Holy Prince Igor Chernigovsky Icons and Images - History

The Holy Prince Igor Chernigovsky was the son of Prince Oleg, great-grandson of Yaroslav the Wise. The middle of the 12th century was a time of sorrow for the Rus during the continuous internecine strife for the Kiev reign of two princely groups: Olegovichi and Mstislavich. Saint Igor, who by the will of God entered the struggle for the Kiev reign, had to atone for the martyrdom of the hereditary sin of princely feuds. Igor's elder brother Vsevolod Olegovich, who reigned in Kiev, decided to transfer the city to his brother Igor. This became a pretext for inciting hatred against Igor and all the Olegovichi. So Saint Igor, who was involved against the will in the very center of events, became an innocent victim of growing hatred.


August 1, 1146, Prince Vsevolod died, and the people of Kiev kissed the cross Igor as a new prince, and Igor kissed the cross of Kiev - rightly rule the people and protect it. But, breaking the cross kissing, the Kiev boyars immediately called Mstislavichi with the army. Under Kiev there was a battle between the troops of Prince Igor and Izyaslav Mstislavich. Once again breaking the cross kissing, the Kiev troops in the midst of the battle moved to the side of Izyaslav. Four days Igor Olegovich hiding in the swamps near Kiev. There he was taken prisoner, brought to Kiev and put in a chop. It was on August 13, all of his reign lasted two weeks.


In the "pore" (it was a cold log-house, without windows and doors, in order to free a man from it, it was necessary to "cut" it out), the long-suffering prince became seriously ill. They thought that he would die. In these conditions the opponents of the prince were allowed to "cut" him out of confinement and to shear in the schema in the Kiev Feodorovsky Monastery. With the help of God the prince recovered and, remaining a monk of the monastery, spent his time in tears and prayer.


The struggle for Kiev continued. Excited by pride and blinded by hatred, neither side wanted to yield. Wishing to take revenge on the family of Olegovich, and along with all the princes, the Kiev veche, a year later, in 1147, decided to crack down on the prince-monk.
Metropolitan and clergy tried to reason and stop them. Prince Izyaslav Mstislavich, who ruled in Kiev, and especially his brother Prince Vladimir, tried to prevent this senseless bloodshed, to save the holy martyr, but they themselves were endangered by a fierce crowd.
The rebels broke into the church during the holy liturgy, they grabbed the person praying before the icon of the Mother of God of Igor and dragged him to the massacre. At the gate of the monastery the crowd was stopped by Prince Vladimir. He managed to push Igor into the yard and shut the gate. But people broke the gate and, seeing Igor "in the passage", broke the canopy, stole the holy martyr and killed at the bottom steps of the stairs. The crowd was so bitter that the dead body of the sufferer was beaten and mocked, he was dragged with a rope by his legs to the Church of the Tithes, thrown there on a cart, taken and "staged for sale".


Thus, the holy martyr gave his spirit to the Lord "and put on the garments of a corruptible man, and put on the incorruptible and long-suffering garment of Christ." When in the evening of the same day the body of blessed Igor was transferred to the church of St. Michael, "God showed a sign above him, candles were all over him in that church." The next morning the holy sufferer was buried in the monastery of St. Simeon on the outskirts of Kiev.


In 1150 Prince Chernigov Svyatoslav Olegovich moved the relics of his brother St. Igor to Chernigov and put it in the Cathedral of the Savior.


The miraculous icon of the Mother of God, named Igorevskaya, before which the martyr prayed before the killing, was in the Great Dormition Church of the Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra (celebrated on June 5).