October 22, 2020

Synaxis of the Andronikos Icon of the Mother of God

Synaxis of the Andronikos Icon of the Mother of God (Feast Day - October 22)

The Andronikos Icon of the Mother of God, also known as the Monemvasia Icon or the Greek Icon, was a family icon of the Roman Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos. In 1347 he gave the icon to a monastery in Monemvasia of Peloponnesos. After an attack in 1821 by Turkish troops, the abbot of the monastery, Bishop Agapios, trying to save the miraculous Andronikos Icon, hid it in Patras. Before his death, Agapios bequeathed this icon to his relative, the Russian Consul General N.I. Vlassopoulos, whose son, A.N. Vlassopoulos, in 1839 sent the icon from Athens to Odessa with a letter for its transmission to Emperor Nicholas I Pavlovich in St. Petersburg. From 1839 to May 12, 1868, the Andronikos Icon was in the Winter Palace, and from May 12, 1868 to April 16, 1877 it was in the Trinity Cathedral, which is on the Petersburg side. In 1877, the miraculous icon was transferred to the Kazan women's monastery near the city of Vyshny Volochek of the Tver diocese. In 1984 the icon was stolen and its current whereabouts are unknown. Other feast days of this icon are May 1 and July 8.

The icon depicts the Mother of God to her shoulder, without the Christ Child. There is a bleeding wound on the right side of the neck of the Mother of God. A case was attached to the lower part of the icon, which contained a Damascus steel knife with a bone handle, with which an icon-hating Turk stabbed the icon, after which a bleeding wound appeared. The icon was also accompanied by an embroidered Byzantine coat of arms (double-headed eagle), confirming the imperial origin of the image. 
A lithographic copy of the Andronikos Icon of the Mother of God has been preserved in the Vvedenskaya Church of the Feodorovsky Convent in Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, where it is considered miraculous. Many copies of the Andronikos Icon exist.