Our Lady of Vladimir is the most ancient and revered icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Russia. According to legend, the icon was painted by St. Luke, the Apostle and Evangelist, while the Mother of God was still alive. Upon seeing the icon, She said: “May the grace of the One Born of Me, and My own, be with this icon.” At first the icon was located in Jerusalem and was then transferred to Constantinople. Later still, the Patriarch sent a special copy of the icon to Yuri Dolgorukiy, the Grand Prince of Kiev. Since then, the entire history of the Russian land has been connected with the history of this miraculous icon. Of particular note are the three occasions when the Mother of God heeded the plea of the people who prayed in front of Her icon and saved Russia from three separate enemy invasions. Our Lady of Vladimir was present whenever an important political act was to be performed: when someone swore an oath of allegiance to Russia, when Tsars or Emperors were crowned and when metropolitans or patriarchs were elected. On the reverse of the scapular one can find the end of the troparion to Our Lady of Vladimir.
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