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5 Miraculous Russian Icons

Updated on November 4, 2014

The Most Revered Miraculous Russian Icons

The miraculous icon is a painted image, which helps people in various life hardships. The official Orthodox Church has strict rules by which the icon is recognized as miraculous.

But I want to tell about the famous icons believed to help even non-Christians.

When I was young, ambitious and didn't believe in God, I still noticed the supernatural impact that an orthodox Russian icon has on the person. Then I came to the conclusion that an icon is an object that focuses thoughts and hopes of a man. The most famous orthodox miraculous icons can focus the hopes and desires of many people at once. Now this conclusion seems to me a heretical one, but perhaps it contains a grain of truth.

Although the official Church opposed to attribution of each icon by protection against certain troubles, even the priests often advise in certain circumstances to go to a certain church and ask for help a certain icon.

There is even an unwritten list of what icon can help in what troubles.

Image credit Public Domain.

Wasn't it a miracle?
Wasn't it a miracle?

Do you believe in the miracles?

Long ago I didn't believe in the miracles too

In the mid 90s all of sudden I received invitation to a birthday party of my old college friend. In those times he was a top manager of the bank in a small town near Moscow. He was not the last man in the town, so among the guests were Mayor, Chief of Police, the owners of the largest firms of the town. The party was planned large-scale and was to start at 11:00 am.

By coincidence I had to attain business lunch with my client on the same day and this lunch couldn't be postponed. So I decided to go to the beginning of birthday party, congratulate my friend and leave to catch the lunch.

On the turn to town from highway the engine of my car died, and I wasn't able to start it by no means. After spending almost an hour to fuss with the car I phoned local mechanics. They arrived immediately, but also could not do anything. Realizing that I'm late for the lunch I decided to attend the party on my way back. So I asked mechanics to evacuate my car to their garage and took a taxi to Moscow.

After successful lunch with client I arrived in garage to take my car and go to the party. I was greeted with frightening news. It turned out that at precisely the time when I was about to drive to the bank, one of the high guests was attacked by assassin on the steps of the bank. After making three single shots with which the guest and two of his bodyguards were wounded, the killer turned his Ak-47 rifle to automatic fire and released the whole clip on the cars on bank parking.

My car appeared to be in fully working order. Immediately upon arrival at the garage an engine started and mechanics weren't able to find the cause of its failure.

Was not it a miracle?

There is a tradition in Russia to have small copy of some miraculous icon in the car. I had one on that day. Maybe it was the help of this icon, maybe not. I have changed a lot of cars since then, but in the glove compartment of any car I have the same old icon copy.

Photo by Kenn W. Kiser from by morgueFile Free License

The official Orthodox Russian Church doesn't recognize any preferences between the icons, but even the priests often give advice of what an icon to plead in the certain troubles.

Image courtesy of

  1. The Icon of Holy Trinity - plead for the most important, do not waste your time on small requests and wishes. If your request is pursuing some selfish purpose, you can only worsen your situation.
  2. The Icon of Our Lady Kazan - the women give this icon to their husbands, sons and beloved ones in the hope to protect them from enemy bullets. You should plead this icon for happiness and health of children and young couples.
  3. The Icon of Our Lady Vladimirskaya - look for this icon when taking a particularly important decisions related to social activities, before large fateful moments in life.
  4. The Icon of Our Lady of the Don - plead this icon when you have powerful enemies. It helps to find the courage and spiritual strength.
  5. The Icon of St. Nicholas Velikorezkaya - it is believed that those who are often on the road or have a profession related to transport, certainly need to carry an image of this icon.

The Miraculous Russian Icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev

Miraculous Russian Icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev
Miraculous Russian Icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev

The Icon of Holy Trinity is one of the most famous Russian icons. It was written by Andrei Rublev in 1420 for Trinity Monastery in Sergiev Posad.

In the 16th century Ivan the Terrible decorated the Icon by gold edging with golden crowns to show it's miraculous nature.

It is believed that this icon helps when a person is in a particularly difficult situation, when he is cornered and can not find a solution.

The Icon of Holy Trinity is one of the most famous and mysterious works of world art.

By Andrei Rublev [Public domain].

The film about icon painter whose brush made the miraculous icon - One of the most beautiful films ever made.

This film touches the same theme as Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ. And believe me or not, "Andrei Rublev" is much more stronger. Just look on more than 70 rapturous customer's reviews on Amazon.

Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection)
Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection)

I saw this film for the first time in the age of 20. Even now after 30 years I well remember a state of shock with which I went out of the theater. This is a film that changes one's soul. It's not religious story at all, but after this film you feel some changes in your mind. I should warn you that this film is not suitable for family viewing, as it contains scenes of violence and nudity.


The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady Kazan - It is believed to protect the family and children

Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Kazan
Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Kazan

It is usually this icon to bless just-married by their parents. It is hanging over baby cribs to enfold them with holy love.

The history of this icon began at the times of Ivan the Terrible. The very next day after the capture of Kazan in 1552 Ivan the Terrible ordered to laid down the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady.

But 25 years later a terrible fire destroyed half the city. The Virgin appeared in a dream to a 9-year-old girl and ordered to look for an icon at the place of the burnt house. She found it and during transfer of the icon to the church two blind received sight. By decree of Ivan the Terrible on the place of the icon finding was founded monastery. The Girl and her mother became the first nuns of this convent.

The fame of this icon was so great that in the 18th century Russian empress Catherine the Great took off her diamond crown and gave it as a gift to the icon.

Many copies of this icon are also recognized as miraculous. Unfortunately the original icon was destroyed by a thief in 1904.

By Anonymous [Public domain].

Do you have an image of the icon Our Lady Kazan in your household?

The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady Vladimirskaya

Icon of Our Lady Vladimirskaya
Icon of Our Lady Vladimirskaya

According to the Church legend this icon was painted by the evangelist Luke on the board of the table at which Jesus ate with Mary and Joseph. It is the most revered icon of Russia.

It was brought to Russia from Byzantium in the 12th century as a gift of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Prince of Moscow. It is believed that in 1395 this icon defended Moscow from invasion of Tamerlane. Moscow prince could not oppose a myriad army of Tamerlane. The only thing he did - he walked around the city with an icon. The army of Tamerlane halted before reaching Moscow, turned around and went.

In 1451 the Nagai Horde has come to Moscow. They set a fire to the suburbs of Moscow, but Moscow has not been captured. The Moscow prince was away with his warriors , so there was no army to defend the city. The citizens marched through the streets with the icon. The enemies have heard the noise, decided that the prince has returned with a strong army and fled.

Since then the icon is the patroness of the capital and throughout Russia.

By Anonymous (en:wiki) [Public domain].

Do you have an image of the miraculous icon Our Lady Vladimirkaya

The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of the Don

Orthodox Icon Our Lady of the Don
Orthodox Icon Our Lady of the Don

According to the legend, this Icon of Our Lady was brought to Moscow by the Don Cossacks on the eve of the Battle of Kulikovo on 1380.

The Battle of Kulikovo was one of the most impotent events in the history of Russia. This battle was the beginning of the liberation of Russia from the Tatar-Mongol yoke. Thanks to this battle the fragmented Russian lands began to coalesce into a single state.

Ivan the Terrible took this icon with him on a campaign against Kazan .

It was believed that the Icon of Our Lady of the Don helps to gain commitment, courage and spiritual strength.

In 1598 the Patriarch of Russia Job blessed Boris Godunov to the Russian throne by the Icon of Our Lady of the Don.

This icon is revered as a protector against enemies.

Image credit Public Domain.

The miraculous Icon of St. Nicholas Velikorezkaya

The miraculous Russian Icon of St. Nicholas
The miraculous Russian Icon of St. Nicholas

According to the church legend the icon was found in 1383 by a peasant on the bank of small river in Vyatka region. The Icon became famous for healing of one of the villagers. This icon was brought to Moscow for the consecration of the start of St. Basil's Cathedral construction , which in our time is the hallmark of Moscow.

St. Nicholas was famous as an defender of the unfairly offended. He is considered a patron of all who are on the road: sailors, pilots, drivers. He also is a patron of all household pets.

By Anonymous [Public domain].

Have you ever applied to an icon or other religious relic for help?

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    Post Comment

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Many times. It's a part of our tradition. Excellent lens:=)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      No I have never applied to an icon or other religious relic for help. Fascinating read. Beautiful artwork.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 

      6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      My father's family was eastern orthodox from east europe. My mother's family was catholic. Interesting blend, don't you think. I grew up around many icons and do believe in miracles. I am glad you shared yours with us.

    • lilblackdress lm profile image

      lilblackdress lm 

      6 years ago

      Such an interesting lens!

    • Ninche profile image


      6 years ago

      your story is kind of scary ( in a good way ), really unbelievable! Very interesting lens and info about Russian icons!

    • four synergy profile image

      four synergy 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your miracle. I do believe you were held back on the fateful day to create powerful testimony through your lens. Always a reason for those miracles...many you get to share many more. God bless.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image


      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very interesting lens and an incredible story about your car not starting....thanks for sharing!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Feel free to DELETE as this is a Rocket Squid Critique. This is a very well done article! I love how you tied in your Custom Bio with the article and you were very careful to attribute your photos. Well done. One tip that might encourage participation and interaction on your article is to consider adding a Quiz, Poll, Or Debate module. Other than that...great job! :)

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 

      6 years ago

      Very informative and well thought out. I never new the healing power of these icons.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love your miracle story about the bank and the car.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      6 years ago from Idaho

      Very interesting lens.

    • ismeedee profile image


      6 years ago

      I love religious icons and your miracle story is wonderful! Yes, I do believe in miracles. Very nice lens!

    • raelcalu profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These icons are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your amazing story. I believe it was indeed a miracle.


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