Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Unit 6 - Icons, The Virgin of Vladimir
I was in my Russian History class and we started talking about icons and how they play such a big role in the Russian Orthodox religion. One of the most renowned icons is the Virgin of Vladimir or Владимирская Богоматерь. It was originally a gift from the Byzantine empire and was rumored to have been painted by Saint Luke. It was kept in Kiev until Andrei I Bogolyubsky stole it to bring it to Suzdal. The Russian Chronicles say that the horses stopped at a river near Suzdal and that Andrei camped there that night. He received a vision where the Virgin Mary said she was pleased with him for taking her to Suzdal. Andrei then built the Church of the Intervention (Church of the Assumption is an incorrect name as the Assumption is a Catholic belief, not an Orthodox belief). Later, when Tamerlane moved to attack Moscow, the Muscovites sent for the icon so that the Virgin would protect them. Then, when Tamerlane's forces mysteriously disappeared, it was attributed to the icon's power. The Muscovites then refused to return the icon, thinking the Virgin Mary wanted them to have it seeing as she protected them.