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July 10, 2020

Synaxis of the Konevits Icon of the Mother of God

Konevits Icon of the Mother of God (Feast Day - July 10)

It was with this icon of Greek origin that John, abbot of one of the Athonite monasteries, blessed Saint Arsenius, founder of the Konevits Monastery (June 12). Saint Arsenius brought the icon from Mount Athos to Russia and placed it in the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Theotokos at the Konevits Monastery. The holy icon was glorified by many miracles.

In the year 1610, during an invasion of the Swedes into the Novgorod territory, the icon was transferred from the Konevits Monastery to the Novgorod Derevianits Monastery with the blessing of Archbishop Isidore of Novgorod. Each year on July 10 a festal celebration of the Most Holy Theotokos took place at this monastery in honor of the holy icon.

In the year 1799, with the blessing of the Metropolitan Gabriel of Petersburg and Novgorod (+ January 26, 1801), the wonderworking icon was returned to the Konevits Monastery. The return of the icon to the Konevits Monastery is celebrated on September 3.

The beginning of the 19th century was a time of prosperity for the Konevits Monastery. In 1802, a church was built over the grave of Saint Arsenius in honor of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple. The Konevits icon was also transferred there. A little later, a new one was built over this temple - in honor of the Nativity of the Mother of God. A copy of the Konevits icon was placed on the altar of the new church. Other copies were made from the Greek icon; one of them was in the Annunciation Church of the Moscow Kremlin, and the other in the Resurrection Church of Torzhok. From these lcopies, as well as from the original icon itself, miraculous healings for all those who hastened with faith to the protection and intercession of the Mother of God were performed.

After the First World War, the territory on which the Konevits Monastery was located went to Finland, and in 1918 the Finnish Orthodox Church became autonomous. These events had a huge impact on the life of the monastery. The Konevits icon was located in the Vvedensky Church of the monastery until 1940, when the monastery was evacuated due to military events. The brethren of the Konevits Monastery settled on the Hiekka farm in Keitele. The icon of the Mother of God was also brought here. Hundreds of Orthodox Finns came to venerate the icon. In 1956, several of the surviving monks of the Konevits Monastery moved to Heinävesi, to the New Valaam Monastery. In 1963, the Konevits Monastery was disbanded, the Konevits icon was sent to Helsinki, and in 1969 to Moscow for restoration. A year later, the icon returned to New Valaam, where it is today.

The Konevits icon belongs to the iconographic type of Hodegetria, but instead of the traditional scroll, Christ holds dove in his left hand. On the back of the icon is the image of the Savior Not Made by Hands.