The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Intercession in Minsk
Churches, katolik churches, сathedral, monasteries
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Intercession in Minsk is located on the territory of Vesnyanka. This area used to be a village which was called Kruptsy. There is a spring near the settlement which, according to the legend, in 1612 became the place where the icon of the Mother of God appeared. It happened on the Orthodox date of the Holy Protection. The locals decided to name the icon in honor of their village. Then religious villagers invited spiritual mentors of the Holy Spirit monastery in Vilnius to contribute to the revival of the Orthodox faith in those places. Later, the monks became known as the founders of Peter and Paul’s monastery in Minsk. A decision to construct a wooden chapel was made with the purpose to place the Holy icon there. The chapel was supposed to serve as a place of worship for those who sought protection and consolation from the Heavenly Queen. The spring, where the icon miraculously appeared, is also frequently visited by believers and is considered to be healing.
Two centuries later the wooden building of the chapel got the status of decayed, which fostered the construction of a new wooden building. In 1856 it was decided to build a temple on the site of the old Church. Construction work was completed in 1857 and the new Church was named in honor of the Holy Virgin. The parishioners treated the Krupetskaya icon of the Mother of God tenderly, and some time later it was decorated with a silver overlay with gold crowns and jewels. Since 1844 on the Day of Holy Protection, when annual processions were held, the icon was transferred to Minsk Episcopal Church. On the day of St. Nicholas feast it returned to Kruptsy again. So, we can say that the entire city was under the Protection of the Holy Virgin.
The Bolsheviks party, which came to power in 1917, put worship under the ban, and 18 years later they destroyed the temple completely. Orthodox religion, like other religions, got persecuted and illegal for many years.
A new stage in the development of events associated with the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Intercession, started in 1992. With the advent of loyalty of the government to religion a cross was set on Krouptsy spring. The brotherhood of Archangel Michael took the responsibility for the preservation of the Orthodox value. Services have been resumed since 1994, but they were temporarily held in the railway carriage. However, by the summer of 1995 a small temple had been built. The church became famous among the Orthodox believers because of visiting it by Patriarch Alexy II.
In the place, where the old temple had been destroyed, the new Church of Intercession was founded on the day of the same feast. It happened in 1997, and a year later Metropolitan Philaret conducted the consecration of the Church, named after Krupetskaya icon of Mother of God. Another four years later the administrative building was constructed. At that time a bell tower with a dome and a cross on it was built.
The building of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Intercession refers to the architectural style known as ancient Russian architecture. The total height of the building with the cross reaches more than 45 m.
The parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Church and the healing spring near it is an important destination for many tours in Belarus. Every year Orthodox Shrine attracts a large number of pilgrims and it is an important part of historical and cultural life in Belarusian region.