The name of this icon comes from that of Mt. Kykkos
in the north-western part of Cyprus.
The holy image, which, according to a legend, was painted by the Apostle
St.Luke, was sent by him to the Egyptian Christians. In Egypt, however,
disturbances broke out and. in order to save the icon, it was translated to a
secluded island. On the way there it was seized by Arabs, but soon Byzantines
recaptured it and sent it to the imperial palace in Constantinople.
In the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), the icon was translated
There exist numerous legends associated with this event, which tell about
countless cures of members of the imperial family and common people. This
miracle-working icon has one interesting feature: no one can see its original,
for it is kept under a coverlet. He who dares lift the coverlet will suffer
God's punishment. In 1699, Patriarch Gerasimus of Alexandria removed the
coverlet and was punished. Only after he offered a prayer to the Mother of God
was his wrongdoing forgiven. Apparently, it was in the 17th century that copies
of this miraculous icon appeared in Russia. Feast day; November 12/25.