Tolgsk icon of the Mother of God

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The Tolgsk Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God (Толгской иконы Божией Матери), also known as Our Lady of Tolgsk is a wonder-working icon of the Holy Theotokos that appeared to the Bishop of Rostov Prochorus (Tryphon in schema) on August 8, 1314. St. Prochorus later built the Monastery of the Presentation of Mary at Tolga near the site where the icon appeared. The Tolgsk Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is commemorated on August 8 and July 18.

History

While touring his diocese, Bp. Prochorus had visited the environs of White Lake. On returning, he and his companions traveled along the banks of the Rivers Sheksna and Volga to Yaroslavl and stopped, with the approach of night, seven versts from Yaroslavl at the right bank of the Volga River where it flows into the River Tolga.

At midnight, when everyone was asleep, Bp. Prochorus awoke and saw a bright light illuminating the area. The light came from a fiery column on the opposite bank of the river. Taking up his staff, he crossed on a bridge to the other bank. As he approached the fiery column, Bp. Prochorus beheld on the column the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, suspended in the air. Astonished at the miracle, Bp. Prochorus prayed for a long time before returning to the camp. In doing so he forgot to take his staff.

The next day, after serving Matins, when Bp. Prochorus was preparing to continue his journey by boat, his companions began to search for his staff, but were not able to find it anywhere. Vladyka then remembered that he had forgotten his staff on the other side of the river, where he had gone across on the miraculous bridge. He then revealed what had happened and sent his servants across on a boat to the other shore. When they returned, they reported that in the forest they had seen an icon of the Mother of God suspended in the branches of a tree, next to his bishop's staff.

Then, Bp. Prochorus with all his retinue quickly crossed over to the opposite shore. There, he recognized the icon that had appeared to him during the night. After fervent prayer before the icon, they cleared the forest at that place, and laid the foundations of a church. When the people of Yaroslavl learned of this activity, they came out to the place of the miraculous appearance. By midday, the church was built, and in the evening Bp. Prochorus consecrated it in honor of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos and installed the icon. Bp. Prochorus then established a Feast on the day of its appearance. St. Prochorus later built the Tolga monastery near this church.

Sources

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