation of the city was a divine punishment against the conquering Christians. The Virgin Mary is then said to have appeared in a dream three times to a 10 year-old girl named Matrona, revealing to her the location where the icon had been hidden 140 years before to save it from the Tartars. On July 8, 1579, the girl and her mother recovered it from the ruins of a destroyed house; the miracles attributed to it in the following years played a significant role in gradually converting the local Muslims. A secondary feast is kept on October 22 (currently Nov. 4 on the Gregorian calendar), originally instituted to commemorate the preservation of Moscow from attack during a Polish invasion, which was attributed to the icon’s protection.

New Liturgical Movement: The Icon of Our Lady of Kazan

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