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Icon of the Theotokos of Tikhvin – T114

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Several icons of the Virgin Mary are attributed by tradition to the hand of Saint Luke the Evangelist who was said to be the very first iconographer, and who painted the Virgin from life.  His Gospel has many details about her not present in the other Gospels.

This wonder-working icon was sent as a gift to the ruler Theophilus at Antioch, to whom Saint Luke dedicates his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.  After Theophilus died, the icon returned to Jerusalem, then was sent in the 5th c. to Constantinople, where it was venerated for over 500 years at the Church of Blachernae built to house it.  In 1383 the icon left by itself before the fall of Constantinople, flying through the air to Russia, first seen then over Lake Ladoga, then near Lake Onega, then on the Oyat River, and finally it settled on the bank of the River Tihvinka that same year.

The icon was in several churches there in Tikhvin, and later in a monastery that was dedicated to her.  It left Russia with the Emigres during World War II, and ended up for nearly 50 years in Chicago until 2004, when after the fall of Communism and the rebuilding of her monastery, it returned to its home there at last.

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Hodegetria (Directress)

Church Feast Day 1



Tikhvin Monastery, Tikhvin, Russia


1st c.


St. Luke the Evangelist