The "Kozelshchansk" Icon of the Mother of God - History

The "Kozelshchansk" Icon of the Mother of God - History

Icon of the Mother of God The Kozelshchansk

The "Kozel'shchansk" Icon of the Mother of God is commemorated on February 21 and is one of the most revered and miraculous icons. The event that glorified this icon received widespread attention and left a deep impression on the people of that time. Many witnessed the miraculous grace that flowed from this icon, which had a profound impact. Eminent doctors, who had initially declared a girl's incurable condition, witnessed the healing grace of the Most Pure Virgin, leading to a miraculous recovery.

The Kozel'shchansk Icon belonged to Count Vladimir Ivanovich Kapnist and was kept on his estate in the village of Kozel'shchyna. This ancient icon, with its Italian-style lettering, is extraordinarily beautiful, radiating consolation through the faces of the Divine Child and the Mother of God.

In the 18th century, the icon came into the possession of the wife of Siromakh, a records clerk of the Zaporozhsky-Cossack army, who played a significant role in the annexation of Little Russia to Russia. Count Kapnist had a daughter named Maria Vladimirovna, who suffered from a twisted foot after a fall. Despite receiving medical treatment from renowned doctors, including surgeons and neurologists, her condition did not improve. She experienced additional injuries, such as dislocated shoulder joints and a twisted hip, causing excruciating pain. Various treatments and therapies were attempted, but none provided relief.

In October, the Count brought his daughter to Moscow for further examination by renowned European specialists. While waiting for a specific specialist, Maria's mother instructed her to pray before their family icon, the Kozel'shchansk Icon of the Mother of God, and polish its metal riza, a customary practice in their family. The mother expressed her faith in the intercession of the icon and urged her daughter to beseech the Mother of God for a safe journey and a cure for her illness.

On February 21, 1881, the Count sent a telegram to his wife, informing her that the specialist had arrived in Moscow. The following day, the Countess prepared to travel to Moscow and instructed her daughter to take the icon and polish its riza as they had planned. The family placed their hope in the intercession of the Mother of God, asking for her assistance in their safe journey and the healing of Maria's illness.

The young girl had lost all hope in the abilities of earthly doctors, but she placed her complete trust in God and surrendered herself to the care of Heaven. The Icon in their possession had long been known for its miraculous nature. According to tradition, the Mother of God especially aided young girls who sought her intercession in prayer, particularly those who desired a happy family. It was customary for girls to participate in the care of the Icon by polishing its metal riza, using cotton, wool, or a towel. With her mother's assistance, Maria embraced the holy Icon, pressing it against her heart as she fervently prayed. In that moment, all the weight of her afflictions, sorrow, and despair poured out before the Theotokos.


The young Countess embraced the Icon with her feeble hands. As she held it, she prayed fervently, and her prayer was heard. All at once, she felt strength in her arms and legs, and she cried aloud,: "Mama, Mama, I can feel my legs, I can feel my hands!"

Then she removed eight pounds of metal and the bandages from her feet. Her mother thought her daughter had lost her mind. Her face was radiant, and her joyous squeals seemed to be those of a mad woman. Finally, she realized that her daughter had been healed. There were many guests in the house. When they heard her scream they ran into the room, there they saw the young Countess walking normally, and they knew that Maria had been healed. Then the parish priest was asked to come at once and serve a Moleben of thanksgiving.

Despite her daughter's full recovery, the Countess decided to bring her to Moscow, and they left the next day, taking the Icon with them. In Moscow, the Count set up a meeting with some doctors. Charcot said that if it were not for such reliable witnesses as the Moscow Professors, he would have regarded the whole incident as a hoax. The Count stayed at the Loskutna Inn, and rumors of Maria's healing quickly spread throughout Moscow, and people began to flock first to their hotel room, and then to the church, where the Icon had been moved, and where there was a large crowd.

At the end of March, the Kapnist family went back to their village with the Icon. Then a blind maiden came to the manor, who told them that in a dream the Mother of God ordered her to go to her Icon. The Countess took her to the Icon, before which she prayed for a long time. A few days later, she returned with her sight restored in both eyes. First, a chapel was built in the Count's garden, and then a church. Miracles were recorded, and twenty-one miracles were examined by a commission from Poltava. A certain boy was healed before the commission. In 1885, a women's community with a hospital was opened in Kozel'shchyna, with a school and an orphanage for cripples.

The Divine Child on the Kozel'shchansk Icon rests in the lap of the Mother of God, holding a cross. On the table is a bowl and a spoon, perhaps to symbolize that the Mother of God brought joy to all the world. This may have been inspired by the Akathist to the Mother of God, Ikos 11: "Rejoice, O cup which drawest up joy."

There is a venerated copy of this Icon in Moscow, in the church of the Kazan Icon by the Serpukhov Gate. During Passion Week of 1885 in Astrakhan, the maiden Gitsevich was healed by a copy of the Kozel'shchansk Icon.

In 1882, a church was built, and by the decision of the Holy Synod on March 1, 1885, a women's community was established, On February 17, 1891, it became a convent dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos.

When the Monastery was closed in 1929, the Icon was taken by the nuns to a hermitage in the village of Obitok, and after its closure in 1932 it was kept hidden in the town of Kobelyaki, in 1941-1949 it was in the Kozel'shchyna Monastery again. Then it was brought to Lebedinsky Monastery in the Cherkasy region. From 1961 the Icon was in the Kiev apartment of the former Kozel'shchyna nuns, and it was returned to Kozel'shchyna on February 23, 1993.

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