May 14th: Theotokos of Vladimir (4)

The Russians attribute three victories against the Tatars to the favor of the Vladimir Virgin: on the 26th of August 1395, on the 23rd of June 1480 and the 21st of May 1521.

In 1395, Timur (Tamerlane) and his army of Tatars advanced on Moscow. Preceded by his reputation, there was great fear that Tamerlane would inflict the same damage to Moscow as he did to Tokhtamysh only twelve years before. The Christians had only one hope: God’s divine help. The Grand Duke of Moscow, Vasiliy Dmitrievich, requested that the Virgin of Vladimir be carried from Vladimir to Moscow. The procession took ten days and all along it’s path, people kneeled in front of the icon, begging: “O Mother of God, save the Russian Land!” Once the icon reached Moscow, the people of the city were ready:  in a grand procession, led by the Metropolitan, the clergy, the Duke and his family, the icon was taken to the Dormition Cathedral in the Kremlin. The Mother of God heard the prayers of the Russian people and in a dream, warned Tamerlane not to come near Moscow. Tamerlane, frightened by the power of Mary, fled with all his armies of Tatars.

After being in Vladimir for nearly 250 years, the famous icon was officially placed in the Dormition Cathedral, in the Kremlin. Thanks to Mary’s intercession, Moscow was spared again three times from the invasion of the Mongols: in 1408, 1451 and in 1459.

Rejoice, you who has redeemed us from the pagan religion.
Rejoice, you who has rescued us from the works of mire.
Rejoice, you who ceased the worship of fire.
Rejoice, you who saves us from the flames of passions.
Rejoice, Guide of the faithful to chastity.
Rejoice, O Delight of all generations.