Miraculous 17th-century icon of Christ, lost 90 years ago, finally returns to St. Basil’s on Red Square
A miraculous 17th-century icon of Christ has finally returned home after being lost during communist times.
The revered “Savior of Moskvoretesky” (Pantocrator) Icon was believed lost after 1927, but returned to the Holy Protection Cathedral on Red Square, commonly known as St. Basil’s, yesterday, reports TASS.
Lost more than 90 years ago, the miraculous icon was discovered in an antique market and bought by collector Stanislav Nikolaev last year, and was restored over the summer. “The icon has found its place, I hope for many years, and perhaps, forever. The icon came to me, as I said, quite by accident, and we … decided and received the blessing of the Patriarch, and thus the icon has come here, to its place,” said Nikolaev.
The icon was originally placed in a niche in the Moskvoretsky Gate, which no longer exists, next to Protection/St. Basil’s Cathedral. A chapel was later built for the icon at Moskvoretsky Bridge behind Red Square. The chapel was closed in 1920 and dismantled in 1966.
“A wonderworking icon shouldn’t be in a private collection… A wonderworking icon shouldn’t work miracles for one person or one family. It should work miracles for all who suffer,” added the donor.
St. Basil’s is both an active parish and an active state-run museum.
“I think [the icon] is a unique and historical monument because it is closely connected with the history of Moscow, the history of our state. This icon of the ‘Lord Pantocrator,’ a gift of the famous collector Stanislav Nikolaev and Igor Levitin (assistant to the President of Russia),” said museum director Alexei Levykin at the transfer ceremony on Monday.
Archbishop Ambrose of Verey, Patriarchal Vicar and abbot of Sretensky Monastery, conveyed thanks to Nikolaev and Levitin on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
The “Moskvoretsky Savior” was among the 6 most revered Moscow icons, and the glory of its healings went far beyond the capital, reports Foma.
The last news about the icon is dated September 15, 2017. Chief curator of the Historical Museum Alexie Oreshnikov wrote in his diary that he saw the icon in the restoration workshop in the Holy Protection Cathedral, “where they were cleaning a large wonderworking icon of the Savior from the chapel…”
The further fate of the icon is unknown, though experts point to several characteristics of Nikolaev’s icon that identify it as the missing wonderworking icon, including that the text of the troparion to the Icon Not Made by Hands that is written on the icon is written in pre-Nikonian Slavonic.
- Source: orthochristian.com