Tradition says that this holy icon had been brought to Cherson from Transylvania by a Serb at the end of the sixteenth century. Passing down from parent and child, the icon had come to a certain Mrs. Kasperova of Cherson in 1809.
One night in February of 1840 she was praying, seeking consolation in her many sorrows. Looking at the icon of the Virgin, she noticed that the features of the icon, darkened by age, had suddenly become bright. The icon was soon glorified by many miracles, and people regarded it as wonder-working.
During the Crimean War in the mid-1800s, the icon was carried in procession through the city of Odessa, which was besieged by enemy forces. On Great and Holy Friday, the city was spared. Since that time, an Akathist has been served before the icon in the Dormition Cathedral of Odessa every Friday.
The icon was written with oils on a canvas mounted on wood. The Mother of God holds Her Son on her left arm, and the Child holds a scroll. St. John the Baptist is depicted on one side of the icon, and St. Tatiana on the other. These were probably the patron saints of the original owners of the icon.
The Kasperov Icon is commemorated on October 1 and Bright Wednesday.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )