Christian Icon of the Mother of God of Korsun
It is believed that the first Christian icon of the Mother of God of Korsun, depicting the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, is one of those holy icons painted by St. Luke the Evangelist himself. Its story began in Ephesus where the icon had been preserved for many years, hence its other name – the Ephesus icon of the Mother of God. Its feast is commemorated by the Eastern Orthodox Church today, on October 22.
According to the legend, in 1162, the copy of this important Christian icon of the Mother of God was sent to Rus’ from Ephesus at the request of the daughter of Prince Svyatoslav Vseslavich, St. Euphrosyne, who founded the Savior monastery in Polotsk. The antique icon passed through the city of Korsun where it remained for a year until being delivered to the Abbess of Polotsk, thus becoming known as the Korsun icon of the Mother of God.
However, there is another legend related to this Christian icon of the Theotokos. According to it, the copy of the antique icon painted by the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke was kept in Korsun until being brought to Kiev by the holy Great Prince Vladimir in 988. Later, the Korsun icon of the Mother of God was sent to Novgorod and then to the Moscow’s Cathedral of the Assumption.
The Christian icon of the Mother of God of Korsun belongs to the iconographic type of Eleusa or Tender Mercy. Traditionally, such shoulder-length religious icons depicting the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus in a tender embrace were rather small so that they could be used for prayer at home. However, there are also large icons of this type, which can be found in many churches and cathedrals.
It is worth noting that the Korsun icon of the Mother of God is considered wonder-working. This particularly applies to the holy images kept in:
- the Annunciation Monastery in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia (antique icon painted in 995);
- the church of St. Nicholas and St. George in Smogiri village, Smolensk region, Russia;
- the Savior-Transfiguration Cathedral in Sumy, Ukraine (the Korsun-Shpilev icon of the Mother of God).
Finally, the Christian icon of the Mother of God of Korsun helps people suffering from mental and physical health problems, as well as protects from evil and ill-wishers. It is no wonder that this image is one of the most beloved in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.