The Wonder-working Tikhvin Icon Of The Mother Of God
The Wonderworking icon of the Tikhvin Mother of God has a long and rich history and is highly revered among Orthodox Christians, especially those in Russia, for the many miracles attributed to the Mother of God. The icon is shown here with a golden "riaza" (covering the painted portions with the exception of the face and hands of Christ and His Mother, and the feet of Christ. The covering and jewels represent offerings from the faithful for answered prayers.
The Holy Image was relocated in Chicago after it was brought from Riga by Archbishop John of Chicago and the Midwest, who rescued it during World War II and the German occupation. Prior to that, it had been hidden in a secret place to save it from the Bolsheviks. It was Archbishop John's wish that the icon be returned to the Tikhvin Monastery in Russia after the fall of communism. This was accomplished in June 2004 after the icon was taken on a tour of churches throughout the United States and then returned to Russia where the monastery and the faithful were prepared to receive it.
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The Wonder-working Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Today, like the eternal sun,
After 55 years, Wonder-working icon begins its "journey home"
NEW YORK, NY TOGA Communications. /JM] - Thousands of faithful Venerated the wonder-working icon of the Tikhvin Mother of God at two historic cathedrals here during the middle of Great Lent.
With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman and His Eminence Archbishop Peter of New York and New Jersey, the icon was brought to New York for the last time before it is returned to Russia in July 2004.
The icon arrived at the OCA Diocese of New York and New Jersey's Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection on Thursday, March 11. That evening, hundreds of faithful joined Metropolitan Herman; Archbishop Peter; His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of South Canaan; and His Grace, Bishop Mercurius of the Patriarchal Parishes in the US for the celebration of a Service of Intercessory Prayer before the iCOfl. The Cathedral remained open until midnight to accommodate what seemed to be an endless line of faithful intent on praying before the icon.
The following day the icon was transferred to Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the Moscow Patriarchate 's represen tation church, where for nearly three days thousands of faithful offered prayers and lit candles. On Sunday, March 14, Metropolitan Herman and Bishop Mercurius concelebrated the Liturgy, during which the Metropolitan reminded the faithful that, in addition to the Holy Cross, the icon served as a further reminder to continue their Lenten journey.
Accompanying the icon was the Very Rev. Sergei Garklavs, the icon's guardian and retired Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago, IL.
Ancient tradition holds that the Tikhvin icon is one of several attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist. I~ the fifth century, the icon was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople, where it was enshrined in the Church of Blachernae In 1383, seventy years before the fall of Constantinople, fishermen on Lake Ladoga in northern Russia witnessed the icon, Surrounded by a radiant light, miraculously hovering over the lake. Shortly thereafter the icon appeared near the town of Tikhvin, where a wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God was built in its honor. In 1560, Tsar Ivan the Terrible built a men's monastery near the church.
During the World War II German occupation, the Nazis removed the icon from the Tikhvin Monastery, from whence it was taken to Pskov and subsequently to Riga, Latvia. When Riga was evacuated, Bishop [later Archbishop] John of Riga, in whose care the icon was placed, took the icon to Bavaria, where it offered Comfort to countless displaced persons In 1949, he was permitted to take the icon to the US, where for many years it was venerated in Chicago's Holy Trinity Cathedral. After Archbishop John's death in 1982, Father Garklavs, his adopted son, became the icon's guardian and the one destined to fulfill his father's wish to see the icon returned to its "home" in northern Russia. This wish will be fulfilled in July 2004, as the icon is once again enshrined in Tikhvin's Dormition Monastery.