Icon of the Mother of God of Georgia
In 1622 Persian Shah Abbas conquered Georgia. Many Christian holy things were stolen, and many were sold to the Russian merchants in Persia. The Georgian Icon of the Mother of God came to a certain merchant named Stephen, who piously kept it.
In Yaroslavl, the merchant George Lytkin, on whose business Stephen was in Persia, received a revelation in a dream about the holy object found by Stephen, and he was commanded to send it to the Chernogorsk Monastery in the Arkhangelsk diocese.
When Stephen returned home in 1629 and showed the icon to George Lytkin, he remembered his vision and he set off to the Dvina outskirts to the Chernogorsk Monastery (so called because it was built on a hilly and somber place). It had been named "Black Hill," but afterwards the monastery changed the name to "Pretty Hill".
The icon was glorified there by miracles. In 1654, during a plague, the icon was transferred to Moscow, and those praying before it escaped illness. The numerous copies of the icon testify to its deep veneration. In 1658, with the blessing of Patriarch Nikon, there was established an annual feast day of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God. The service was written in 1698 under the supervision of Theodore Polykarpov of the Moscow printing office.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)