Sunday July 21, 2019 / July 8, 2019
The Appearance of the Icon of the MostHoly Mother of God in the City of Kazan (1579): On 1 October 1552, on the feastday of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God, at night, tsar Ivan IV in heading the Russian forces made ready for a decisive assault against the Tatar city of Kazan, and suddenly he heard the peeling of the Moscow bells. The tsar realised that this was a sign of the mercy of God: that through the prayers of the mighty commander-in-chief, the Lord deigned that the Kazan people should be converted to Him.
The surrender of Kazan on the feast of the Pokrov-Protection of the MostHoly Mother of God completed a course of events, initiated way back centuries earlier in the year 1164 by holy Prince Andrei Bogoliubsky (+ 1174, Comm. 4 July), against the Moslem Volga Bulgars. With the taking of Kazan, the Volga – the chief waterway route of the land, became finally a Russian river. And from Tatar servitude were liberated 60,000 Russian people. The enlightenment of the Tatars with the light of the Gospel truth was started. There were the first martyrs – Saints Peter and Stephen (Comm. 24 March). The newly established Kazan diocese entered into the complexion of the Russian Church and was soon illustrious in its own archbishops: Sainted Gurii (+ 1563, Comm. 5 December) and Sainted German (+ 1567, Comm. 6 November).