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Peschan Icon of the Mother of God
Peschan Icon of the Mother of God

In 1754 Saint Joasaph of Belgorod made one of his frequent journeys through his bishopric. In the city of Izyum he paid great attention to the main church. Upon entering the church, he immediately looked with amazement at a large icon of the Mother of God standing in the corner of the narthex, behind which the altar boys shook out charcoal from the censer. Getting down on his knees before the icon, the saint exclaimed: “O Heavenly Queen, forgive the negligence of Thy unworthy servitors!” Then, turning to the eldest priest, he said: “Why is this icon not put in a better place? God’s special grace rests upon this icon. It is a sign of the Holy Virgin’s particular intercession for us here and for our entire country.” Then St. Joasaph ordered the icon to be placed in the left-hand choir, and came daily to pray before it. There was a very special reason for such an order.

         When St. Joasaph was on the point of departing from Belgorod, he saw in his dreams a certain church and in it, on a pile of rubbish, an icon of the Mother of God. The icon shone with a radiant light and a voice said: “Look at what the priests of this church have done with My image! My icon is intended to be a source of grace for the entire land, while they have thrown it on a pile of rubbish.” Astounded by such a dream, St. Joasaph examined each church in the course of his travels, checking whether it matched the one seen in the dream. When he entered the above-mentioned church and saw the icon which he had seen in his dream, he ordered everything to be done as described above. The Theotokos did not delay in showing Her favor: the icon, called the Peschan Mother of God, soon began to produce many miracles and attract many pilgrims from all over Russia.


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