2004-11-04 12:17 * RUSSIA * RELIGION * FEAST * ICON *
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OBSERVES FEAST OF OUR LADY OF KAZAN
MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti's Olga Lipich) - On Thursday, the Russian
Orthodox Church observes the feast of Our Lady of Kazan, one of the most
According to legend, the militia that liberated Moscow from the Polish
invaders on November 4, 1612 were in possession of the icon.
The Moscow Patriarchate's foreign church relations department told RIA
Novosti that Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II will hold a divine
liturgy in the Kazan Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.
According to the church calendar, the feast in honor of the Kazan icon is
also observed on July 21, in memory of the miraculous discovery of the icon
in Kazan in 1579.
According to a legend, after Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan, a fire
destroyed nearly all of the Christian part of the city, but the Mother of
God appeared in a dream to Matryona, a 9 year old girl, and led to her the
place in the smoldering ruins where the sacred image was preserved.
Hermogenes, the future Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, a priest and a
martyr, witnessed the discovery of the icon and the miracles it performed.
In 1612, when Polish invaders captured Moscow, Patriarch Hermogenes
called on the people to rise up and defend their country. At that time, a
militia led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky was given the Our Lady of Kazan.
The militiamen announced a three-day fast and asked God and Our Lady for
help. Their prayers were heard and on November 4, 1612, the Russian troops
liberated Moscow from the Polish invaders.
The victory marked the end of the troubled times (invasions, a religious
and moral crisis, national treacheries and civil conflicts) in Russian history.
In 1649, the feast was established on November 4.
In September, the Russian Interfaith Council (the leaders of the
traditional religions in Russia: Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and
Buddhism) took the initiative to mark November 4 on a state level, as a
holiday that unites all the peoples of Russia. The religious leaders
proposed that November 4 be a holiday.
© 2004 RIA Novosti
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