This day of unity...

16:06 04.11.2010 • Armen Oganesyan , Editor-in-Chief, International Affairs

Troublesome times - what strange words, if you think about it. Vaguely in the heart, in the mind, and in the consciousness, we pass on the blame, and blame faceless time.

National Unity Day on November 4th falls at the same time as the holy day for the icon of Our Lady of Kazan. In this "coincidence" there are many symbolic meanings that are so closely intertwined with each other, which do not leave indifferent even those who believe in chance ... Let us start with how the icon was miraculously found.

A girl named Matrona, from the most simple of backgrounds, saw the Mother of God in a dream and she urged her to find an icon buried in the earth, pointing out the location where to search. Neither her mother nor her relatives, nor the governor of Kazan with his local officials, believed in the vision of the ten year old child, which, however, was repeated three times. In each case, the voice of the Virgin Mary sounded increasingly strict and more demanding.

At the time, Kazan was in ashes after a terrible fire had hit the town and Posad, and had not bypassed the Grand Duke’s court. The fire in June 1579 left a long memory, expelling many of the inhabitants of Kazan and leaving the remaining inhabitants in it in a desperate situation. Imagine to yourself that somewhere in the ashes and even somewhere in the earth lay a priceless treasure - it was strange and unbelievable news for the unfortunate victims of the fire. And only one person, namely the Metropolitan of Kazan, the future Patriarch Hermogenes, and also the future inspiration of the militia of Minin and Pozharsky, believed this simple soldier's daughter.

Excavations in the place specified in the dream uncovered the remains of old garments of cherry colored cloth. When it was opened out, an icon was found inside bearing bright shining letters with a picture of the face of the Blessed Virgin. The future patriarch was the first witness to describe the miraculous healings from the icon that healed mainly the blind. A baby that was blind from birth was put before the icon, and from this moment is a touching story of how, after being cured, seeing a red apple being presented to him, he immediately reached out to it and started to grab it. However, it healed people of all ages from blindness, including the elderly.

Perhaps the memories of this property of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God to cure people from blindness prompted the Patriarch Hermogenes to raise the icon, like a banner, over the militia in 1611. In his famous letters, Hermogenes urged the people to forget strife and discord, mutual resentment and old scores, and turning to the people of every background, argued that "if there are limits to your discontent, for God's sake, leave them back in time."

The Patriarch urged the people to abandon blindness, mistrust and suspicion of various "parties" and classes that had accumulated over the years of the troubled times, to see the light, and look around: "Is not all already ruined and desecrated by the evil curse? Where are all the Christian people? Did they really die a savage and sad death? Where are the countless working people in the towns and villages? Do they really all suffer and have been taken into captivity? Did they not shame themselves before their gray haired elders nor spare the innocent children. Have mercy before the shadow of death and destruction, and so you do not suffer the same painful death. So let your soldiers without hesitation rush to Moscow ..."

The statue of Patriarch Hermogenes, who was tortured by the Poles, should rightfully stand next to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square. One Russian historian described his role in overcoming the Russian turmoil: "The name of Patriarch Hermogenes should remain immortal in the history of Russia and the Russian Church, because he zealously, courageously, unwaveringly all stood for one and the other, he predominantly saved them in the most critical moment of their lives when they were threatened with the extreme danger of falling under the rule of Poland and the Jesuits and losing their identity."

One needs to say that the militia inspired by Hermogenes, when they came to Moscow, met with almost insurmountable difficulties, many of which, as it often is found in Russia, emerged thanks to their own side, and not strangers. "The arrival in Moscow of Prince Pozharsky’s militia, according to the Chronicle, met with many insurmountable obstacles to human strength, namely the need to take a well-fortified city heavily defended by the Poles, to fight off a large Polish army newly arrived to Moscow, to subdue self-interest, and the riot of Russian troops who met the newly arrived militia almost with hatred and showed them only hatred and betrayal. In addition, the lack of food in the devastated areas and the lack of weapons brought about a strong decline in the courage of the newly arrived militia. And many, losing the last spark of hope in deep grief exclaimed: "Forgive us, freedom of the Motherland! Forgive us, our sacred Kremlin! We have done everything for your freedom, but it seems it is not pleasing to God to bless our weapons for victory! "

The militia and the people in these desperate conditions set themselves a three-day fast and held an especially solemn mass in front of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. Following this, on October 22nd, 1612, Russian troops liberated the Kitay-gorod area of Moscow, and 2 days later cleared the Kremlin. It is noteworthy that the next day was Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the people from national turmoil and brutal occupation...

Three centuries later, in autumn 1917, Russia was going through the turmoil of new "accursed days." The Kremlin had been subjected to merciless shelling and its inhabitants took refuge in the underground Chudov monastery, where at the time Patriarch Hermogenes had been imprisoned by the Poles, seeking shelter near its holy relics.

Some time earlier, a peasant woman Evdokia Adrianova, who lived in Bronnitsky district, started to see a white church in her dreams. In all the dreams the same demand was repeated to find a black icon and make it red. The Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye prompted Evdokia that it was the one in her dreams. After telling all to the abbot of the temple, the peasant woman started a search, which at first did not yield any results. Finally, in the basement of the church an icon was found, blackened by time, so that the image of Christ seated on the lap of the Virgin and the royal regalia, which she held in her hands, a scepter and orb, were hardly distinguishable.

Of course, this is not just a historical "déjà vu." On the same day, March 2nd, 1917, members of the delegation of the State Duma, supported by the commanders at the front who changed their oath, forced Nicholas II to abdicate.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> 96 800x600 <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false RU JA X-NONE <!--[if gte mso 9]> <!--[if gte mso 10]> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Обычная таблица"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Calibri;} <!--StartFragment--> The secret veneration of the icon was supported by Patriarch Tikhon, who participated in the drafting of a service and litany. The appearance of the icon received the title of "Our Lady Derzhavnaya" and inspired the hope that by taking over the rule of Russia, the Mother of God will not leave her people...<!--EndFragment-->


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