Moscow, June 19, 2017
The icon in his hands had been missing from St. Parasceva’s Church in Barabanovo, Krasnoyarsk, in south central Russia, for nearly 100 years, reports Komsomolskaya Pravda. Before the revolution it was kept in the village church, which is considered one of the masterpieces of Siberian wooden architecture, affectionately known as “Kizhi of Krasnoyarsk.” Kizhi is an island near the geometrical center of the Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, known for its two 19th century wooden churches and bell tower.
The church was plundered in the first years of Soviet rule. All the sacred objects, including the icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, were pilfered. And now, nearly a century later, the icon has returned to the church.
“I was dismantling a ruined wooden house on Komsomolskaya Street,” recalls Viktor Golovinkin of nearby Zheleznogorsk, “when suddenly I noticed some object between timbers. I pulled it out, and it was an icon. Of course I immediately took it to our church.”
The icon was kept in the Zheleznogorsk church for three years, when they found out that it was from St. Parasceva’s in Barabanovo, and decided it had to be returned to its rightful place.
“It is faded; St. Nicholas’ face is barely visible,” says Fr. Anatoly Kizyun. “The exact age is not yet known; it’s probably from the nineteenth century. The image and riza require serious restoration, then the Orthodox relic will be placed in the Church of St. Parasceva in Barabanovo. The icon has returned home, as the church is being revived, and it is a miracle.”
Reconstruction is currently underway in the Church of St. Parackeva, with patrons from throughout the world.