March 6

Mother of God, Kozelshchyna, Kobeliaky, Poltava, Ukraine

In the 1700s, an Italian lady in waiting to Empress Elizabeth brought this Italian icon to Russia. After marrying a clerk of the Cossack army, the lady and her icon moved to the Ukraine. The icon's feast on March 6 (February 21 in the old calendar) commemorates the healing of Maria, daughter of Count Vladimir Kapnist, who owned the icon in 1881. After cleaning its cover and praying before the sacred image, Maria recovered from a mysterious crippling illness. As its fame grew and miracles multiplied, the icon was moved to a chapel built for it on the estate in Kozelschyna, later enlarged to a church and then a convent. The image is of the Hodegetria type, the Virgin gesturing toward the Child in her left arm. Here, though, she holds a delicate cross in her right hand, and in the lower left, a table holds a cup and spoon -- possibly a reference to the Akathist Hymn to the Mother of God:

Hail, bath that washes clean the conscience. 
Hail, bowl in which the wine of joy is mixed.

Moved elsewhere for safekeeping during the Soviet era, the icon returned to the newly restored Nativity of the Mother of God convent church in Kozelschyna on February 23, 1993.

(Information from "Козельщинська Богородиця," Релігійний туризм, risu.org.ua/ua/relig_tourism/religious_region/33210/ and other sources. Akathist translated by Archimandrite Ephrem, web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/. Picture from "Козельщанская икона Божьей Матери," Medical Academy of Spiritual Development, www.madra.dp.ua/arctur/n12/p1.html.)   

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly