Svenskaya (Kiev Caves) Icon

This icon was written by Venerable Alipy of the Caves. The Mother of God is depicted on this icon, seated on a throne, with her Divine Infant upon her knees. To the right of the throne stands the Venerable Theodosius, and to the left stands the Venerable Antony of the Caves. Until 1288, the icon remained in the Kiev-Caves Monastery, where it became renowned for miracles. In the following manner, it was translated in 1288 to the Bryansk-Svena Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. While in Bryansk, Roman Mikhailovich, Prince of Chernigov, became blind. Hearing of the miracles proceeding from the icon painted by Venerable Alipy himself, the prince sent a messenger to the monastery, with the request that the icon be sent to him in Bryansk, so that he might be healed. The icon, accompanied by a priest, was dispatched via the River Desna. Along its way, the boat docked on the right bank of the River Svena. The following morning, the travellers went out to the boat in order to pray before the icon. However, they did not find it there. They beheld it standing amid the branches of an oak tree, on a hill opposite the Svena River. After word of this came to Prince Roman, he was brought on foot to the icon. Praying fervently, the prince promised to build a monastery on this site, and to give to it all of the lands visible from the hill. After these prayers, the prince gradually began to regain his sight. At first, he saw the path, then nearby objects, and finally all of his surroundings. After venerating the icon, the prince had a moleben served. After the moleben, all of those present erected there a wooden church dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. They cut down the tree in which the icon had rested, and used its wood to fashion boards upon which to write other icons. At the same time, it was determined that the Svena Icon of the Mother of God would be celebrated on 3 May.

The icon became glorified for its healing of the blind and of those possessed by demons, and as a protection against enemies.