Day of Kiev-Bratsk Icon of the Mother of God

Wednesday–today Orthodox Churches in Russia and Ukraine celebrate the day of the liturgical calendar marking the день Киево-Братской иконы Божией Матери  or as we say in English, the Kiev-Bratsk Icon of the Mother of God. It is the icon’s birthday, going all the way back to 1654.

Kiev-Bratsk Icon of the Mother of God, 1654.

This historic icon was first placed in the local church in the city Borisoglebskaya Vyshgorod (near Kiev) but during the war between Russia and Poland (1659 – 1667), the city suffered great damage from fighting the Poles and Crimean Tatars and in 1662 the home of this icon, the Church of the Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb, was destroyed.

However local people from the town, protected by Divine Providence, took the icon and relics of saints from the church and hid them from the Polish troops by taking them down the Dnieper river. In the village of Podol, priests took the icon for safekeeping from the Polish and moved it to the Bratsk monastery where it was displayed for several hundred years. The inscription on the icon says “measure for measure” and songs were composed about the icon.

The icon is now kept in the Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God in Kyiv (Kiev).