The Intercession Church in Ivanovo

“Intercession” means “to be consecrated in the name of the Intercession of the Mother of God” which the Virgin Mary stretched out above the believers symbolizing the protection of God applicable to everybody without exceptions. Such a consecration of churches in the Orthodoxy is very popular. It is second only to churches consecrated in the name of St. Nicolas the Miracle-Worker.

One of such Intercession Churches is located in the town of Ivanovo in Brest region. The Church belongs to the Diocese of Pinsk and Luninets.

About the town and the Church

In the past the town of Ivanovo was a remote village and as it is written in some encyclopedias “it was developing slowly”, though it has appeared in chronicles since the 14th century. Today it is a district center, since 1971 it has got the status of a town.

Tourists can find for themselves a lot of sights in Ivanovo (or Janуw as it was before). Anyone going or driving by the Church of the Intercession will notice it. It is a real dominant of the town and its central square.  

The Church survived after wars, outlived revolutions, resisted against numerous attempts of its demolition and use not according to its intended purpose. But let’s talk about it later.

The Church is large, representative and neat. It was built in 1901 according to the architecture of the Russian-Byzantine (some sources say, retrospective-Russian) style. It makes an impression of good quality and patriarchal character.

The history of the Church

Once a small wooden church was situated on the place where is a brick building of the Church now. As many buildings made of wood it was burned down.  It was changed to a larger church but made of the same material. It was consecrated in 1667 but became dilapidated with the lapse of time.

A new building, that we can see now, is solid and beautiful. During the war they tried to use it as a hospital or stable.  But no dice: the wounded were not getting better, horses began to die.  As if God wanted the Church to function as His temple, say the believers. And it was returned to orthodox believers.

Not so long ago, in the 60-ies of the 20thcentury, the Church was tried to close. But the congregation managed to defend it again.  

So that the Church remained with people: it underwent two reconstructions, was expanded with other buildings, praised the Orthodox faith and kept its icons. It is worth noting the main pride of the parish of the Intercession of the Virgin Mary is the icons of the 17-18thcenturies.

In 2001, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia honored the Church with his visit during his coming to Belarus. The altar cross presented by him is another relic of the Church.   

The miracle of faith

The miracle of faith: believe and a miracle will happen is a doctrine of religious philosophers. The icon of the Mother of God “Pochaev” which is in the Church of the town of Ivanovo is very revered in the Orthodox world and is known as miraculous. According to the Christian canons, copies of the icons have the same effect as the originals: they represent God’s presence and protection. One can offer up prayers to them and the prayers will be heard.

Parishioners say that in 1999 this iconic image in the Intercession Church begat to shed holy ointment. Since then there has appeared a tradition: every year not only the local believers and the reverends but also people from remote corners of Belarus make the pilgrimage to the Church in the town of Ivanovo on August 5, on the Day of the celebration of the Pochaev icon of the Mother of God.