Dear Batjushka, Matushka, brothers & sisters,
Tomorrow, the 6th of March, is a special day for our St Nicholas Monastery in the town where I live - the celebration of the Mother of God Kozelschanskaya. This sacred image is specially honoured in our monastery. Here is a story about this icon, and in the attached file you can see some photos of this image. In our monastery it's a bit different, very close to the 3rd photo.
"The Kozelschanskaya Icon of the Mother of God, glorified in 1881, is one of the more recently glorified icons, and at the same time, one of the most revered. The Icon is of Italian origin, and was brought to Russia by one the women in the court of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna (1741-1761). The Icon's owner married Siromakh, clerk of the Zaparozhie army. In this way, the Icon happened to come to Ukraine. In the 19th century, it belonged to and was the family icon of the Kapnistovs. The Icon was in the village of Kozelschina, Poltava District. During Cheesefare Week, 1880, Maria, daughter of V.I. Kapnistov, fell ill. A local doctor concluded that her leg had twisted to the side, causing her to suffer a minor sprain. He applied a plaster cast. Some time later, she was taken to a surgeon in Kharkov, who also diagnosed a sprain. To lessen her pain on ambulation, he made a special steel spring-loaded boot which extended above the knee, and he prescribed that she take hot baths. Lent came and went, but the ill woman had still felt no relief.
After Pascha, Maria felt an awful pain in her good leg, which became twisted like the other. V. I. Kapnist once again consulted the doctor, who determined that there was a sprain in the left leg as well; he likewise strapped steel springs to that leg, and recommended that the child immediately be taken to the Caucuses for treatment, to include taking mineral baths and breathing the mountain air. The trip to the Caucuses and the course of treatment caused the girl even more suffering. Her strength flagged, and she lost all feeling in her arms and legs, to the extent that she could not even feel pinpricks. Upon examination, in addition to the other damage, they found derangements of the shoulder joints and of the left hip, and extreme sensitivity over the entire spinal column. Such a serious degree of illness, of an unknown etiology, caused them to return home. In October, the father took his sick daughter to Moscow, where he consulted the most eminent physicians. They reported that there was nothing they could do.
Both the sick child and her parents were already losing hope of finding salvation. However, they unexpectedly had the opportunity to turn to a professor from abroad. As he would not be coming to Moscow for some time, the sick girl asked to go home. The father allowed her to go to the village, after getting his wife's promise to bring their sick daughter to Moscow as soon as news of the professor's arrival was received. On February 21, 1881 they received word by telegram that the professor was en route to Moscow. The news caused the sick child to become distressed: would he, like the others, be powerless to do anything?
The mother, deciding to go the very next day, pointed to the family Icon of the Mother of God, and said to her daughter, "Masha, tomorrow we are going to Moscow. Take the Icon of the Mother of God, clean her riza, and pray fervently to our Intercessor. Ask her to help us have a successful journey and to heal your sickness." Having lost all hope in earthly physicians, the sick girl placed all her hope in God and entrusted her fate to help from Heaven. The Icon had long since been known to be miraculous. According to tradition, it especially helped maidens who came to it with prayers for a happy family life. It became the custom for the person offering such prayers to clean the riza, wiping it down with cotton or a towel. Pressing the Holy Icon to her breast, the sick child, with her mother's help, wiped it down, and before the image of the Mother of God poured out the full weight of her weakness, sorrow, and despair. The sick child's intense and fervent prayer was heard. She immediately felt strength in her arms and legs, and loudly shouted, "Mama, mama! I can feel my legs! Mama, I can feel my arms!" She wrenched off the metal braces and the bandages, and still holding the Icon of the Mother of God in her arms, had no problem walking about the room. They immediately summoned the village priest, who served a Thanksgiving Moleben before the Icon of the Mother of God. News of the joyous event quickly spread to the surrounding villages. The mother took her healed daughter, along with the Holy Icon of the Mother of God, to Moscow. Word of the healing quickly spread across Moscow, and crowds of people began to gather first at the hotel room, and then at the church to which the Icon was transferred; several other cases of healing ensued. By the time the family returned to Kozelschina, all the surrounding area knew of the miracles brought about in Moscow by the Kozelschanskaya Icon of the Mother of God, and many people came to bow down before the Holy Icon. It was no longer possible to keep the Icon at home, and on April 23, 1881, with the blessing of His Eminence Ioann, Archbishop of Poltava, the Icon was taken to a temporary chapel especially erected for it. Each day, beginning very early in the morning, Molebens and Akathists were chanted without cease.
In 1882 a church was erected. By direction of the Holy Synod, on March 1, 1885, a women's community was established; on February 17, 1891, it was transformed into a women's monastery dedicated to the Nativity of the Most-holy Theotokos.
Today, the Kozelschanskaya Icon of the Mother of God is in the Holy Protection Convent in Krasnogorsk, Kiev Diocese."
With love in God, & hoping for your prayers,