The Celebration of the Mother of God in Honour of Her Icon Named "In Search of the Perishing" ("Vzyskanie pogibshikh"):

Commemorated on February 5

      The Celebration of the Mother of God in Honour of Her Icon Named "In Search of the Perishing" ("Vzyskanie pogibshikh"): From time immemorial the Russian people, with its faith in the all-powerful help of the Most Holy Mother of God, considered sacred Her title "In Search of the Perishing" as a final recourse, a final hope of perishing people.
      About the origin of the image, "In Search of the Perishing", credible accounts are not preserved. Several wonderworking icons of this name are known, through which the Mother of God showed forth Her mercy to people, already over the very threshold of perishing.
      In the mid-XVII Century, in the village of Bor of Kaluzsk (Kaluga) governance, the pious peasant Fedot Obukhov on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord was overtaken on his way by a blizzard. The horses exhausted their strength and became hung up over an impassable gully. Not seeing any way out of this to save himself, Obukhov lay in his sleigh and began to drowse off, unaware that he was freezing all over. But in these terrible moments he called out with all his being to the Queen of Heaven for help, and he gave a vow to have a copy made for his parish church of the icon, "In Search of the Perishing". And She heard his fervent prayer: in the nearby settlement a certain peasant suddenly heard by his window some sort of voice: "Get up". He went out and saw the half-frozen Obukhov on his sleigh. Having recovered his health, Obukhov immediately fulfilled his vow and commissioned a copy of the icon from the Georgiev {Saint George] church of the city of Bolkhov in Orlov governance. And from that time the Borsk "In Search of the Perishing" Icon was glorified by many manifestations of grace and miracles.
      Other "In Search of the Perishing" Icons are known of: from the village of Malizhino in Kharkov governance, manifesting itself in 1770 and thrice delivering the people from cholera; another from the village of Krasnoe in Chernigov governance, and another from Voronezh and Kozlov in Tambov governance. And in the year 1835, at the Moscow Alexandrov Orphanage Institute, there was consecrated a church in honour of the "In Search of the Perishing" Icon.
      Of particular interest is an account preserved about an "In Search of the Perishing" Icon, located in the church of the "Glorious Resurrection" in Moscow. This icon had been transferred from the temple in honour of the Nativity of Christ to the Palashevska alley. Its final owner had become widowed and was on the threshold of complete poverty. Fervent prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God saved him from despair and straightened out matters for his daughters. This man reckoned himself unworthy to have in his house this wonderworking image and he gave it over to the church. In 1812 the Palashevsk church was pillaged by the French. The desecrated icon was found broken into three pieces amidst the general rubbish. With the finding of the icon occurred numerous miracles of healing. To this icon recourse brides entering marriage, so that the marriage might be an happy one. People come to it, overwhelmed by drunkenness, perishing in poverty, suffering in illness, and with their prayer they recourse to it as to a Mother over Her perishing children. And for all the Heavenly Queen sends down help and support: "Seek out us the perishing, O Most Holy Virgin, and chasten us not as regardeth our sin, but through Thine love for mankind have pity, deliver us from hell and sickness and necessity, and save us" (Tropar, tone 4).

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Celebration of
the Mother of God in Honour of Her Icon Named "In Search of the
Perishing" ("Vzyskanie pogibshikh"):

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