Catholic Dictionary




A sacred icon of Mary and her Son which has a long and venerable tradition in Russian history. It was probably painted at the beginning of the twelfth century and brought to Kiev in the Ukraine from Constantinople. Then it was taken as a gift to the ruling prince of the city of Vladimir, east of Moscow. The icon was then transferred from Vladimir to Moscow. Tamerlane halted his armies and Moscow was saved (1395). The icon remained in Moscow. On three other occasions, in 1451, 1459, and 1480, the Tatars menaced Moscow, but the city was saved through the intercession of Our Lady of Vladimir. As a sign of gratitude three feasts came to be celebrated in her honor annually, on May 21, June 23, and August 26. At the time of the Russian Revolution, the Communists took the icon from the Cathedral of the Assumption and placed it in the Tretiakov Art Gallery, where it is now on display.