Orthodox icon | Mother of God Kazanskaya | Bronze | 24856


  • Typ: Russian icon
  • Material: Bronze
  • Age: 19th century
  • Size: 14.5 x 12 cm | 5.7 x 4.7 in


Orthodox icon | Mother of God Kazanskaya | Bronze | 24856.

Constructed from bronze, brass, or a comparable yellow-toned metal, this icon presents a unique depiction of Jesus and the Mother of God. Jesus, rather than being seated on his mother’s hand as traditionally depicted, stands to her left, his right hand uplifted in a blessing. The Mother of God’s head leans subtly towards her child, reflecting a tender maternal bond.

This significant icon made its miraculous appearance in the city of Kazan in 1579. A young girl named Matrona, aged nine, was blessed with three dreams wherein the Mother of God appeared. In these dreams, she was instructed to tell the archbishop and city guides about an icon of the Mother of God buried under the earth, specifically beneath the ashes of a recently burned house.

Initially, the girl’s words were dismissed.

Undeterred by this skepticism, Matrona, assisted by her mother, embarked on a mission to uncover the sacred icon. On July 8, they started excavating the indicated site. While the mother didn’t succeed, the moment Matrona began digging, the icon was unearthed. Astonishingly, despite its time in the ground, the icon was immaculately preserved, appearing as freshly painted.

In 1811, the icon was relocated to Moscow and was subsequently installed in the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, a structure built expressly to house the icon. The Kazan icon of the Mother of God is deeply revered throughout Russia, with images residing in every church and believer’s home.

It holds particular significance in matrimonial blessings, as newlyweds are blessed with the icon, and families pray for their well-being in front of it. The icon’s feast days fall on July 8 and October 22.

Surrounding the central figures of this icon are several other significant holy figures, each celebrated on their respective feast days. These include:

  1. The Orthodox Archangel Michael, celebrated on November 8, is a powerful and revered figure within the Orthodox Christian tradition. Recognized as the leader of all angels and as the protector of the Church and its faithful, Michael is often depicted in religious art as a valiant warrior, donning armor and bearing a sword or lance. He is also sometimes shown holding a shield with the inscription “Quis ut Deus,” a Latin phrase meaning “Who is like God,” a direct reference to his name’s meaning in Hebrew. His images often include scales, symbolizing his role in the weighing of souls during the Last Judgment. He is invoked for protection, particularly from evil and enemies, symbolizing strength, courage, and the triumph of good over evil.
  2. The Mother of God.
  3. Christ Pantocrator.
  4. Saint John the Precursor and Baptist, commemorated on June 24, is a highly revered figure in the Orthodox Christian faith. He is famously recognized as the fore-runner who prepared the way for Jesus Christ, hence the title ‘Precursor.’ Often depicted in a wilderness setting, referencing his life in the desert, John is also shown baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River, from which his title ‘Baptist’ originates. His depictions frequently include him wearing a hair shirt as a sign of his austere lifestyle and a scroll with the words “Behold the Lamb of God,” alluding to his significant role in identifying Jesus as the Messiah. His primary mission as a prophet was to call people to repentance, preparing them for the coming of Christ, making him a symbol of humility, purity, and steadfast faith.
  5. Archangel Gabriel, celebrated on November 8, is one of the most beloved figures in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Known as the messenger of God, Gabriel plays a crucial role in many pivotal events in the biblical narrative. He is most notably recognized for announcing the births of both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ to their respective mothers, Elizabeth and Mary. Typically, Archangel Gabriel is portrayed in iconography holding a lily, a symbol of purity, or a scroll that represents the divine messages he brings from God. Sometimes, he is depicted in the scene of the Annunciation, announcing to the Virgin Mary that she will bear the Son of God. Archangel Gabriel’s image is associated with messages of hope, revelation, and good tidings, underscoring his status as the celestial herald of God’s word.
  6. Apostle Peter, commemorated on June 29, is one of the most central figures in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Known as the rock upon which Jesus Christ built His Church, Saint Peter is revered as the first among the apostles and the first Bishop of Rome. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Peter is usually depicted as an older man with white hair and a short, square beard. He is often shown holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, a symbol of his spiritual authority bestowed upon him by Jesus. His image is associated with faith, leadership, and the foundational role he played in establishing the Church. Beyond his symbolic roles, Saint Peter is also known for his profound humanity. He was a fisherman by trade and is remembered for both his moments of deep faith and his human weaknesses, such as his denial of Christ. This combination of spiritual greatness and human fallibility makes him a compelling and relatable figure within the Orthodox tradition.
  7. Apostle Paul, commemorated on June 29, is a highly revered figure in the Orthodox Christian faith. Originally known as Saul of Tarsus, he underwent a profound conversion from being a persecutor of Christians to one of the most influential apostles of Christ. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Paul is often depicted as a man of advanced age, balding with a long, pointed beard. He is frequently shown holding a scroll or a book, symbolizing his significant contributions to the New Testament with his epistles, or letters, to early Christian communities.
  8. Saint Basil the Great (January 30), also known as Basil of Caesarea, is one of the most influential figures in Orthodox Christianity. Celebrated as a Doctor of the Church, he is renowned for his significant contributions to Christian theology, monasticism, and liturgical practices. Born into a devout Christian family in the 4th century, Saint Basil was well-educated in Christian and Greek philosophy. His intellectual prowess, combined with a deep faith, resulted in his authorship of numerous works on theology, asceticism, and canon law, which have remained central to Orthodox thought and doctrine.
  9. Saint Gregorius the Theologian, also known as Gregory of Nazianzus, is a distinguished figure in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Celebrated as one of the Cappadocian Fathers, along with Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, he is remembered for his eloquent preaching and significant contributions to the formulation of Trinitarian theology. His feast days are commemorated on January 25 and January 30. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Gregorius is usually depicted as a bishop, often holding a Gospel book, indicative of his profound theological writings and homilies.
  10. Saint John Chrysostom, celebrated in the Orthodox Christian faith, is widely recognized for his eloquent preaching and public speaking, which earned him the name Chrysostom, meaning “golden-mouthed” in Greek. His sermons not only touched on spiritual and theological matters, but also societal issues, providing moral guidance to his congregation. His feast days are observed on January 30, commemorating his role as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, and November 13, marking his own feast. In Orthodox iconography, Saint John Chrysostom is typically portrayed as a bishop with a high forehead and a thin beard, signifying his wisdom and spiritual stature. He is often seen holding a book or scroll, representative of his influential homilies and treatises. His legacy extends beyond his sermons; as the Archbishop of Constantinople, his liturgical contributions, particularly the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, have had a lasting impact and are still widely used in the Orthodox Church today.
  11. Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker, is one of the most popular and beloved saints in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Celebrated on December 6, Saint Nicholas is renowned for his deep compassion for the poor and his numerous miracles, which earned him the epithet “Wonderworker”. Born in the 3rd century in the city of Patara (modern-day Turkey), he served as the Bishop of Myra during a time of intense persecution of Christians. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Nicholas is often depicted as a bishop, wearing liturgical vestments and carrying a Gospel book, indicative of his episcopal status and his dedication to spreading the teachings of Christ. He is also frequently shown with three gold balls or bags of gold, symbolizing his most famous miracle, where he secretly provided dowries for three impoverished sisters to save them from slavery. Today, Saint Nicholas is revered as a protector of sailors, merchants, repentant thieves, children, and students, and his image and legends form the basis for the modern-day figure of Santa Claus.
  12. Saint George, a celebrated figure in the Orthodox Christian tradition, is widely recognized for his bravery and unwavering faith. Although born to Christian parents in the late third century in Cappadocia, an area in modern-day Turkey, he spent much of his life in the Roman army. Saint George is revered for his refusal to renounce his Christian faith during the Diocletian persecution, a stance which ultimately led to his martyrdom. His feast days are observed on April 23 and May 6. Saint George is most often depicted in Orthodox iconography as a warrior on horseback, slaying a dragon with a lance. This symbolic representation is derived from a legend in which he saved a princess by slaying a fearsome dragon, an allegory of his triumph over evil. The image of Saint George and the dragon has become one of the most iconic in Christian art. Today, Saint George is regarded as a patron saint of numerous cities and countries, and his legacy of faith and courage continues to inspire Christians worldwide.
  13. Saint Demetrios of Saloniki, also known as Demetrius of Thessaloniki, is a revered martyr in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Born in the 3rd century in Thessaloniki, Greece, he came from a wealthy and influential family. Despite his high social status, Demetrios chose to devote himself to Christ, becoming an ardent preacher of Christianity. His zealous preaching and conversion efforts during the reign of Emperor Maximian, a time of fierce Christian persecution, eventually led to his imprisonment and martyrdom. His feast day is observed on October 26. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Demetrios is usually depicted as a young man in military garb, symbolizing his status as a soldier martyr. He is often shown holding a cross, a spear, or a sword, referencing the manner of his martyrdom. He is also sometimes presented on horseback, slaying a gladiator named Lyaeus, reminiscent of his victory over paganism. Known for the miracles associated with his relics, Saint Demetrios is highly venerated as a powerful intercessor and the protector of Thessaloniki. His enduring legacy continues to inspire the faithful with his unwavering commitment to the Christian faith.
  14. Saint Venerable Zosima, celebrated in the Orthodox Christian tradition, is known for his spiritual contributions as a monk and for his association with Saint Mary of Egypt. Living in the 5th-6th century, he spent much of his life in the desert wilderness, dedicated to a life of deep prayer, fasting, and penitence. He is commemorated on April 17 in the Orthodox Church. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Zosima is typically depicted as an elder monk, illustrating his life of deep asceticism and spiritual contemplation. He is often seen with Saint Mary of Egypt, symbolizing their spiritual connection. Their story is one of repentance and redemption, showing the transformative power of faith and prayer. Zosima’s encounter with Saint Mary in the desert, where he gave her Holy Communion, is one of the most memorable aspects of his life. Saint Zosima is venerated as a model of monastic virtue and is regarded as a beacon of spiritual wisdom.
  15. Saint Venerable Sabbatios, revered in the Orthodox Christian tradition, is known for his dedication to asceticism and monastic life. Originating from the 15th century, he was a monk from the Monastery of Philotheou on Mount Athos, and later became one of the founders of the monastic community on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea. Saint Sabbatios led a life marked by prayer, hard work, and devotion to serving God. His feast day is celebrated on September 27. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Sabbatios is often portrayed as an elder monk, symbolizing his piety and devotion to monastic life. He is sometimes depicted with monastic attributes such as a prayer rope or a scroll, signifying his commitment to prayer and spiritual study. His life on the harsh, remote Solovetsky Islands is emblematic of his desire for solitude and his determination to devote himself entirely to God. Saint Sabbatios is remembered for his fervent spirituality, his commitment to the ascetic life, and his contributions to the monastic communities of Mount Athos and the Solovetsky Islands.
  16. Holy Guardian Angel.
  17. Saint John the Apostle, also known as John the Evangelist or John the Theologian, holds a special place in the Orthodox Christian tradition. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and is believed to be the author of the Gospel of John, three epistles, and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Known for his close relationship with Jesus, John was referred to in his own Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. His feast day is celebrated on May 8. In Orthodox iconography, Saint John is typically depicted as a young man without a beard, differentiating him from other apostles, and reflecting his youthful age during his time with Jesus. He is often shown holding a chalice, symbolizing the holy mystery of the Eucharist and a reference to the legend of his survival from a poisoned drink. Sometimes, a serpent is seen emerging from the chalice, directly referencing this event. In other representations, he is seen with a book or a scroll, alluding to his significant contributions to the New Testament. Saint John the Apostle is revered as a powerful intercessor and the patron saint of love, loyalty, friendships, and authors.
  18. Saint Andrew, also known as Andrew the Apostle or Andrew the First-Called, is a significant figure in the Orthodox Christian tradition. As one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, Andrew was originally a disciple of John the Baptist before he became the first disciple to follow Jesus, hence his title “the First-Called.” According to tradition, he later preached the gospel in various parts of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Andrew is also believed to have been martyred in Patras, Greece, crucified on an X-shaped cross, now commonly known as “Saint Andrew’s Cross”. His feast day is celebrated on November 30. In Orthodox iconography, Saint Andrew is frequently depicted as an old man with long, curly hair and a beard, symbolizing his wisdom and experience. He is often seen holding the Gospel and his distinctive X-shaped cross, emblematic of his martyrdom and evangelistic endeavors. As the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, Romania, and Greece, among other places, Saint Andrew’s influence spans various cultures and traditions. His courage in the face of adversity and his dedication to spreading the message of Christ have made him a revered figure within the Orthodox Church.

The detailed exploration of this icon can be found on page 68 of Jos Opdebeeck’s book “Metalen Ikonen – Blauwdruk van een verzameling,” published by Campinia Media vzw in 1997, with the ISBN: 90.356.1088.

Source: Orthodox icon | Mother of God Kazanskaya | Bronze | 24856 © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox icon | Mother of God Kazanskaya | Bronze | 24856
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