The Makariev “Directress” Icon of the Mother of God appeared during the reign of Prince Basil the Dark (1425-1462) to Saint Macarius the Wonderworker, who labored in asceticism on the desolate shores of the River Unzha.
On September 17, 1442 at about the third hour of the morning, when Saint Macarius was finishing his usual morning Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, his cell was illumined suddenly by an unknown light. The monk became confused in spirit and fervently began to pray.
Beyond the cell walls he heard the angelic refrain: “Hail, Full of Grace, O Virgin Mother!” 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, Ever-Flowing Fountain issuing salvation to all the world and assuring protection and intercession to all the land of Galicia!”
He reverently took up the icon and placed it in his cell, thus it also came to be named the “Cell-Icon.” Afterwards, the disciples of the monk gave it the title of “Makariev.” On the place of the appearance of the holy icon a monastery was founded, and was also named Makariev. Copies of the Makariev Icon of the Mother of God were made, which became as renowned as the original.