The image of The Mother of God of Kazan is said to have come to Russia from Constantinople in the 13th century. After the Tatars besieged the city of Kazan in 1438, the icon disappeared, and it is not mentioned again until the 16th century, years after the liberation of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible in 1552.
After a fire destroyed Kazan in 1579, the Mother of God appeared in a prophetic dream to a 10-year-old girl named Matrona and told her where to find the precious icon. As instructed, the girl told the archbishop about her dream, but he did not take her seriously. After having the dream two more times, the girl and her mother dug deep in the earth and found the icon buried under the ashes of a house where it had been hidden decades earlier to save it from the Tatars. The unearthed icon looked as bright and beautiful as if it were new. Thousands of people flocked to the spot where the icon was discovered and a neighborhood parish priest took the icon to a nearby church. This priest would later become the Patriarch of all Russia and Our Lady of Kazan Russia’s symbol of national unity. Numerous replicas have been made of the famous icon.