Interesting Facts about the Virgin of Vladimir
Religious icons of the Mother of God are some of the most venerated and beloved in the Russian Orthodox Church. The Virgin of Vladimir is a particularly revered icon with a high cultural value. It is believed that Our Lady protects the Russian land from enemies and evil. The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God is a 12th-century Byzantine icon of the Eleusa type, which depicts the Theotokos and the Child Christ embracing cheek to cheek. Many believers attribute to the icon several historically significant national miracles. Below are some interesting facts about this religious shrine you should know.
Interesting facts about the Virgin of Vladimir
- The Virgin of Vladimir is considered a miracle-working icon. In 1164, it helped the army of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky defeat the Volga Bulgars. Moreover, the image remained unharmed after the fire in the Vladimir cathedral and during the devastation of Vladimir by Batu Khan in 1237.
- Some people believe that the sacred image of Our Lady of Vladimir was painted by Luke the Evangelist. It was made using the board of the table at which Christ with the Mother of God and Joseph the Betrothed had a meal.
- Orthodox believers pray with the Vladimir Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the salvation of Russia and protection from enemies, as well as for peace both within the whole country and in one’s soul.
- The composition of the icon is extremely touching and coherent. However, apart from its general meaning, there is a profound idea behind it: the Virgin Mary and Christ are symbols of the human soul purified through the connection with God. Furthermore, looking at the images of the Virgin Mary and the Child, one can foresee the future suffering of Christ and His Mother’s lamentation.
- On June 3, the Orthodox Church recalls an important event in the history of Russia. The Virgin of Vladimir helped the Prince of Moscow defend the city from the Tatars in the 16th century. He marched with the army and the icon in a procession, while people were offering prayers to protect their homeland from the enemies. Eventually, the Tatar khan had a vision of the Mother of God, which forced him to retreat from Moscow. Thus, the city was saved due to the wonder-working icon.
The Virgin of Vladimir is indeed an extremely valuable shrine that is revered both in Russia and abroad. It is now kept in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.