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October 1, 2020

Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God of Gerbovets

Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God of Gerbovets (Feast Day - October 1)
The origin of the icon is unknown. Its appearance in the Dormition Monastery at Gerbovets, Moldavia is associated with an event that occurred shortly before Christmas in 1790. Then, Colonel Nikolai Alekseevich Albaduev came from the Moscow region to the monastery to visit his old friend Abbot Pachomius. Here, a tragic incident happened to him: an unbroken horse threw the Colonel, causing a fatal wound. This happened on December 14, and on December 17 the colonel was buried in the monastery church dedicated to Saint Nicholas. After that, relatives came and brought a family heirloom as a gift to the Gerbovets Monastery - an ancient icon of the Mother of God passed down from generation to generation. Since then, she began to be called Gerbovetskaya.

Three times in the history of the monastery, it was destroyed by the Turks, but each time, returning to the desecrated monastery, the brethren found among the ashes the intact icon of the Mother of God, except that the edges of the canvas turned out to be blackened, and the paint boiled in places. But the faces of the Mother of God, the infant Christ and their hands remained intact.

The inhabitants have repeatedly received confirmation that the Mother of God protected the monastery, especially during the plague and cholera epidemic.
The worshipers brought various donations to the icon for its decoration. Thus, a certain Stefan Lupov (later Schema-Monk Serapion) and his wife Elena Ivanova (
who took monastic vows with the name Elpidia in the Tambov Dormition Skete) adorned the icon with a silver covering; this took place on March 31, 1816. And under the rector Archimandrite Jerome the cover was gilded and precious stones were added, thus placing the icon in an icon case.
All cases of miracles that occurred from the icon were recorded and checked many times. It was acknowledged as wonderworking in the year 1859.

In 1861, during a procession with the icon from Chisinau to the monastery, a paralyzed man Grechin-Ludwig and a fever-suffering priest Nikephorus from the village of Gordinesti were healed. In the same year, the 5-month-old daughter of the priest Bartholomew Usanevich received healing.

In 1862, three children became infected with rabies from an animal bite. One of them, the son of a priest, was immediately sent to Chisinau to pray in front of the miraculous icon and he survived, while the other children died.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the history of the icon was associated with the holy martyr Seraphim (Chichagov). In 1908, he was appointed Bishop of Chisinau and Khotin and introduced into the custom of performing weekly services in front of the icon with the reading of an akathist.
The original Gerbovets icon of the Mother of God was located in Kiev in the Vladimir Cathedral immediately after the end of World War II. During the war, German military chief Friedrich Paulus took the icon to Stalingrad. There in battle, the icon was taken by General Zhukov and brought to Berlin with him. In 1945, the image was transferred to the Kiev Vladimir Cathedral.

In May 1995, the Dormition Monastery was reopened and since then the Gerbovets icon has been in it in winter and spring (until Easter), and the rest of the time is transferred to the churches of Chisinau and surrounding villages.
In terms of iconography, the Gerbovets icon belongs to the Hodegetria type. The infant Jesus, sitting on the left hand of the Mother of God, in his left hand has a scroll, with the right one folded in blessing. The icon is painted on canvas pasted on a lime board.