Icon of the Mother of God "The God Loving"


Commemorated on June 18

The Bogolub Icon of the Mother of God, one of the most ancient wonderworking icons of Russia, was written in the twelfth century at the request of Prince Andrew Bogolubsky, in memory of an appearance to him by the Mother of God.

In 1155, Prince Andrew, having resettled from Vishgorod to the Suzdal region of Russia, brought with him a wonderworking icon of the Mother of God, written by the Evangelist Luke (ultimately, it came to be called the Vladimir Icon). Seven miles from Vladimir, the cart carrying the wonderworking icon stopped and could not be moved. Prince Andrew asked the priest Nicholas, who accompanied him, to serve a Molieben before the Icon. For a long time Andrew prayed with tears before the venerable image. He later went into his tent and continued his fervent prayers. The Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him with a small scroll in Her hand and told the pious prince that the icon should remain at Vladimir, and that on the site of Her miraculous appearance a church and holy monastery should be built. She then prayerfully raised Her hand to Heaven, and received a blessing from Christ the Savior.

In fulfilling her command, Prince Andrew built a stone church and monastery in honor of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. Afterwards the prince commissioned iconographers and asked that the Mother of God be depicted as he had seen in the vision, in full stature, with the scroll in Her right hand, and Her face turned towards the Savior. When the church was completed, the icon was placed in it, and a yearly celebration in honor of the appearance of the Mother of God was established on June 18. The monastery, and the city which formed around it, was named Bogolub by St. Andrew, because in his own words, “the Mother of God loves this place,” and the prince himself came to be called Bogolub or “God-lover.”

This wonderworking icon of the Mother of God was afterwards transferred from the Bogolub Monastery to the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir, but the icon of the Appearance remained at Bogolub.

The icon of the Bogolub Mother of God was glorified by innumerable miracles, and over the span of many centuries manifested its grace-filled help to the believers of Russia. The miracles and signs wrought by the icon inspired believers throughout Russia to make copies of the venerable image, some of which were also miraculous.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)