“In Giving Birth, You Preserved Your Virginity” Icon of the Mother of God

The Icon of the Mother of God “In Giving Birth, You Preserved Your Virginity” (“A Virgin Before Birth and After Birth”) was transferred to the Nikolaev Peshkov monastery of Moscow diocese by the Moscow merchant Alexis Grigorievich Mokeev. Around the year 1780 Alexis joined the brethren of the monastery. He had given all of his wealth to the igumen of the monastery, Archimandrite Macarius, and the holy icon remained in his cell.

After Alexis’s death, the icon was brought to the archimandrite, who observed that the icon was painted in oil on canvas and not according to the prescribed rules of iconography (using egg tempera on wood), and he installed it over the exit door of the chapel of Saint Methodius, which was on a street not far from the monastery.

The glorification of the holy icon began in 1827, when Captain Platon Osipovich Shabashev, going past the chapel at night, saw an extraordinary light coming from the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Another time he had a vision of the icon at a time when he found himself in difficult circumstances. In a dream, Platon beheld the radiant icon of the Mother of God in the clouds above the chapel of Saint Methodius and heard a voice say, “If you wish to be delivered from temptation, pray before this icon.” Platon obeyed the guidance of the Mother of God, and the sorrow passed him by.

The pious Platon told the Superior of the monastery about the miracles. He then transfered the holy image into the monastery. When they went to put the icon in a ornamental case, the image of the Most Holy Virgin, painted on canvas, stiffened taut upon a board, on which was concealed a depiction of the Mother of God of finest quality. Numerous miracles are recorded to have taken place from this icon in 1848 during an outbreak of cholera, when many praying before it were healed.

This icon of the Mother of God is of the Hodēgḗtria type.