Hilarion, a pious resident of the village of Obukhov, in the Diocdese of Vologda, lost his sight. After praying for a long time, he had a vision of the Holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian, who promised that he would be healed. Upon arriving at the place to which the Saints directed him, and despite his blindness, he suddenly saw a Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, bathed in an unusual light. After venerating it, he regained his sight, and was able to see everything around him.
With the help of the locals, Hilarion erected a church in honor of that Icon of the Mother of God. In time, a monastery grew up at that site. It was known as the Zaonikiev Monastery, as it lay beyond [za=beyond] the Anikiev Forest, which in turn was so named because at some time in the past a robber named Anika had lived there. At the Monastery, Hilarion accepted monastic tonsure, with the name Joseph, and the Vladimir Zaonikiev Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos gained renown for being the source of many miraculous healings.
After the revolution, local Bolsheviks tried to claim the monastery, but were driven away by peasants from the surrounding villages. Nonetheless, the monastery was later completely destroyed, and today, only ruins remain of what had been a precious gem of the Vologda region.
From: Parish Life, a publication of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (July 2018).
Used with permission.