Tikhvin Icon to visit New York City (March 11, 2004)
- Icon of Tikhvin Mother of God to Visit New York City
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- With the blessing of His Beatitude,
Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and His
Eminence, Archbishop Peter of New York and New Jersey, the wonder-working
Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God will visit New York City March 11-14,
Clergy of the OCA's New York City Deanery will meet the icon at Holy Virgin
Protection Cathedral, 59 East Second Street (212-677-4664)
Manhattan on the afternoon of Thursday, March 11. At 7:00 p.m. the same day
a Service of Thanksgiving and the Akathist Hymn in honor of the icon will be
celebrated. The cathedral will remain open until midnight to accommodate
those wishing to pray before the icon.
From Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 14, the icon will be available
for veneration at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, 15 East 97 Street,
Manhattan. The historic cathedral serves as the representation church of the
Patriarchate of Moscow. Information on services at the cathedral may be
obtained by calling 212/289-1915.
The Very Rev. Sergei Garklavs, the icon's guardian, will accompany the icon
during its final visit to New York. In July, the icon will be solemnly
returned to the monastery in Tikhvin, Russia, after a 55-year sojourn in the
According to ancient tradition, the Tikhvin icon of the Mother of God is one
of several painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. In the fifth century the
icon was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople, where it was enshrined in
the Church of Blachernae, which was built especially for this purpose. In
1383, seventy years before the fall of Constantinople, fishermen on Lake
Ladoga in the principality of Novgorod in northern Russia witnessed the icon
miraculously hovering over the lake's waters amidst a radiant light. Shortly
after its miraculous appearance, the icon was discovered in several
neighboring towns, including the village of Motchenitsy on the bank of the
Tikhvinka River, before it finally appeared near the town of Tikhvin. A
wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God was built on
the site. In 1560, by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, a men's monastery was
established near the church. Over the centuries, the icon's fame spread far
and wide, with copies of the original adorning countless churches throughout
Russia and beyond. (For more on the history of the icon:
During the World War II German occupation, the Nazis removed the icon from
the Tikhvin Monastery, from whence it was taken to Pskov and subsequently to
Riga, Latvia. When Riga was evacuated, Bishop John [Garklavs] of Riga, in
whose care the icon was placed, took the icon to Bavaria, where it was
venerated by Orthodox faithful who had been displaced because of the war.
While Soviet agents had spotted the icon, Bishop John was permitted to take
the icon to the US in 1949, where it was venerated for many years at the
OCA's Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago. After the death of Archbishop John,
Father Garklavs, his adopted son, became the icon's guardian.
Archbishop John had hoped that conditions in Russia would make it possible
for the icon to be returned to its original home in Tikhvin.
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