• The Pilgrim

The Miraculous Icon of the Theotokos of Mukachevo

The Eparchy of Mukachevo in Ukraine is the mother eparchy (diocese) of Ruthenian Catholics in the United States. The Weeping Icon of Mariapoch, which I introduced on this blog a few weeks ago, used to be the Ruthenians' center of Marian pilgrimage. Unfortunately borders changed and Mariapoch in Hungary is now outside of the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Mukachevo.

Bishop Petro Hebey attempted to return the icon to the eparchy - without success.

On June 27 1926, however, Bishop Hebey was able to enthrone a new patroness of Mukachevo. Pope Pius XI gifted an ancient Carpatho-Rusyn icon of the Theotokos to the eparchy that had been hidden in the Vatican museums. The origin of this wonder working icon is unclear but it is signed with the date 1453 and is believed to originate from the famous St. Nicolas Monastery on Mount Chernecha (the mountain of monks) above the city of Muchachevo. Over 30,000 pilgrims attended its enthronement. The icon was entrusted to the care of the Basilian Fathers.

When the communists began to destroy Basilian monasteries in 1947, the icon was hidden in the homes of families of the monks. After being lost for some time it was rediscovered by the Basilians in 1998. The icon could not be returned to Mount Chernecha because St. Nicolas Monastery had come under Orthodox administration. The icon was transferred to the Basilian Monastery of Malij Bereznij where it is now displayed for public veneration on the monastery's patronal feast and on all Marian feast days.

A copy of the icon was consecrated in Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhgorod where the official pilgrimage of the Mukachevo Mother of God began on the Feast of Blessed Theodore Romzha, November 1, 2004. The icon traveled throughout the eparchy and returned to Uzghorod to the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God on August 26, 2006, where the icon is now on display for veneration.

Wonderworking Theotokos of Mukachevo, pray for us!

The Pilgrim

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