According to tradition, the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan arrived to Russia from Constantinople in the 13th century. After the Tatars conquered Kazan and made it their capital in 1438, the icon disappeared, and it was not mentioned again until the 16th century, some years after the liberation of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in the year 1552.
On November 4 (October 22) the feast of the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan is celebrated. This feast was established in memory of the miraculous liberation of Russia from the invasion ofthe Poles in 1612. The end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century were marked in the history of Russia as the “Time of Troubles”. The country was attacked by the Polish army, which scorned at Orthodoxy, devastated and destroyed churches, cities and villages. The Poles managed to conquer Moscow fraudulently. Patriarch Hermogen, who was imprisoned at that time, appealed to the Russian people and asked them to stand up for the defense of the motherland. He also asked to bring the icon from Kazan so that its miraculous power would help to fight against the enemy. Then, the army from Kazan joined the national militia, which was led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, and brought a copy of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God
of Kazan. The Holy Mother of God was patronizing the resistance and thanks to Her protection Russia was saved.
When the Poles were driven from Moscow, Prince Dmitry placed the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan in the church in honor of the Entrance of the Theotokos in Moscow. Later the Prince built the Cathedral of the Mother of God of Kazan on the Red square in Moscow. The icon itself was removed to the newly built cathedral in 1636. Today it is kept in the Epiphany Cathedral of Moscow.
In honor of the victory over the Poles, it was decided to establish the feast of the Mother of God of Kazan on October 22. A first the feast was celebrated only in Moscow, but since 1649 people began to celebrate it all over Russia. In Russia there are a lot of miraculous copies of the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan. With these icons people glorify the Mother of God, a Patron of the Russian nation. Despite the fact that there are a lot of various kinds of the icons of the Mother of God in Russia, the icon of Kazan remains prevalent. It is especially honored by the Russian people, who always address the Mother of God in times of sorrow and pain.