This icon was found on the day
of the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, on March 2 (15), 1917
under miraculous circumstances: a woman from a remote village had
had a repeated dream in which she had been urged to go to the town
of Kolomenskoe (now within the city limits of Moscow) to search
for "the large dark icon". In the church of Kolomenskoe she could
not recognize any of the icons present there; then, finally, the
priest showed her an old icon which had been kept in the basement
of the church, and that was it.
The icon depicts the Most Holy
Theotokos as a Queen sitting on a throne with the scepter and globe,
symbols of the royal authority. It was large (about 3' x 5') and
indeed very dark; apparently, it had been out of use for over 100
years, since the invasion of Napoleon.
The appearance of this icon
was understood as a sign that the Heavenly Queen has now accepted
responsibility for the fate of the Holy Russia, once the land has
lost its earthly Monarch. Its veneration was wide spread, until
the authorities confiscated the icon. Its whereabouts were unknown,
although many similar icons have been painted in commemoration of
that event. Recently the original icon has been recovered and placed
in the church of Kolomenskoe in Moscow.