Budyatichi, Volyn Province, Ukraine, July 10, 2023
The vandals set a fire at the holy spring in the village of Budyatichi that almost completely destroyed the wonderworking Budyatichi Icon of the Theotokos (17th century), reports the Information-Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with reference to local social media.
A prayer hanging by the icon and the entrance door to the chapel were also destroyed.
The site of the Diocese of Vladimir and Volyn notes that the icon has been attacked more than once in the past.
The video below, from 2010, shows the people’s love and veneration for the icon:
The wonderworking Budyatichi Icon of the Mother of God appeared in a spring in 1637. The owner of the estate on which the spring was located wanted to retrieve the icon, but it disappeared before he was able.
Word of the miraculous appearance spread and soon many people from near and far began to come to the icon. Many healings were worked through the icon and the spring water, but no one could touch the icon—it always hid itself under the water.
Finally, two orphan girls from a neighboring village who were severely mistreated by the uncle they lived with came to pour out their hearts to the Mother of God, believing that she hears and helps all people. At the spring, they offered fervent and tearful prayers, and when they went to kiss the icon, it didn’t disappear, and the girls were able to take it up in their hands. Many people gathered around them, and together they carried the icon to the Church of St. Nicholas in the village.
Another miracle occurred with the owner of the estate himself. Pilgrims coming to the icon from all over would pass through his fields and trample the future harvest. Therefore, the owner ordered the spring to be filled in.
However, the spring burst forth from another spot and he went blind. He later beheld the Theotokos in a dream commanding him: “Unblock the holy spring, wash yourself with its waters, and your eyes will open.” He did just that, and he regained his sight and became a pious Orthodox Christian.
A chapel was built at the spring, and ever since, countless people have come for healing from spiritual and physical ailments.