The Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Commemorated on September 8, July 23 and on the Friday of the Bright Week
The Pochaev Icon
of the Mother of God is situated in the Pochaev monastery. On the hill
where the monastery is not located, two monks settled in the year 1340. One of
the monks went to the top of the hill after prayer and suddenly he saw the
Mother of God, standing on a stone and encircled by flame. He summoned the
brother to look at the marvel. A third witness of the vision was the herdsman
Ioann Bosoi. He ran to the hill, and the three of them together glorified God.
At the stone where the MostHoly Mother of God stood, there remained definitely
the imprint of Her right foot.
In 1559 Metropolitan Neophytes of Constantinople, journeying through Volynia, visited the noblewoman Anna Goiskaya living at the estate of Orlya, not far from Pochaev. In farewell blessing he left Anna an icon of the Mother of God brought from Constantinople. They began to notice that from the icon there issued a radiance. When Anna's brother Philip was healed in 1597 in front of a monk, she gave the wonderworking image over to the monk, living at Pochaev hill. The holy image was placed in a church raised up in honour of the Dormition of the mother of God. A monastery was later established there, on the means of which Anna Goiskaya provided a large portion.
The wonderworking icon began to be called the Pochaev Icon. Among the accounts of help from the Queen of Heaven the following is well known.
A monk of Pochaev monastery was taken into captivity by the Tatars. Held in slavery, he thought of the Pochaev monastery, its holy things, the Divine services, the church singing. In particular the monk yearned for the time of the pending feast of the Dormition (Uspenie) of the MostHoly Mother of God, and he prayed tearfully to the Mother of God for deliverance from captivity. And suddenly, through the prayers of the MostHoly Virgin, the walls of the dungeon disappeared, and the monk found himself at the wall of the Pochaev monastery.
The celebration of the Pochaev Icon is done also on the Friday of Bright Week and on 23 July.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.