Ukrainian Church establishes new feast of wonderworking Viliya Icon of Mother of God

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church established a new feast at its session in the Kiev Caves Lavra on December 6, in honor of the wonderworking Viliya Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign.”

By decision of the Synod, the miraculous icon will be celebrated annually on the Thursday before Pentecost, as it was on that day 130 years ago that the small copper icon miraculously came out from under the floor of the Ostapchuk family.

Archpriest Alexander Zhuk, rector of the Church of St. Paraskeva in the village of Viliya in the Rivne Province, was involved in preparing the necessary documents for the glorification of the icon and was prompted to such work by the Mother of God herself, he told a correspondent of the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

“I have been the rector in the church in Viliya for twelve years already, and many miracles have occurred right before my very eyes during this time: People who go to the ‘Sign’ icon with sicknesses and problems have received healing and answers,” Fr. Alexander commented. “Over time, I realized we needed to keep a special book where everyone who was healed could write about it. There have turned out to be many stories of healings.”

Fr. Alexander worked for several years in the archives in Zhytomyr, Kiev, and Rivne to gather all the required documents, where he managed to find confirmation of miracles from the Viliya Icon even from a century ago.

“There is a record of the miraculous salvation of the inhabitants of Viliya in wartime, when the Nazis wanted to burn people and drove them to the temple, and locked them in. According to recollections, people prayed with inspiration at the ‘Sign’ icon and a miracle happened! It is not known why, but the Germans did not set fire to the Church and left the village,” Fr. Alexander explained.