The Feastday of the MostHoly Mother of God in Honour of Her Icon, named the Pskovo-Pokrovsk

Commemorated on October 1

      The Feastday of the MostHoly Mother of God in Honour of Her Icon, named the Pskovo-Pokrovsk, was established in memory of the miraculous deliverance of Pskov from the invading troops of the Polish king Stefan Bathory in 1581. During the time of the siege, within the city they carried forth in church procession the wonderworking Uspenie-Dormition Icon of the Mother of God from the Pechersk monastery. On the eve of the decisive fighting, the pious blind elder Dorophei the Smith had a vision of the MostHoly Mother of God at the spot, where the enemy had prepared to assault – at a corner of the fortress of the monastery in honour of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God. The MostHoly Virgin appeared to the elder Dorophei amidst a representation of Russian Saints: the Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir and the Pskov Princes Vsevolod-Gavriil and Dovmont-Timophei, the Monks Antonii of Kievo-Pechersk, Kornilii of Pskovo-Pechersk, Evphrosyn of Spasoelazarsk and Savva of Krypetsk, Blessed Nikolai of Pskov and Sainted Nyphont, Archbishop of Novgorod, the organiser of the Pskov Spaso-Mirozhsk monastery.
      Proceeding from the Pechor side from the Spaso-Mirozhsk monastery across the River Velika, the Mother of God with the Saints entered into the church of the Pokrov monastery. The Saints with tears besought the All-Pure Virgin to have pity on the sinful Pskovites and save the city "from the imposition of woes". The MostHoly Mother of God, having promised the city Her mercy, gave orders to set up on the place of Her appearance the Pechersk image. At the time of the battle the Polish tried to breach the fortress wall, but through the intercession of the Mother of God and the holy Saints, they were not able to break through into the city. After their deliverance from the enemy, the thankful people of Pskov built a church in honour of the Nativity of the MostHoly Mother of God. For the temple of the Pokrov-Protection MostHoly Mother of God, in the corner at the breach-point was written the Pskovo-Pechersk image of the Mother of God, having likewise been given the name, "Appearance of the Mother of God to the Elder Dorophei". The appearance of the MostHoly Mother of God occurred on 7 September, and celebration of the Pskovo-Pechersk Icon was established under 1 October. A special service was compiled for the feastday of the MostHoly Mother of God.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.