Orthodox America


ICONS OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

"Yakhrom" Commemorated October 14


Not far from the ancient Russian city of Vladimir, near a spring which fed into the river Yakhrom, two travellers stopped to rest. One was a pious landowner who was ill; the other was his indentured servant, a youth by the name of Cosmas. Fatigued by the journey, the sick man fell asleep. Suddenly Cosmas noticed a blinding light coming from a nearby tree and he heard a mysterious voice:

"Attend and understand the words of life. Show forth a God-pleasing life and seek the joy of the righteous, and then you shall enjoy eternal good things."

In the tree the youth caught sight of an icon of the Mother of God. Reverently, he took the icon and placed it upon his master, who then woke up, miraculously healed.

Soon Cosmas' period of service came to an end. Obedient to the mysterious voice which had told him to leave the world for the sake of God, Cosmas made his way to the Kiev-Caves Lavra. In view of his youth, he was accepted with difficulty into the brotherhood, but he soon proved himself worthy of the monastic calling, amazing even the experienced monks with his strict ascetic practices.

Years went by and an angel appeared to Cosmas, telling him to return to the place where he had found the Icon. He did so, and again the place filled with ineffable light. There St. Cosmas founded a monastery dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God. He delighted in receiving pilgrims and travellers, and in visiting the sick. Many faithful were attracted to the monstery by the Yakhrom Icon, which, for more than four centuries, continued as a source of miracles and the mercy of the Heavenly Queen.

The wonderworking Yakhrom Icon is commemorated on the day of its discovery, October 14. Fr. Cosmas reposed on February 18, 1492, and was acknowledged by the Church as having entered the ranks of the saints.

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