Commemorated on August 19
The Donskoi Icon
of the Mother of God was written by Theophan the Greek. On the day of the
Kulikovo Battle (8 September 1380, the Feast of the Birth of the MostHoly
Mother of God), the Icon was amidst the Russian army, giving it help, but after
the victory it was passed on by the Don Cossacks as a gift to their commander,
Greatprince Dimitrii Donskoy (1363-1389), who then transferred it to Moscow.
The Icon at first came to be at the Kremlin Uspensky Sobor (Dormition
Cathedral), and later at the Blagoveschenie-Annuniciation Cathedral (the Icon
is now in the Tretyakov State Gallery). In commemoration of the victory on the
banks of the River Don it was given the name of the Donskoi Icon.
In the year 1591 the
Crimean khan Nuradin and his brother Murat-Girei invaded Russia with a numerous
army, and advancing on Moscow, they positioned themselves on the Vorob'ev
hills. For the guarding from enemies, around Moscow there was made a church procession
with the Donskoi Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God. On the day of battle it
was situated in the military chapel amidst the soldiers ranks and set the
Tatars to flight. In thanksgiving to the MostHoly Mother of God for Her mercy,
manifest through the Donskoi Icon, in 1592 at the very place where it stood
amidst the soldiers was founded the Donskoi monastery, into which was put the
wonderworking icon and feastday established under 19 August. By established
custom, in the small cathedral in honour of the Donskoi Icon of the Mother of
God, once every four years His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
performs the rite of the boiling of holy chrism.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.