The Maximov Icon of the Mother of God was written in 1299 following Her appearance to St. Maximus, Metropolitan of Vladimir. A description of this vision was inscribed on the left side of his crypt. The icon shows the Mother of God in full stature with the Christ Child in Her left hand. With Her right hand, she offers Metropolitan Maximus (depicted on his knees, or sometimes standing) a bishop’s omophorion.
The Mother of God appeared to St. Maximus when he arrived in Vladimir from Kiev. In the vision, She gave the omophorion to him saying, “My servant Maximus, it is good that you have come to visit My city. Take this omophorion and shepherd the flock of My city.” When the saint awoke, the omophorion lay in his hands.
The appearance of the Mother of God was a sign of approval for the transfer of the metropolitan See from Kiev to Vladimir. The omophorion given by the Mother of God was preserved at the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir for 112 years. In 1412, during an invasion by the Tatars, the omophorion was hidden by the cathedral’s doorkeeper Patrick, who was martyred.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )