Czar Alexis of Russia (1645–1676) gave an icon of the Mother of God of Kazan as a founding blessing gift to the city of Penza in 1666. People carried the holy image on their hands all the way from Moscow and then placed it in the Cathedral church in Penza. Those who came to the icon with faith always received help.
The miracle-working icon of the Mother of God of Penza has also saved its city from invasion. On the eve of August 4 1717, during the attackers of the Tatar when all hope to save the city seemed to have been lost, people gathered in the church for an all-night vigil. In the morning, people brought the icon out for a procession near the walls of the city and began to sing an akathist. When the invaders came close to the city, the image of the Mother of God got darker and the holy icon turned away from the enemy. While the residents of the city where praying confusion started inside the invaders army and they turned around and ran.
A feast day for this icon was established in the end of the 19th Century.