The Seraphim-Ponetaevka Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” was painted in the year 1879 by the nuns of the Seraphim-Ponetaevka women’s monastery, not far from Arzamas, near the village of Ponetaevka. The monastery was named after Saint Seraphim of Sarov by the founder of the monastery, a sister of the Diveyevo community.
Six years after it was painted, the icon became known for its numerous miracles and became the chief holy item of the monastery. When the sisters were praying during the services, they noticed distinct changes in the countenance of the Mother of God: Her All-Pure face became bright and life-like. Numerous pilgrims thronged to the icon, and many were healed from blindness and crippling. In all, about seventy instances of healing were noted.