Kazan Icon of the Most-Holy Theotokos

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

Kazan Icon of the Most-Holy Theotokosaudio button
(October 22/November 4)

Kazan Icon of the Most-Holy TheotokosThe Kazan Icon of the Most-Holy Theotokos is one of the most venerated wonderworking icons of Russia.  It is a symbol of our holy faith.

The story of the icon is amazing.  For many years, the image of the Most-Holy Virgin was buried in the ground.  The Russians lived in Kazan under the Tatar yoke and could not worship the Lord freely.  Somebody hid the icon to keep it safe.  In 1552, when Tsar Ivan the Terrible took Kazan, over sixty thousand Russians were liberated. The Kazan Eparchy became a part of the Orthodox Church, but bringing the Gospel to the land was not easy:  pagan traditions remained strong.  A great fire, which destroyed much of Kazan in 1579, added to the sorrows of the Russians.  Many people lost their homes; the city lay in ruins.  But the fire also brought a miracle.

A nine-year-old girl, Matrona, who lived in Kazan with her family, had a vision.  The Theotokos came to the girl and showed her the place where the holy image was buried.  The child told about her vision to the adults, but no one listened.  After the girl had the same vision two more times, she and her mother began to dig in the place that the Theotokos showed.  They found a beautiful bright icon.  The Most-Holy Virgin sent Her heavenly help to the Orthodox, showing that She is always with them.  Soon after the icon was found, it performed a miracle, giving sight to a blind man.

A copy of the icon was sent to Ivan the Terrible together with a description of the miracles.  The Tsar ordered that a church of the Theotokos be built in Kazan.  Matrona later became a nun under the name Martha.

The Kazan icon of the Most-Holy Theotokos gave strength, courage and comfort to the Russian people in times of great hardship.  In 1612 Moscow was occupied by Polish invaders. The Russian army, led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, prayed before the icon and fasted for three days.  The enemy soon was driven from Moscow.

In 1709 our Holy Theotokos of Kazan helped the Russians to win the Battle of Poltava after Tsar Peter and his army prayed before the icon.  In 1812 The Holy Virgin of Kazan helped again when Napoleon invaded Russia.  

Many copies of the icon were made, and, like the original, they performed miracles.

Словарь к тексту

venerated, adj. [ˈvenə reɪ tɪd] почитаемый, чтимый
amazing, adj. [ə′meɪzɪŋ] удивительный, поразительный
yoke, n. [jəuk] ярмо, бремя, иго
hide-hid-hidden, v. [haɪd] прятать
liberate, v. [ˈlɪbəˌreɪt] освободить
sorrow, n. [ˈsɒrəu] скорбь, печаль
miracle, n. [ˈmɪrəkl] чудо
adult, n. [ˈædʌlt] взрослый
dig-dug-dug, v. копать
heavenly, adj. [ˈhevənlɪ] небесный
sight, n. [saɪt] зрение
nun, n. [nʌn] монахиня
courage, n. [ˈkʌrɪdʒ] смелость, храбрость
comfort, n. [ˈkʌmfət] утешение
invader, n. [ɪnˈveɪdəʳ] завоеватель, захватчик
drive-drove-driven, v. [draɪv] изгонять (врага)