Ustyug icon of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Virgin


In 1290, the Lord God sent a heavy thundercloud threatening a rain of stone to the town of Ustyug in punishment for its people's grave sins. At the time, a righteous man by the name of Prokopy, a fool for Christ, was living in the town. Weeping bitter tears he begged the people of Ustyug to repent and thus to divert the severe thunderstorm from the town, but they responded with mockery and derision. One Sunday, Ustyug was surrounded by black clouds, lightning began to flash and the air grew stifling. It was only then that the people realized that their town was in danger of destruction. They hurried to churches, in particular, to the Cathedral of the Most Holy Mother of God, and began to fervently pray to the Heavenly Queen asking Her to beg Her Son to ward off the danger from Ustyug. The Mother of God heeded their prayers. The icon of Her Annunciation exuded myrrh, after which the threatening cloud moved away from the town and then burst into a rain of red-hot stones. Numerous sick people were subsequently anointed with the myrrh exuded by the icon and were cured of their diseases. About 1567, in the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the icon was moved to Moscow and installed in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin. Feast day: July 8/21.