The Seven Lakes (Sedmiezernaya) Icon of the Mother of God was glorified by great miracles in the seventeenth century in the area around the city of Kazan. This holy icon was in the Seven Lakes hermitage near the city of Kazan. Originally, seven small lakes surrounded the monastery, but these later merged into one large body of water.
The wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God was brought from Great Ustiug near Kazan on October 13, 1615 by the monk Euthymius, founder of the Seven Lakes monastery. He placed this icon in the temple of the newly established monastery.
In the middle of the seventeenth century, a deadly plague raged throughout all Russia, and reached Kazan. There 48,000 men died within a short time, almost all the inhabitants of the city.
A certain pious monk had a vision in a dream: a radiant man apeared to him and commanded that the inhabitants of the city should establish a seven-day fast and go out to meet the icon of the Mother of God which was coming to them from the Seven Lakes hermitage for their deliverance.
The monk told the authorities about the vision. The Seven Lakes Icon was brought through the city gates in procession. After circling the entire stone city, it was placed in the church of the Annunciation. After an All Night Vigil and Liturgy the next morning, the icon was carried to visit homes in the wooden city. After seven days of prayer and processions, the deadly pestilence began to abate.
When the monks asked to have their icon returned, it was decided to celebrate an All Night Vigil, then to carry the icon in procession back to the hermitage. A heavy snow storm came up, however, which prevented them from leaving the church. This was repeated three times, so it was decided to let the holy icon remain in Kazan for a time. It was returned to the Seven Lakes monastery in 1655.
Today’s Feast commemorates a second deliverance of Kazan from pestilence in 1771. Orthodox inhabitants of Kazan and the surrounding area deeply revere this holy icon, and receive healing from sickness and help in misfortune from the Mother of God.
The Seven Lakes Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is also commemorated on October 13 and June 26.