History of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God

July 2nd, 2010 by admin

No one really knows how the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God came into existence. Its designer and year and location of creation have all been lost to history.

The written history of the icon begins in 1559, when the Greek metropolitan Neophit donated the icon to a rich landowner named Anna Hoyska. Lady Hoyska had donated a large sum of money to the church, and as a gesture of appreciation, the metropolitan gave the icon to her to put in her estate’s chapel. In time, Lady Hoyska noticed something unique about the icon. Occasionally, she or her workers would notice that the icon would unexplainably glow. Knowing that this glow had divine origins, Lady Hoyska asked her brother Philip, who was blind from birth, to pray for his sight in front of the icon. And miraculously, his sight was restored!

Years after the death of Lady Hoyska, her heir, Andrew Ferley, a militant Protestant, and his wife came into possession of the icon. Eyewitnesses report that during a party, Ferley’s wife began desecrating the statue, mocking it. She was then struck with insanity, which remained for over 19 years.

In 1644, Ferley lost a lawsuit, and was forced to give back the icon and lands he took from a Catholic monastery in 1641. Grateful villagers built a shrine for the icon on the site of a holy spring nearby, and the icon has remained there, with some interruption, to the present day.

This replica icon from Ukraine was brought to St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Catholic Church in Apopka by Father Ivan Kubishyn in September 2004. Father Kubishyn celebrated a Divine Liturgy with the blessing of the icon on November 21, 2004.

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