November 16, 2011

Icon of the Theotokos of Kupyatitich on the Cross

Icon of the Theotokos of Kupyatitich (Feast Day - November 15)

This icon first appeared to a maiden named Anna in the village of Kupyatitich, in the province of Minsk, in the year 1182. Tending her flock, Anna saw a light in the forest. When she approached this light she beheld a medium-size cross on a tree, bearing the image of the Most-holy Theotokos. Anna brought this cross home, then returned to her flock. However, to her great amazement, she saw the same cross on the tree in the same place. She took it, placed it in her bosom and brought it home. When she tried to show her father the cross, she reached into her bosom, but the cross was not there. She related everything to her father and went out with him, saw the cross in the forest, and took it home. The next day, the cross was not in the house. They alerted the whole village, and all the villagers went and beheld the cross and venerated it. The people soon built a church there, and numerous miracles were manifested by this cross bearing the image of the Theotokos.

After some years, Tatars burned the church. The icon was found a second time after many years by a traveler named Joachim. Peasants transferred the cruciform-icon to the village church. Joachim remained at the church as church attendant, by God's will.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Kupyatitch Monastery was built next to the church, which the Roman Catholics seized at the end of the century, and later on, Uniate monks. Orthodox monks, when they abandoned the monastery, took with them the holy icon of the Kupyatitch Mother of God. They transferred the wonderworking icon to the Kiev Sophia Cathedral.

The Kupyatitch Icon is a small copper cross. On one side of the cross the Mother of God is depicted with the Pre-eternal Infant, and on the other side, the Crucifixion.

HYMN OF PRAISE: To the Most-holy Theotokos

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

O Most-holy Mother of God, Bride of God,
Thou wast the Bodily Throne of Christ God,
Thou didst bear the King of Glory in thy body,
Thou gavest birth to Him Who gavest life to a dead world.
By His Blood, His holy Blood, He redeemed the world,
Gloriously glorifying Himself and thee, O Virgin.
But thy true glory shines in heaven,
Where thou sittest on the right hand of Christ Himself.
And the rays of thy glory descend to earth,
And shine at night on the path of the sojourners.
Glory to thee, Mother of God, throughout the ages,
The first Temple, the wonderful Temple of the glory of Christ!