Svyatogorsk, Ukraine, July 30, 2020
Photo: svlavra.church.ua Since the return of the Svyatorosk Icon of the Mother of God to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra in 1992, innumerable miracles have been worked by the icon through the prayers of the faithful.
Yesterday, on the eve of today’s feast of the Svyatogorsk Icon, the monastery published a video in which His Eminence Metropolitan Arseny, the abbot of the Lavra, spoke about some of the miracles attributed to the Mother of God in her holy icon.
The first miracle attributed to the icon involved a boy from a neighboring village who suffered from deformed hands, with several fingers fused together. The disabled child screamed for two months, giving his family no rest. To put an end to his and their suffering, his mother decided to drown the child. But just then, the Mother of God appeared to her, ordering her to have a moleben served before the icon.
After the moleben, the child quieted down, and when they unwrapped him at home, they saw that his hands were completely healed. The child went on to live a long life, Met. Arseny noted.
“After the return of the icon to the monastery in 1992, various miracles were worked by it, as from a healing spring, by the grace of God granted to this sacred treasure, and they are still being worked today,” Met. Arseny emphasized.
In particular, many people who were diagnosed with the final stage of cancer have been healed after praying before the icon, His Eminence noted.
Infertile couples, some having suffered from childlessness for 11, 13, or even 17 years, have also found consolation from the Mother of God through her holy icon and have finally had children, “as a blessing of the Queen of Heaven herself.”
Met. Arseny also recalled that the icon is also known as the Peacemaker, and through prayers before it, the Mother of God has attracted benefactors who help the brethren of the monastery feed the 30,000 refugees that have found shelter in the Lavra from the war in eastern Ukraine.
Before the closing of the monastery after the communist revolution, there were two wonderworking icons of the Mother of God, differing only in that in the ancient icon, the Christ Child held a scroll in his hand, and in the newer icon—a scepter.
The ancient icon has not survived to this day.
The second icon, a copy of the first, was painted by an Athonite elder who visited the Lavra in 1844 and felt that the monastery before the same spirit as the Athonite monasteries. He painted the icon out of gratitude.
After the icon became renowned, the brothers would prayerfully carry it throughout the surrounding villages, until the years of the bloody revolution. On October 5, 1918, the Bolsheviks attacked the house where the icon was staying while on procession and killed the monks present and the owners of the house. Five corpses lay at the foot of the icon, which stood in a pool of blood.
In 1922, the godless authorities seized the original Svyatogorsk Icon, whose location became unknown after the closing of the monastery. The wonderworking copy was preserved by pious laypeople during the years of soviet persecution, though the faces of Christ and the Mother of God show traces of blasphemous Bolshevik attacks.
The icon was solemnly returned in procession to the Lavra on October 4, 1992, and placed in the Holy Dormition Cathedral. Since then, the Mother of God has worked a wealth of miracles through her holy icon.