“Maximov” Icon of the Mother of God

The Saint Maximus Icon is in the cathedral church of the city of Vladimir. Metropolitan Maximus (December 6), a Greek by birth, painted the Icon in 1299, as he was told to do in a vision while he slept in his cell. When St. Maximus arrived in Vladimir from Kiev, the Mother of God appeared to him in a dream and gave him an omophorion saying, "My servant Maximus, it is good that you have come to visit my city. Take this omophorion and shepherd the rational flock of my city."

When he awoke, he found he was holding an omophorion. The appearance of the Mother of God was regarded as a sign of approval for the transfer of the metropolitan See from Kiev to Vladimir.

A description of this vision was inscribed on the left side of his crypt. The Mother of God is shown in full stature, holding the Divine Child on her left arm. With her right hand, she offers the omophorion to Saint Maximus, who is standing on a pillar. The contrast in the size of their figures is meant to show the difference in their spiritual states. A variant Icon depicts Saint Maximus kneeling at the feet of the Theotokos.

Later, a golden coffer was made, and the omophorion was placed inside. This omophorion was kept in the Vladimir cathedral as a relic for 112 years. It was hidden by the cathedral’s doorkeeper Patrick in 1412 during an invasion by the Tartars, Patrick was killed when he refused to show them where the cathedral's treasures were hidden. The coffer has not yet been found.

This Icon, which measures five feet by two and a half feet, has been glorified by many miracles.