We remember that they pray not to icons, but before icons, turning to the Lord, the Theotokos, saints… And it is not the icon that saves us, but the Lord. One can pray before any icon, but some of the images have remained in history like those icons before which Russian people prayed especially during epidemics.
Moscow Bogolub Icon of the Mother of God
The image was written in 1157. It became famous during the pestilence (plague) that raged in Moscow in 1771. The icon was above the Barbara’s gates of Kitay-gorod. According to contemporaries, many people received healing from the plague after prayers before it. They commemorated the miraculous help of the Theotokos annually on June 18. On the eve of this day, the image was taken out of the gates for public veneration.
Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God
In 1337, an epidemic of plague occurred in Novgorod. People prayed to the Mother of God before the miraculous Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God and asked Her for intercession and help. Pestilence ceased. They pray before the Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God not only for deliverance from epidemics – they also ask for the healing of ailments, for the granting of obedience to the will of God.
Shuisk-Smolensk Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God
The image of the Virgin was written by Gerasim Ikonnikov in Shuya “to get rid of their misfortunes and troubles” during the epidemic of the plague in 1653. Gerasim was ordered to paint the icon from the image of the Smolensk icon “with all reverence and haste” in order to do it in one week. But, according to legend, something unusual happened during the work on the image – the position of the legs and arms of the Infant changed. The next day, the icon painter corrected the painting, but the icon again changed its appearance. A week later, the image was completed. The icon was put in the Resurrection Cathedral. According to evidence, a bright glow emanated from her. People began to flock to the icon, pray… The epidemic continued. Unfortunately, the plague did not spare Gerasim Ikonnikov himself and his family, but some time after an earnest joint prayer, the illness suddenly stopped at once at the parishioners of the church, and then throughout whole Shuya.
Georgian icon of the Mother of God
The image became famous in 1654 during the plague epidemic that swept the oldest capital. Initially, the icon was located near Arkhangelsk, in the Krasnogorsk monastery. It was brought to Moscow for restoration and getting an oklad. After prayers before the icon, according to testimonies, numerous healings from pestilence occurred. In memory of miraculous healings, Simon Ushakov made a duplication of an image specially for Moscow.
Smolensk Semiozerka Icon of the Mother of God
Two terrible epidemics of pestilence struck Kazan in 1655 and in 1771, and both adversities were eliminated thanks to the Mother of God. With a cross procession, the Semiozerka image was carried around the houses – and the plague soon receded.
Novgorod or Cholera Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
In 1831, cholera spread throughout Russia. Novgorod also had the disease. At the height of the epidemic, on July 16, 1831, a thick layer of plaster exfoliated in the niche of the Novgorod Transfiguration Church, and an image of the Mother of God revealed under it. A huge number of people gathered in and around the church – and some time after the joint prayer, the disease left the city.
Feodotievo Icon of the Mother of God
The image was found near Ryazan near the village of Feodotievo. In 1771, when the plague struck Ryazan, the icon was carried around the streets of the city and the surrounding villages, brought into houses. In houses where there were already infected people, after the appearance of the icon and prayers before it, the disease quickly stopped. In houses not yet affected by the plague, a pestilence did not appear after visiting of the icon.
Icon of the Mother of God the Surety of Sinners
The ancient icon was acquired and glorified by miracles in 1843 in the Odrino-Nikolaevsky monastery of the Oryol province. From prayers before it, almost simultaneously, several seriously ill patients received healings, the news of this spread throughout the district. The image was transferred to the cathedral church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. During the cholera epidemic at the end of the 19th century, hundreds of people before the icon turned to the Theotokos and received relief and healing. In honor of the miraculous icon the Surety of Sinners, a large church with three altars was built in the Odrino-Nikolaevsky Monastery.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds