The Novonikita Icon is one of the ancient icons of the Mother of God. It appeared to the holy Great Martyr Nikita (+ 372). St Nikita was a former soldier and disciple of Theophilus, Bishop of the Goths. Prior to his Baptism, Nikita saw a Child in a dream, holding His Cross in His hand. He awoke and pondered the meaning of the vision for a long time.
A certain Christian girl by the name of Juliana, inspired by God, told the youth that he should look at his own chest. To his unspeakable astonishment he discovered there an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos with the Pre-eternal Christ Child, standing on His Mother’s knees and holding the Cross in His hand.
“This is the same image I saw in the dream,” cried St Nikita. The appearance of the icon produced such an effect on him that he quickly received holy Baptism. Soon there was a persecution against Christians, and St Nikita received a martyr’s crown, together with a number of other confessors.