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Icon of the Mother of God of Tsarskoe Selo


Commemorated on November 27

The Tsarskoe Selo Sign Icon of the Mother of God, an ancient wonderworking icon, was brought as a gift to Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich by one of the Eastern Patriarchs, supposedly St. Athanasius of Constantinople. Tsar Peter I transferred the icon, together with other sacred items from Moscow, to his new capital city that he named St. Petersburg.

In 1747, a church was built for the icon at Tsarskoe Selo (the “Tsar’s Village”), which was approximately 30 miles from Peter’s capital. Moliebens were served before it during times of national catastrophe, for example, during a plague in 1771, cholera in 1831, and before the onset of World War I in 1914. Prayers before the Tsarskoe Selo Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “of the Sign” were also offered entreating the Mother of God’s help during fires and shipwrecks. It was the favorite icon of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia.

On the icon, Cherubim shade the head of the Mother of God. More recent copies of the icon depict the Apostle Peter, Sts. Zachariah, Alexis the Man of God, and Righteous Elizabeth.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (

Icon shown is not identical to that described. (