Russian Icons of Our Lady Derzhavnaya
The iconography of the Blessed Virgin Mary is often associated with incredible stories and miracles. Besides, Eastern Orthodox icons of the Theotokos are the most numerous, which testifies to the reverence and love of believers for the Mother of God. For example, Russian icons of Our Lady Derzhavnaya and the history behind them are of great symbolic and historical significance for the Russian people.
The finding of the icon of the Mother of God Derzhavnaya
The finding of the icon of the Mother of God Derzhavnaya occurred on March 15, 1917, in the village of Kolomenskoye, which is located near Moscow. According to the legend, the icon appeared to a peasant woman named Evdokia Adrianova in a dream. She heard the voice that told her about a forgotten image of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church of Kolomenskoye, through which the Mother of God would take all Russian people under her patronage.
The icon was indeed found in the basement of the church. After its restoration, people saw a beautifully painted image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms.
Russian icons of Our Lady Derzhavnaya: description and significance
Russian icons of Our Lady Derzhavnaya are quite unusual for the Orthodox Church. They depict the Virgin Mary in a purple and green vestment symbolizing royal attire. In her hands, she holds a scepter and globus cruciger as attributes of royal power. The face of Our Lady is unconventionally severe and concentrated. The Christ Child sits in her arms, with His right hand raised in a gesture of blessing.
The image of the Mother of God depicted in Russian icons of this type is very symbolic for the Russian people. The day the icon appeared in the country was an important historical event – it was the abdication of the Russian emperor of the Romanov dynasty, Nikolai II Alexandrovich. It is believed that the day when the country faced especially difficult times was also the day when the Mother of God took patronage over the Russian people.
However, the coincidence between the appearance of the icon and the abdication of the throne of Nikolai II may have another interpretation. The shrine can also symbolize the punishment of people for numerous sins, and the image could be given to the Russian people as consolation and protection.