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Our Lady of Kazan

152 bytes removed, 05:32, November 22, 2011
removed historical inaccuracy re: Peter the Great in 1821; also removed dead link
By 1612, when Moscow was occupied by Polish invaders, Hermogen had become [[Patriarch]] of Moscow and All Russia. From prison, he called for a three-day [[fast]] and ordered the icon of Our Lady of Kazan to be brought to Princes Minin and Pozharsky, who were leading the resistance to the occupation. This icon—possibly the original, but more likely a copy—was carried before their regiments as they fought to regain the capital from the Poles. When the Polish army was finally driven from Moscow on October 22, 1612, the victory was attributed to the [[intercession]] of the Mother of God, and the Kazan icon became a focal point for Russian national sentiments. Later that year, when Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich came to the throne, he appointed both July 8 and [[October 22]] as [[feast day|feasts]] in honor of Our Lady of Kazan.
The victorious Prince Dmitry Pozharsky financed the construction of a small wooden [[church]] dedicated to the Virgin of Kazan in the Moscow Kremlin. The icon was kept there until the small church burnt down in 1632. The tsar ordered the construction of a larger brick [[cathedral]] to replace it. After its completion in 1638, the icon remained there in Moscow's Kazan Cathedral for nearly two centuries. It was regularly borne in solemn liturgical processions along the city walls as the protectress of Moscow. The intercession of Our Lady of Kazan was successfully invoked against a Swedish invasion in 1709, and again when Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812. To commemorate this latter victory, Peter the Great had the Kazan icon was moved to the new Kazan Cathedral in his new capital, St. Petersburg, in 1821.
By this time, the Kazan icon had achieved immense popularity, and there were nine or ten separate miracle-working copies of the icon around the country. There is considerable disagreement about which of these, if any, was the original. Some claim the original remained housed in Kazan, while others hold that the one moved from Moscow to St. Petersburg was the original. Many experts, however, believe the original was lost and both of the [[veneration|venerated]] Kazan icons were early copies. In any case, both icons disappeared in the early 20th century. The one in Kazan was stolen in 1904 and probably destroyed by the thieves, who were more interested in its jeweled gold covering. The one in St. Petersburg disappeared after the October Revolution of 1917. Some say it was smuggled out of the country to protect it from the Bolsheviks, while others suggest the Communists themselves hid it and later sold it abroad. But during World War II, an icon of the Virgin of Kazan surfaced in Leningrad to lead a procession around the fortifications of the Nazi-besieged city.
*[ Kazan Diocese]
*[ Ikon History - Our Lady of Kazan]
*[ The Miraculous Icons: Our Lady of Kazan: 1606. Prokopii Chirin.]
*[[w:Our Lady of Kazan|''Our Lady of Kazan'' at Wikipedia]]

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