The Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God is an important religious symbol that has been
venerated in Russia for centuries. It is believed to have first appeared to Prince Vasily of
Kostroma in 1239 while he was out hunting. The icon was named after the Church of St. Feodor
Stratilates in Kostroma and it quickly gained a reputation for its miraculous powers.
The icon depicts the Mother of God cradling the Christ Child lovingly in her arms, with her right
arm supporting him. This type of iconography is called umilenia and it was developed in
Byzantium during the 11th century. What sets the Feodorovskaya icon apart is the fact that the
Christ Child’s leg is depicted as bare, which is not often seen in other icons.
The Feodorovskaya icon played an important role in Russian history. In 1613, Maria Ivanovna
blessed her son Mikhail Feodorovich in front of the icon, which was seen as a sign that he was
destined to ascend the throne. The icon became a favorite of the Russian tsars and was highly
venerated in the Assumption Cathedral of the Feodorovsky Monastery, which is located in the
Nizhny Novgorod area.
Today, the Feodorovskaya icon can be found in the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg, where it is
among the most cherished icons. It continues to be a source of inspiration and devotion for
people around the world, who are drawn to its beauty and spiritual power.
Commemoration day: March 14 and August 16