A miracle-working icon of John the Baptist stolen from Liadova Orthodox monastery

February 7, 2017. An ancient miracle-working icon of St. John the Baptist was stolen from Liadova beheading rock monastery named in the night of 6th to 7th of February. It is reported by the UOJ correspondent.

Malefactors burgled the door of the temple of “Rejoice and Consolation” Holy Virgin and of all sanctities available there hankered only after St. John the Baptist icon. The ancient icon with a small casket containing relics of the saint was embellished with plenty of golden and silver pendants, which were gifted by the faithful as a sign of their gratitude for the miracles worked upon the saint’s intercession. An over meter-high icon was standing in the central part of the temple before the Ambon and could immediately catch an eye of robbers. The icon’s size and its solid wooden frame make it quite heavy – one person could hardly manage such weight.

None of the monastery’s residents did not hear the door being smashed and did not hear the evil-doers. Liadova monastery is located in rocks on the Dnieper bank at the height of over 100 meters; during that ill-starred night strong wind and heavy snowfall muffled the sounds. On top of that, the temple “Rejoice and Consolation” Holy Virgin is situated on the third floor of the brethren’s building from the opposite side to their cells.

In the morning a crime scene team arrived at the place, led personally by director of Mogiliov-Podolsky police department Valery Zhuchkovsky. The policemen found the icon in the forest not far from the monastery covered with snow. Golden and silver pendants were torn off from the sanctity, but the image and casket with relics were not damaged. There were found some golden items near the icon, too.

According to the police communications department in Vinnitsa region, the law-enforcers are carrying out operative events to establish the people involved in the crime. The icon was returned to the monastery and put at the same place.

“This icon of St. John the Baptist with a piece of his relics is ancient – it was sent by God to our monastery and it has been to many regions of Ukraine,” says the Reverend Father of Liadova Beheading monastery Archimandrite Anthony (Netrebin). “The icon is miracle-working; it has bestowed a lot of healings, that’s why it had so many pendants.”

As the Reverend Father noted, due to the plunder the gate construction to the monastery will be accelerated and the security tightened. “Now people have become very aggressive and indifferent to sanctities. There have been arsons and plunders at so many churches! I think the reason is the propaganda against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

Liadova monastery is one of the oldest in Ukraine. It was founded by the Venerable Anthony of Kiev-Pechersk Caves earlier than the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and in 2013 celebrated its 1000 anniversary. In 1938 the monastery was exploded by the Soviet power. Its rebirth began in 1998.