14 May 2017

The Head of the House of Romanoff presented to the Novospassky Monastery a copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, which has a historical connection to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich

On April 13/26, 2017, while on a visit to Russia, the Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, received a copy of the Kazan Icon of the Most Pure Mother of God from Archimandrite Sergii (Sturov) during an investiture ceremony for the Imperial Order of St. Anastasia the Alleviatrix of Captives, which took place at the Moscow estate once owned by the Polezhaev and Zubov noble families.


As an inscription on the back of the icon attests, the holy image was acquired by an official of the Governorate-General of Vilnius-Kovno and Grodno named Foma Silvanovich, who served under Active State Secretary Mikhail Semenovich Tyagolobova, in memory of the visit to Vilnius on August 9, 1893 (Old Style) of H.I.H. Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.  Foma Silvanovich spent 5 rubles on the icon, money he had been given in recognition of his service.

The Kazan Icon was later given to Archimandrite Sergii (Sturov) by his spiritual children in the town of Velikie Luki during a serious illness, which was healed miraculously after praying before it.

Her Imperial Highness gratefully accepted the gift, but expressed then her wish that the icon, which is priceless proof of the people’s love for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and the House of Romanoff, should stay in Russia so that it would remain accessible to the faithful. 

Pursuant to the Grand Duchess’ wishes, and with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Savva of Voskresensk, vicar bishop of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Abbot of Novospassky Monastery, on May 1/14, 2017, after the Divine Liturgy and a requiem service for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in the Church of St. Roman the Melodist, which commemorated the 160th anniversary of his birth (April 29/May 12, 1857), the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was presented by the Director of the Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia, Dr. Alexander N. Zakatov, to this church, where the remains of  Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, and the remains of many of Romanoff ancestors, are buried.

Among the important personages attending the services and ceremonies marking the 160th anniversary of the birth of H.I.H. the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich were:  S. V. Stepashin, Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society; A. V. Gromova, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Elisabeth and Sergei Educational Society; S. A. Popov, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the Regulation and Organization of Parliamentary Activities of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation; S. N. Andriyaka, Director of the Academy of Fine Arts and Watercolours; and other community and civic leaders.

Other images and descriptions (in Russian) of these events are posted on the official website of the Novospassky Monastery. 

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