The Makar'ev "Hodegetria" ("Way-Guide") Icon of the Mother of God

Commemorated on September 17

      The Makar'ev "Hodegetria" ("Way-Guide") Icon of the Mother of God appeared during the reign of prince Vasilii Vasil'evich the Dark (1425-1462) to the Monk Makarii the Wonderworker, who asceticised on the desolate shores of the River Unzha.
      On 17 September 1442 at about the third hour of the morning, when the Monk Makarii was finishing his usual morning akathist song to the MostHoly Mother of God, his cell was illumined suddenly by an unknown light. The monk became confused in spirit and began fervently to pray. Beyond the cell walls he heard the angelic refrain: "Hail, Thou Full of Grace, O Mother Unwedded!" With fear and astonishment the monk went out from his cell and on the northwest horizon he saw the icon of the Mother of God, surrounded by a luminous radiance. The icon approached towards the cell of the ascetic. With joyful trembling the monk fell to the ground and cried out: "Hail, Mother of God! Hail, Thou Ever-Flowing Fount issuing salvation to all the world and assuring protection and intercession to all the Galich land!" He reverently took up the icon and placed it in his cell, whereby it also came to be named the "Cell-Icon". Afterwards the disciples of the monk gave it the title of "Makar'ev". On the place of the appearance of the holy icon was founded a monastery, likewise named Makar'ev. From the Makar'ev Icon of the Mother of God there were made copies, which became reknown just like the original.

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