The Church of the icon of the Mother of God "Minsk"

Minsk

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There is an Orthodox parish in Minsk in honor of St. great Martyr George Victorious. The parish is quite young - it received a blessing from Patriarch Filaret in 1992, the Project still is in its infancy and building. It was conceived as a Temple complex, one of its parts being a temple in honor of the icon of Mother of God "Minsk".

This small Church is going to be described further

The construction of the temple near Chizhovka reservoir began under the initiative of the religious devotee, pater Alexander Rudchenko. He is known for its educational, missionary activities far outside Belarus. In one of his interview to the newspaper "Arguments and facts", he considered himself to be a supporter of so-called "homey" churches - small, neat, light, available to parishioners and interesting to them.

Such a church, almost a family one, is the Church of the mother of God "Minsk”, a copy of the icon is kept there as the main treasure of the temple.

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The original icon is at the Holy Spirit Cathedral. The image is considered to be the patron Saint of Minsk; this is even said in a specially written hymn of the Church. The authorship of the original icon belongs to the Evangelist Luka; he is believed to paint his images, being personally acquainted with the Mother of the Savior.

 The copies of the Holy icons, properly consecrated, are considered as significant as the originals, they bear the same meaning, the Church calls them holy and powerful. According to the legend, the Virgin Mary herself blessed the icon to serve people as a sign of her constant presence.

The icon got to Minsk miraculously. Today we can judge of its route to White Russia by ancient Chronicles and books. At first it was kept in Byzantium, and then got to Kiev. When the city was captured and sacked by the troops of the Khan Mengli Giray, the icon was attacked as well: its gold cloth was broken and stolen, and it was thrown into the Dnieper. In 1500, on the eve of the feast of the blessed Virgin assumption it appeared in Minsk  in a miraculous way – either it came against the stream by water, or some other strange way,  the chronicler  wondered. But apparently, the sacred image was meant to be in Minsk in order to save it and to patronize the city in the future.

The ancient authors believed that it was through fervent prayer, addressed to  the icon, that the Horde was defeated by  Belarusian and Lithuanian troops and the captive Slavs were liberated.

Since 1591 Minsk has been famous for its emblem, which depicts the mother of God surrounded by angels.

There was a period when the icon of Minsk Mother of God passed from one religion to another: Catholic, Uniate, Orthodox confessions, each one thought the icon to belong to them at that time. Now this fact is interpreted as the Holy Virgin Mary uniting believers, and the icon is revered as a common Christian Shrine.

The Great Patriotic war and the capture of the icon by enemies again. But, defying fear, a simple religious woman, risking her own life, begged the icon from the Nazis and kept it.

Later careful hands of restorers brought the icon back to its pristine, authentic form, without speculation and the changes that had been introduced over the centuries.

The little light temple named after the icon functions in Chizhovka district in Minsk. Services are held there, Sunday school adjusting it works as well, regular missionary activities take place there. Hosted web site is set in the Internet, which, in the words of the parish priest of Alexander Strekha, serves as a belfry, a bell, calling souls to faith. And we add: the ones who call are to stand before the Holy image of the Lady the Guardian, who stares from the icons.

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