Icon of the Virgin “Viennese”

Icon of the Virgin “Viennese”

Celebration: February 18
It is known that the holy image of the Mother of God, also called “Yeletskaya”, was found thanks to the actions of St. Anthony of the Caves in 1060, when he was expelled from Kiev and went to Chernihiv. The monk settled on the Boldin Mountains, where he found this sacred icon, shining with light and surrounded by rays, as if by fire. The support of Prince Svyatoslav of Chernigov allowed St. Anthony to establish a monastery and build a stone church of the Assumption of the Virgin on this site. The monastery and the icon itself were given the name “Yeletsky”. However, the monastery and icon were destroyed in 1238 during the invasion of the Tatars. In 1470, the pious Prince Simeon Olelkovich restored the monastery and re-placed the icon in the church. However, at the beginning of the 17th century, the monastery was destroyed again, and the icon disappeared. However, according to another version, in 1579, when Chernigov came under the rule of the Polish king during the Batory War, the icon was moved to Moscow by Prince Baryatinsky. In 1676, the Kozel brothers brought to Chernihiv from Vladimir another image of the Virgin, also called “Yeletskaya”, which is now located in the local monastery. This image was not the original one found by St. Anthony, but one of many copies of the ancient icon. However, he was also famous for his miracles. This image depicts the Virgin on a fir tree with the Eternal Child on her lap. The silver robe of the image covers the entire front side, and the crown of the Virgin is decorated with precious stones. The Yelets icon is located in the main Assumption Cathedral church of the monastery in summer and is transferred to the Petrovsky Church in winter. The transportation of this icon is accompanied by a solemn prayer service, during which the monks and the faithful participate in sacred vestments, sing the troparion to the Mother of God and ring the bells. The monastery also has the custom of serving a moleben to the Mother of God with an akathist every Wednesday before the liturgy. Residents of Chernihiv often bring this sacred image to their homes. In addition, the icon of the Virgin Mary, also called “Yeletskaya”, can be seen in the Kharkiv Assumption Cathedral. Prince Daniel Baryatinsky brought it to the cathedral, while on the rise in 1687, when he was returning from the Crimea and was on the verge of death. This image of the Mother of God is famous for numerous miracles and has ancient inscriptions confirming its origin.

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