The image of Our Lady of Kazan is said to have come to Russia from Constantinople in the 13th century.
After a fire destroyed Kazan in 1579, the Virgin appeared in a prophetic dream to a 10-year-old girl named Matrona and told her where to find the sacred image. As instructed, Matrona told the archbishop about her dream, but he would not take her seriously. After two more such dreams, on July 8, 1579, the girl and her mother themselves dug up the icon, which was buried under the ashes of a house, where it had been hidden long before to save it from the Tatars.
The unearthed icon looked as bright and beautiful as if it were new. The archbishop repented of his unbelief and took the icon to the Church of St. Nicholas, where a blind man was cured that same day. Father Hermogen, the priest at this church, later became Metropolitan of Kazan. He brought the icon to Kazan’s Cathedral of the Annunciation and established July 8 as a feast in honor of the Theotokos of Kazan. It is from Hermogen’s chronicle, written at the request of the tsar in 1595, that we know of these events.