Son of German officer returns icon to Moscow monastery after more than 75 years

Moscow, August 13, 2018

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A momentous spiritual event took place at the Spaso-Borodino Convent in the Moscow Province last Monday when the sisters solemnly greeted their wonderworking Tikhvin Mother of God Icon, returned to them after being held for more than 75 years in Germany.

In the 1940s, the icon was to be found in the altar of the monastery’s St. Philaret Church. The nuns preserved the icon after the closure and destruction of the monastery. Then, in October 1941, the icon fell into the hands of a German officer who took it with him back to Germany, reports the site of the Moscow Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The icon was kept in the house of Count George Kastel in northern Bavaria for 77 years. After the death of his parents, their son, Count Wolfgang Castel, decided to return the Tikhvin Icon to the Spaso-Borodino Monastery. A monk of a local Benedictine Monastery helped him implement his plan.

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The meeting of the icon was headed by the dean of Moscow Diocese monasteries Bishop Roman of Serpukhov, accompanied by the clergy, sisters, and parishioners of the monastery. They waited for the icon at the gates of the monastery, where a moleben with an akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos was served.

Upon its arrival, the sisters of the monastery received the icon from the hands of the German count as Bp. Roman read a prayer before it. The icon was then solemnly transferred to the monastery’s St. Vladimir Cathedral.

His Grace served the Divine Liturgy in the cathedral the next day, after which he addressed Count Wolfgang and his wife with words of gratitude, gifting him with a copy of the Tikhvin Icon on behalf of the monastery sisterhood. The count then addressed everyone with a greeting and recounted the icon’s history in Germany, which was followed by a festive meal.

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