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Re: [orthodox-synod] Tikhvin Virgin Icon To Return to Russia

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  • Jill Anglin
    Is there anyway,we could find out where the icon will visit before it goes back to Russia? Jill Kato wrote: Tikhvin Virgin To Return to
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 26, 2003
      Is there anyway,we could find out where the icon will visit before it goes back to Russia?


      Kato <kato_ny@...> wrote:
      Tikhvin Virgin To Return to Russia Next Summer
      By Irina Titova FOR SPT

      One of the most important Russian Orthodox icons, the Virgin of
      Tikhvin, is to be returned to Russia from the United States next

      "I hope the return of the icon will become an unforgettable event for
      Russia's Orthodox people," Interfax quoted Father Yevfimy, a senior
      priest at the Tikhvin Assumption Monastery, located 218 kilometers
      east of St. Petersburg and to where the icon will be returned, as
      saying at a news conference Tuesday.

      In spring of 2003, the U.S. Orthodox church made a landmark decision
      to return the icon, taken from Russia during the Second World War,
      back to Russia by June 26, the day of national celebration of the

      The icon is to be taken on a special flight from Chicago to Moscow,
      from where "it will come back to the town of Tikhvin through the
      cities of Yaroslavl, Vologda, and St. Petersburg," Father Yevfimy

      Sergei Garklavs, church assistant of the American Autocephalous
      Church in Chicago, is in charge of the icon and will accompany it on
      its journey.

      According to legend, the Tikhvin Virgin was painted by the Apostle
      Luke, whose icons are considered the most valuable. It is one of very
      few icons believers consider capable of performing miracles.

      But in 1383, 70 years before the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the
      icon miraculously disappeared from Constantinopole. The legend states
      that angels carried it through the sky and it suddenly appeared over
      the waters of Lake Ladoga, not far from the Valaam Islands in today's
      Leningrad Oblast.

      The Tikhvin icon was one of the most worshipped Russian Orthodox
      icons along with the icons of the Virgins of Vladimir, Smolensk,
      Iversk and Kazan. It was considered a defender of Russia's northwest

      Its reputed miracles are numerous and include healing the sick, and
      helping to get rid of troubles.

      On several occasions in the 14th century the icon is said to have
      transported itself around the Tikhvin area, hanging in the air and
      attracting many believers to pray in front of it. Churches were later
      built at the places where it was said to have appeared.

      On July 9, 1383 the icon is said to have appeared above the River
      Tikhvinka. Many people and priests went there to see it and to pray.
      As they prayed the icon descended into the hands of the priests.
      Since people thought it was a sign from the Virgin Mary that she
      wanted to have the icon kept at that place, they started builiding
      the church there.

      However, the next day the icon was found on the other side of the
      river, and this became what would have been the final resting place
      for the icon and is today the site of the Tikhvin Virgin Assumption

      The monastery played a key role in developing the spot into a city
      because many traders and craftsmen were attracted to it by the
      miraculous icon.

      The icon was so famous that in 1547 Tsar Ivan the Terrible came to
      pay his respects to the sacred object, and in 1560 he gave permission
      for the construction of the Tikhvin Assumption monastery.

      During World War II, Tikhvin was occupied by German troops for a
      month. The icon was found in the Assumption Cathedral, where services
      had ceased under Communist rule, and was taken to Pskov. In 1944,
      monks took the icon to Riga.

      They gave the icon to Bishop John Garklavs, who headed the diocese at
      that time. After the war John fled the return of the Soviets and went
      to the United States, taking the icon with him. Later he received the
      title of Archbishop.

      Archbishop John adopted Sergei Garklavs, who is now aged 75, and
      asked him in his will to return the icon to the Tikhvin monastery if
      it reopened.

      The monastery has been revived, so the icon is to come back. In the
      monastery it is to be placed in a specially reinforced case, and it
      will be protected by guards.

      "The return of the Tikhvin Virgin icon will be a very big event for
      the Russian Orthodox church and its believers," said Gennady Bartov,
      spokesman for the St. Petersburg Diocese Board.

      Father Serafim, representative of Russian Orthodox Church in New
      York, said in a telephone intervew from the United States that the
      Russian Orthodox Church Overseas applauded the decision of taking the
      icon back to Russia.

      "The main purpose of Russian immigration here is not just to keep the
      language, culture and belief but also to take part in the revival of
      church and belief in Russia, and do what we can," Father Serafim said.

      Before the icon leaves for Russia, it will visit various Orthodox
      cathedrals in the United States.

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