VALAAM

The skete of the Konevskaya icon of Our Lady


All that is left from the Church in Konevsky skete.

A road laid in 1863-64 through the woods and among the rocks, leads from the western gates of the Bolshoi, [big] skete to three picturesque lakes. The largest one is Igumenskoje (Abbot's). Abbot Damaskin lived there in 1827-1834 in a wooden cell. Now only the largest larch tree on the island, (thirty-two metres high and one meter thick) and the foundations remind one of the hermitage.

In 1870 Abbot Damaskin decided to build a skete in honour of the Konevskaya (Acathistus) icon at the site where his hermitage stood once. With that icon, in 1393, St. Arseny was blessed in Athos Greece to establish a monastery of Our Lady in the North of Russia. The icon is distinguished by two pigeons nestling in the hands of Our Lord signifying a pure offering for a male child. St. Arseny founded the Konevsky monastery, which gave the icon its name. The icon was especially worshipped in St. Petersburg, Novgorod, and the Ladoga region. Since 1956 the miraculous icon is in the New Valaam monastery in Finland. The copy of the icon from the skete is lost.

The wooden church on the rocky cape between Igumenskoje and Mustajarvi lakes was designed by G.I. Karpov. The modest single-domed church with a belfry is the smallest on Valaam. In mid-1950s all buildings of the skete were pulled down with only the foundations remaining. The church was moved to the main estate and turned into a feed-preparation house for the pigsty. Later, the profaned church was burnt to the ground by fire.


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VALAAM