MOTHER OF GOD OF NICULA
Through the most holy treasures that have enlightened the life of the Orthodox Christians from Translvania, is the Holy Icon of the Mother of God from the Romanian Orthodox Nicula Monastery. Around this Holy Icon have gathered, as to bastion of freedom and peace, generations and generations of Romanian Orthodox Christians. For more than three centuries, the most venerated icon has brought comfort and support to many shattered souls that prayed before it.
The history of the holy relic begins in 1681 with the pious priest Luca (Luka) from Iclod. He continued an old tradition of these places, painting icons for the faithful, true Scriptures given to the people for eternity. After a few years the Holy Icon was brought from the priest by a peasant and given to the church in Nicula. On the 15th of February 1694, a few Austrian officers came into the church while they were admiring the Holy Icon they saw it was weeping… real tears were coming out of the eyes of the Holy Mother of God. They ran and brought the priest and all the villagers and they all saw the tears that were falling on the ground. The Holy Icon kept weeping for 26 days, people would come and wipe the tears. There were many sick people that came touched the tears and were healed and none of the ones that saw the Holy Icon died of a violent death.
After many years the icon was taken by a Hungarian count to his castle, but the Romanian peasants asked it back and threatened the count with the burning of his castle if the icon was not returned. The Emperor from Wien decided that the icon will be put in a new church which will be a part of a monastery, built by the count, close to the Nicula village. The count built the church on the hills above Nicula and put the icon there.
In 1948 when the communists came to power in Romania, the Romanian Orthodox Church was persecuted, priests were imprisoned, churches burned to ashes and people were not allowed to go to pray or attend the Holy Services. The monks from Nicula were scared that the icon be again taken away from them, so they hid it in a small village near the monastery. It stood there for almost twenty years, but finally the authorities found out about it. The most pious Bishop Teofil of Cluj took it away from the hands of the atheists and brought it to the chapel of the Orthodox Theological Seminary of Cluj where it stayed until all the evil ones perished. On the 24th of March 1992 in one of the most incredible pilgrimages the icon was taken back to the Monastery of Nicula. Everyone walked more than 30 miles to get to the Monastery, singing hymns to the Theotokos all the way to the Monastery. Every year on the 15th of August, hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christians gather at the Holy Monastery of Nicula and praise the Icon and venerate the Holy Mother of God. Throughout the centuries, the Holy Icon has made many miracles, to all that came to ask for help and guidance.
Source : The Holy and Weeping Icon of the Mother of God : Fr Demetrios Serfes
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