Our Lady of Vladimir
The veneration of the miraculous icons of the Mother of God — the main intercessor of Christians before the Lord — was inherited by Ancient Russia from Byzantium and over time became one of the most important features of Russian culture. No other country of the Orthodox world has ever known such a great variety of Theotokos images, which were considered the shrines of a separate city, principality, and sometimes the entire state.
It was in Russia that the genre of written legends about the history of these images and the miracles that occurred from them developed, which in the Late Middle Ages and in Modern times were illustrated in detail in the paintings of temples, in the stamps of icons and in the cycles of miniatures of manuscripts. The venerated icons of the Mother of God were prayed for protection and deliverance from disasters, princes and tsars took them with them on military campaigns, hoping for help in the battle against foreigners. In honor of such icons, church holidays were established and liturgical texts were compiled, temples and monasteries were founded. On the days of remembrance, the miraculous icons that led the solemn processions consecrated the space of the cities where they were located. These crowded processions with prayer services made especially noticeable the invisible symbolic connection between the venerated images of the Mother of God and the Mother of God herself, who through miracles provided unceasing heavenly patronage to her earthly "lot" — Holy Russia.
The book about the icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir — the main shrine of the Russian state, brought from Constantinople in the middle of the XII century, is devoted to the history of her glorification and understanding of the image. A significant place is given to summing up the results of many years of restoration research, the last of which gave unexpected results, forcing us to reconsider the traditional ideas about the original appearance and renovation of the shrine in Russia.