Russian Icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya”
Russian icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya,” which was once the patron icon of the Romanov family, is widely known among Orthodox Christian believers. Its iconography is quite similar to that of the Vladimir icon of the Mother of God, so many people consider it a copy of the revered image. One of the most important treasures of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Feodorovskaya icon is believed to be wonder-working.
The story of the Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God
According to the legend, the Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God was created by Saint Luke the Evangelist. However, we only know that in the 12th century, the holy icon was preserved in a monastery not far from the town of Gorodets-on-the-Volga and served as its main shrine. Unfortunately, in 1238, after the Mongol invasion, the town was looted and the monastery was burnt down. The Feodorovskaya icon was believed to be lost for good.
Several months later, Prince Vasily of Kostroma found the icon while hunting in a forest. The sacred piece, which was hidden in fir branches, suddenly rose up in the air. After such a miracle, the faithful placed the icon of the Mother of God in the local cathedral. However, soon after that, another misfortune happened to the Feodorovskaya icon. A terrible fire struck the cathedral, burning everything to the ground, except for the holy image that remained unharmed.
Russian Icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya” got its name after Saint Theodore Stratelates. There are several church legends explaining this fact. One of them says that it was Saint Theodore who brought the icon to the city of Kostroma after it was found by Prince Vasily.
The description of the Russian icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya”
The Feodorovskaya icon stands out for its simple iconographic style and quite harsh features. It belongs to the Eleusa type and portrays the Mother of God with the Christ Child. A distinctive characteristic of the icon is the left leg of Jesus, which is depicted bare to the knee. Christ is nestled against His mother’s cheek, hugging her with one hand.
It is interesting that the Russian icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya” is two-sided. The reverse side shows the image of Saint Paraskevi who is considered the patroness of marriage. For this reason, this icon could be once presented as a wedding gift.
The wonder-working Russian icon of the Mother of God “Feodorovskaya” is now kept at the Epiphany Monastery of St. Anastasia in Kostroma. Lots of people come to see this amazing icon and pray in front of it to gain the gracious help of the Virgin.
Originally published at https://russianicon.com on March 28, 2021.