Theotokos of Bogolyubovo

Theotokos of Bogolyubovo

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The Bogolubskaya Icon of the Theotokos is a Wonderworking Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 of the Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

 (Virgin Mary) which is venerated in the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

. The icon was painted in the 1157 at the request of Grand Prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

 Andrew Bogolubsky, in commemoration of an appearance
Marian apparitions
A Marian apparition is an event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people. They are often given names based on the town in which they were reported, or on the sobriquet which was given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition...

 to him by the Mother of God.

According to Orthodox tradition
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

, when the prince was moving from Vyshgorod
Vyshgorod may refer to:*Vyshhorod a residence of the medieval Kievan rulers, now a town in Kiev Oblast, Ukraine*Vyshgorod, Russia, a village in Ryazan Oblast, Russia...

 to the Suzdal Principality
The Vladimir-Suzdal Principality or Vladimir-Suzdal Rus’ was one of the major principalities which succeeded Kievan Rus' in the late 12th century and lasted until the late 14th century. For a long time the Principality was a vassal of the Mongolian Golden Horde...

 in 1155, he took the Wonderworking Icon of the Theotokos from the Mezhyhirskyi Monastery
Mezhyhirskyi Monastery
The Mezhyhirya Transfiguration Monastery is a ruined Eastern Orthodox monastery that used to serve as a historic Prince-residency during the Medieval times located near the city of Vyshhorod . Today, the territory it used to be located in is part of the Vyshhorod Raion of Kiev Oblast in northern...

 in Vyshgorod
Vyshgorod may refer to:*Vyshhorod a residence of the medieval Kievan rulers, now a town in Kiev Oblast, Ukraine*Vyshgorod, Russia, a village in Ryazan Oblast, Russia...

 with him, and served moleben
A molében , also called a molieben, service of intercession, or service of supplication, is a supplicatory prayer service used within the Orthodox Christian Church and various Eastern Catholic Churches in honor of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, a Feast, or a particular saint or martyr.The Moleben...

s in front of it every day. About 11 verst
A verst or werst is an obsolete Russian unit of length. It is defined as being 500 sazhen long, which makes a verst equal to 1.0668 kilometres ....

s (7.26 miles) from the city of Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

, as they approached the shore of the Klyazma River
Klyazma River
The Klyazma River is a river in the Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo and Vladimir Oblasts in Russia, a left tributary of the Oka River. The length of the river is 686 kilometres. The area of its drainage basin is 42,500 km². The Klyazma River freezes up in November and stays under the ice...

, the horses carrying the icon suddenly stopped and would not move forward. After prayer, the prince went to his tent and there the Theotokos appeared to him in a dream-like vision holding a scroll in her right hand, and commanded him to place her icon in the city of Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 and to build a temple
A temple is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template," a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out...

 (church) and monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 on the place of the vision. (Ever since this time, that icon has been known as Our Lady of Vladimir.) Great Prince Andrew did as he was told, and also commissioned an iconographer to paint the Bogolubsky Icon of the Theotokos.

On the icon, the Theotokos is depicted in full stature, holding a scroll in her right hand. Her left hand is turned in prayer
Orans , is a figure with extended arms or bodily attitude of prayer, usually standing, with the elbows close to the sides of the body and with the hands outstretched sideways, palms up....

 to Jesus Christ, who is depicted in an aureole in the upper-right hand corner. Prince Andrew himself is depicted in a prayerful stance on his knees before the Theotokos. In variations of the icon, other saints may appear at the feet of the Virgin, such as saints Zosimus and Sabbatius
St. Savvatiy of Solovki was one of the founders of the Solovetsky Monastery....

 of Solovki
Solovetsky Monastery
Solovetsky Monastery was the greatest citadel of Christianity in the Russian North before being turned into a special Soviet prison and labor camp , which served as a prototype for the GULag system. Situated on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, the monastery braved many changes of fortune...


The icon came to be named after Prince Andrew Bogoliubsky ("Lover of God") and was placed in the monastery he built.

The church prince Andrew built was consecrated in honor of the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos
Nativity of the Theotokos
The Nativity of the Theotokos, celebrating the birth of Mary, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year. It is celebrated on September 8 on the liturgical calendar .According to the sacred tradition of the Orthodox Church,...

, and the icon he commissioned was placed there. The monastery he built has come to be known as Bogolubsky Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

, and the town which grew up around it was called Bogolubovo. The icon of Our Lady of Vladimir remained in the convent while work was completed on the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir, after which it was solemly translated
Translation (relics)
In Christianity, the translation of relics is the removal of holy objects from one locality to another ; usually only the movement of the remains of the saint's body would be treated so formally, with secondary relics such as items of clothing treated with less ceremony...

 to the cathedral.

In 1771 a feast day was established in honor of the Bogolubskaya icon and in memory of the deliverance of the city of Vladimir and its vicinity from plague. The feast day is June 18 (for those churches which use the traditional Julian Calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

, June 18 currently falls on July 1 of the modern Gregorian Calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

). Before the Bolshevik Revolution the icon was brought annually on May 21 (June 3) to the city Vladimir where it remained until July 16 (July 29), when it was returned from there to the monastery.

The original Bogolubskaya icon is kept in the Knyaginin Convent of Vladimir, but over the centuries numerous copies of the icon have been made, and it continues to be venerated in many churches both in Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and throughout the world.

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