Saturday, June 26, 2004

Our Lady of Tikhvin

MOSCOW — A radiant image of the mother of God and her somber-faced child, so enchanting that it inspired Ivan the Terrible to build a monastery, has returned to its home in Russia, luring tens of thousands of people to stand in line for hours to see it.

All day Friday, a chain of people stretched for up to a mile around the Church of the Savior in central Moscow, where the Virgin of Tikhvin icon — considered a protector of the nation since the 14th century — returned this week after a 60-year hiatus in the United States.

By midday, visitors were facing waits as long as three hours to enter the church and approach the large, silver-framed icon that was hidden after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, smuggled out of the Soviet Union after World War II and reposited in the home and church of a Russian Orthodox archbishop in Chicago.

More here.