September 27, 2012

Lost Wonderworking Icon of Christ Returns to Sumy

Alla Akimenko
September 27, 2012

On Tuesday Sumy celebrated the return of the miracle-working image of Christ the Savior "Bread of Life", honored not only by Orthodox believers, but by Catholics and Lutherans as well.

The icon was believed to have been lost for almost 100 years, since the 1920s. However, even after all these years the believers have not forgotten about it: in many Orthodox churches of the Sumy region in Ukraine and in Christians’ homes there are copies of the icon, which in its time became famous owing to numerous miraculous healings.

The Bread of Life icon, known from the 19th century, was preserved in the village of Mala Chernetchyna, Sumy povit, Kharkiv gubernia. People far beyond the Sumy region knew about it. Each year crowds of pilgrims came to join the religious procession dedicated to the shrine. The lost icon has been recently found in one of the private collections of church paintings in Donetsk oblast.

After numerous examinations both church commissions and scholars confirmed the authenticity of the Mala Chernetchyna icon. The owner of the collection, Oleh Zdanovych, granted the miracle-working icon to the Orthodox Church, for which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church conferred on him the Saint Prince Volodymyr Order of Second Degree. The restored icon was brought to Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery where it has been preserved until recently. Now the icon of Christ the Savior "Bread of Life" has returned to Sumy oblast and will stay in Sumy Savior’s Transfiguration Cathedral.