The holy icon of Our Lady of Kazan depicts the Mother of God with Her face turned to Her Son, who is standing with His right hand raised in a gesture of blessing.
According to tradition, the icon was given by Patriarch Germanus II of Constantinople to the citizens of Kazan as a sign of support and comfort in the 13th century, in times of constant barbarian invasions. Later, in 1438, when the city was captured by the Tatars, the icon inexplicably disappeared.
In 1579 the Holy Mother of God appeared to a young girl named Matrona and showed her the place where the holy icon was buried.
Matrona told her mother about the vision and then informed the archbishop of Kazan, Saint Gurias. Thanks to the girl, on July 8, 1579, the icon was rediscovered. St. Gurias carried it with great honor and with the participation of all the Christian inhabitants of the city to the church of St. Nicholas.
The history of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan is associated with countless miracles, the first of which was the healing of the blind Joseph. The icon was such an important symbol of faith that the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Mikhail Feodorovich (1613-1645), established two feasts in its honor. One religious, on the occasion of the finding of the holy icon - July 8, and one national, in honor of the liberation of the Russians from the Poles - October 22. Whenever members of the royal dynasty intended to become engaged, they crossed their rings over the icon for blessing.
In the 19th century, the icon was stolen, apparently because of its precious setting. The setting was later recovered, but not the icon.
In Greece, replicas of the icon are kept in the main temple of the Panagia Monastery in Keratea, in the chapel of Saint Xenia in Mandra, Attica, and in the church of the Annunciation of Mary in Kallithea, Attica. Another replica of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan is kept in the monastery of Saint Panteleimon in Mount Athos.
The holy icon is venerated on July 8 (21) and October 22 (November 4).