The Famous Icon of the Mother of God of Maximov
On May 1, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of the icon of the Mother of God of Maximov. It was painted in 1299, following an apparition of the Virgin Mary to Saint Maximus who arrived in the city of Vladimir from Kyiv. The famous icon is considered wonder-working and thus is highly revered not only by Orthodox believers but within Christianity at large.
The famous icon of the Mother of God of Maximov and the history of its creation
According to the legend, Saint Maximus, Metropolitan of Kyiv and Vladimir, had a vision of the Mother of God who came to him, gave the holy omophorion, and said, “My servant Maximus, it is good that you have come to visit my city. Take this omophorion and shepherd the rational flock of my city.” When Metropolitan Maximus came to his senses, he was holding the omophorion in his hands. To honor this blessing, the Maximov icon was painted.
The famous icon was kept in the Cathedral of Vladimir right above the tomb of Saint Maximus. After the cathedral was closed, the icon was transferred for preservation to the museum collection of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve.
The Maximov icon of the Mother of God is known for many miracles. One of the most notable was the healing of the son of an official in Vladimir. The boy fell seriously ill, and no medical means could help him recover. The parents decided to turn for the help of the Mother of God. A prayer service with the image of the Mother of God of Maximov was served in their home. After the sick boy touched the icon, the disease was relieved.
The description of the Maximov icon of the Mother of God
The famous icon of the Mother of God of Maximov depicts a full-length image of the Virgin Mary. She is holding the Christ Child in her arms. Right in front of her, one can see Metropolitan Maximus accepting the omophorion from the hands of the Mother of God.
Saint Maximus is usually depicted on a pillar, so the difference in the size of his and the Mother of God’s figures is clearly visible. This is also an indication of their different spiritual positions.
The Maximov icon of the Mother of God is a significant shrine in Orthodoxy. It is believed to heal the physical and mental ailments of everyone who sincerely prays in front of it.