The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of St Peter" was so called because it was written by St. Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow, while he was abbot of the Ratsk Monastery near Volhynia. During a visit to the Ratsk Monastery by St. Maximus, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Russia, St. Peter gave him this icon as a gift. The Metropolitan took it to Vladimir at Klyazma, where his cathedral was then located.
Upon the death of St. Maximus, the abbot Gerontius, who wished to become the new metropolitan, intended to take this icon to Patriarch Athanasius of Constantinople. The journey of Abbot Gerontius was delayed, however, by a terrible storm at sea. During this storm, the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him and said: "The office of bishop will not be conferred upon you, but rather on the one who painted My Icon."
When he came before Patriarch Athanasius, St. Peter was already in Constantinople and had been consecrated as Metropolitan. The Patriarch gave the icon to St. Peter with the words: "Take the holy icon of the Mother of God, which you painted with your own hands, for this reason the Ever-Virgin Herself has granted you this gift, and She foretold your path."
St. Peter took the icon to Vladimir, and when the metropolitan cathedral was transferred to Moscow in 1325, the icon was placed in the Dormition Cathedral above the table of oblation.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )