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October 14, 2020

Synaxis of the Icon of the Mother of God of Yakhrom

Synaxis of the Yakhrom Icon of the Mother of God (Feast Day - October 14)

Saint Kosmas of Yakhrom (Feb.18) was the son of a boyar who lived within the limits of Vladimir. Apparently, due to a lack of money, he was given to be raised by a neighbor-landowner, from the Sekerin boyars, and served him by traveling to cities and villages with the boyar seeking healing for his illness. 
The Yakhrom Icon of the Mother of God appeared to the holy youth Kosmas in the year 1482, while he was accompanying his master, the sick landowner. Kosmas had stopped at the bank of the Yakhrom River, not far from Vladimir, and the sick man fell asleep. Kosmas suddenly saw a bright light coming from a nearby tree, and heard a voice, “Attend and understand the words of life. Live a God-pleasing life and seek the joy of the righteous, and then you will delight in eternal blessings.” The light had come from an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Saint Kosmas took the icon and placed it on his master, who was immediately healed. After this, Kosmas’s term of servitude expired, so he went to the Kiev Caves Lavra. After he was tonsured, he amazed even the experienced monks by his own spiritual efforts.
Years later, Saint Kosmas was told by an angel to return to the place where he had found the icon. He took the wonderworking icon with him to the bank of the Yakhrom River where he had found the icon. At once, the place was again filled with light. Saint Kosmas built a monastery in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and placed the Yakhrom Icon within it. 
In the 18th-19th centuries, two icons of the Mother of God were called "Yakhrom" in the Kosmino Monastery: the icon of the Mother of God with the Christ Child, according to the iconographic type of "Tenderness", and an icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Neither of these icons have survived.

In the Kremlin Cathedral of the Annunciation, an icon of the 14th century of the Mother of God with the Christ Child has been preserved, exactly the same iconography as the "Yakhrom" one, but with the image of the Child Jesus on the right, not on the left side. Modern researchers believe that this ancient image was the ancestral icon of either the Venerable Kosmas himself, or the healed boyar from the noble family of the Sekerins. For two centuries it was kept in the Kosmina Monastery, and in the 17th century, together with the revealed wonderworking icon, was taken to Moscow and remained in the Tsar's Church of the Annunciation.

During the days of the Soviet persecution, the ancient Kosmina Monastery was closed, but in an amazing way the monastery stone churches and the fraternal building, built in the 17th century by Saint Mitrophan Voronezh, still stand today. While dozens of churches in the surrounding villages were forever wiped off the face of the earth, the Temple of the Image Not Made by Hands and the ancient Cathedral Church of the Assumption remained almost unharmed, while the gate Church of Saint Nicholas escaped destruction. In the 1990s, the inhabitants of the village of Nebylova, in the center of which is the Dormition Monastery, began to revive the parish life, and soon a few inhabitants appeared. The main shrines of the monastery are still the relics of Saint Kosmas of Yakhrom and a copy of the miraculous Yakhrom Icon of the Mother of God.