The icon of the Theotokos of Valaam.
Saint-Petersburg, May 22, 2006
The copy of the miracle working icon of Theotokos of Valaam returned to its home monastery at the Ladozhskoye lake. According to the press secretary of the Valaam monastery Mikhail Shishkov, the revered icon was met at the main cathedral on the island, where it would be kept from now on.
Oil-painted copy of the miracle working Valaam icon was delivered to the space station with the blessing of the great Northern monastery in September 2005. It was carried by a freight spaceship Progress M54, and, according to the astronauts, has purified the space station. Accompanying Sergey Krikalev and John Phillips it flew around the Earth more than a thousand times.
The original version of the Theotokos of Valaam was created at the end of the nineteenth century by the monk of the Valaam monastery Alipy (Konstantinov). The Mother of God is pictured full height, walking on clouds with Her Son in Her arms. The space station’s copy was painted by the brothers of the Valaam monastery. Visitors from the orbital space center arrived at the monastery last summer, and Bishop Pankraty (Zherdev) of Troitsk offered them the shrine to forward to the space station.