Kazan-Yaroslavl Icon of the Mother of God

The Kazan-Yaroslavl Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was found in the year 1588 by a man named Gerasimos, who had traveled to Kazan to pray before its famous Icon, because his right hand had become crippled. The Mother of God appeared to him and ordered him to go to a certain place, and then to take her Icon and bring it to the city of Romanov and place it in a church. After the man had followed these directives to the letter, his hand was healed.

The holy Kazan Icon remained at Romanov for twenty-one years, but on March 9,1609 the city was taken by the Polish-Lithuanian forces. A Lithuanian officer stole the Icon from the Kazan cathedral in Romanov. When it was learned that the holy Icon had been found in the officer's home, the citizens of Yaroslavl begged him to let their city have it. He said he would give it to them if they paid him a considerable sum of money. For a long time the officer rejected their offers, but then suddenly, on March 18, he brought it to one of Yaroslav's most honorable citizens - Basil Lytkin. The Icon was solemnly transferred to the country parish church of the "Laudation of the Virgin” Icon (Fifth Saturday of Great Lent). When the Polish-Lithuanian troops attacked Tver that year the holy Icon was taken into the city to the church of the Nativity of the Lord on the banks of the Volga. Then the Mother of God appeared twice to Deacon Eleazar, commanding him to build a new church to house the Icon.

The people of Yaroslavl placed the wonderworking Kazan Icon in that church, and many miracles occurred. They also worked most energetically to build a women's monastery for seventy-two sisters whose own monastery had been destroyed by the Polish-Lithuanian army.

In 1610, the residents of Romanov begged Tsar Basil IV Shuisky to allow the Icon to be taken from Yaroslavl and returned to Romanov. Then new healings took place before the Icon that same day. The nun Anysia, who was unable to move her hands or feet recovered, and a man named Constantine was delivered from his madness. In view of these miracles, the citizens of Yaroslavl, in their turn, asked the Tsar to let the Icon remain at Yaroslavl. From Moscow there came a request for detailed information about the Icon, and the Tsar decided that the Icon would remain at Yaroslavl. However, the people of Yaroslavl were ordered to make an exact copy of the Icon, and to adorn it with an oklad (metal cover), just like the one on the wonderworking Icon, and then send the copy to Romanov. All this was done. In 1611, the copy was taken to Romanov and it was placed in the Kazan church, where the wonderworking Icon had once stood. Every year the original wonderworking Icon was brought to the city of Romanov with great ceremony.