The Minsk Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was brought by Prince Vladimir from Korsun in the Crimea and placed in Kiev's Cathedral of the Tithes (the consecration of the church in 996 is commemorated on May 12).
In 1500, during the capture of Kiev by Khan Mengli-Gyr, a Tatar soldier stripped the cover and adornments from the icon, and threw it into the Dniepr River. It was eventually found floating in the Svislocha River, near Minsk.
On August 13, 1500, surrounded by an extraordinary light, the icon was brought to shore and taken to the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos.
The Minsk Icon was brought to the Uniate Monastery of the Holy Spirit in 1616, and returned to the Orthodox in 1839. The Holy Spirit Monastery’s church became an Orthodox cathedral, which was dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul. Every Friday, an Akathist was served before the holy icon, and many miracles have been recorded.
The Minsk Icon, of the Hodigitria type, is more than four and a half feet tall, and three feet wide.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )