October 1, 2020

Transfer of the Terebovlya Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God from Terebovlya to Lvov (1674)

October 1 commemorates the transfer of the Terebovlya Icon of the Mother of God from the town of Terebovlya to Lvov in 1674.
This icon of the Most Holy Theotokos originally appeared in the principality of Galich during the time of the Terebovlya princes, in the thirteenth, or perhaps as early as the twelfth century. After the decline of the Galich principality in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Roman Catholics tried many times to seize the icon and bring it to their own church.
The Orthodox believers of Galich and Terebovlya always prayed fervently before the Terebovlya icon, asking the Mother of God to protect them whenever Russia was attacked by enemy forces, and its citizens were led into captivity. 

In the Terebovlya court book of 1663 it is written that for the first time "… the image of the Blessed Virgin wept on the Thursday before Ukrainian Easter". Again, for the second time this icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary "wept" on Easter Saturday. The story of the weeping of the Terebovlya icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary is given in the work “New Heaven” by Ionikiy Galyatovsky. It is the oldest recorded instance of a "weeping" icon of the Mother of God in Ukraine.

Eyewitnesses of this miraculous event of the Terebovlya Icon of the Mother of God were a hundred Cossacks with Captain Ivan Sulovsky, as well as many people of both spiritual and noble status, burghers and ordinary people who testified under oath. Among the eyewitnesses of the miracle were representatives of various church rites and denominations.

Later, historical sources testify that in 1651 only due to a miracle performed through a prayer to the Terebovlya wonderworking icon of the Mother of God, the inhabitants of the region defended Terebovlya castle from Turks and Tatars.
In the spring of 1672, a Turkish army of 300,000 men took the town of Kamenets Podolski. This same army was defeated at Terebovlya, and was forced to retreat. The holy icon of the Mother of God was taken from the Church of the Protection in town and moved to the church in the ancient castle. There the people of Terebovlya thanked God for their deliverance. 
Thanks to God's Providence and the intercession of the Mother of God, Terebovlya Castle withstood the siege of thousands of Turkish troops, which lasted from September 29 to October 6, 1673. During his siege, the Turks tried to blow up the castle walls with a large amount of explosives. Seeing what the Turks planned to do, the defenders of the castle had no hope of help from the outside troops and suffered heavy losses from the continuous attacks of the enemy, they turned to the Blessed Virgin with sincere prayers, faithfully begging the Heavenly Patroness for salvation. A great, unheard of miracle happened. Without damaging the castle walls, an explosion of enormous force hit the Turkish troops, as a result of which they suffered very heavy losses. At the time of the explosion, according to eyewitnesses on the castle walls, they saw the Blessed Virgin Mary in dazzling white clothes.
On the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God in 1674, the Bishop of Lvov, with the clergy and the faithful, transferred the icon to the Cathedral of Saint George in Lvov so that it would not be stolen. This translation took place when Bishop Joseph (Shumlyansky) of Lvov, who later became a Uniate, was still a hierarch of the Orthodox Church.
In 1704, when the Swedes surrounded Lvov and laid siege to it, the Mother of God, to whom the townspeople of Lvov prayed in front of the Terebovlya icon, saved the city from ruin by Swedish troops. Moreover, the city chronicler wrote that "the Mother of God in that icon cried, and with her tears urged the Swedish general Stembok to renounce the huge contribution from the people of Lvov, not to seek it further and to leave the city alone."
In 1973, when it was decided to celebrate the 300th anniversary of its translation, the icon was provided with a gilded cover, thanks to the efforts of Metropolitan Nicholas of Lvov and Ternopol. In 2000-2001 the Terebovlya icon of the Mother of God was restored. Restoration work was performed by Yaroslav Movchan and his son Danylo. And, interestingly, among those who testified under oath the miraculous deeds of the Terebovlya icon of the Mother of God in the distant 1663 were also Movchan's - Ivan and Samuel.