Outside the city of Constantinople, there was a sacred spring dedicated to the Virgin Mary. A monastery grew up there in the 5th century, and over time the spring was overgrown by a grove of trees. The Byzantine Emperor encountered a blind man who was thirsty, and he went to fetch water for him. He heard a woman's voice directing him to the spring. The blind man's sight was restored by the water, and worked many other miraculous cures.
This particular icon was painted in rural western Russia the 19th century in a simplified style that is found among the common people.
Our Lady of the Life-giving Spring has long been associated with prayer for the sick, and in the 20th century it also took on a special significance for those suffering from alcoholism and other addictions as the Inexhaustible Cup. The feast day of the Theotokos as the Life-giving Spring is celebrated on the Friday after Pascha, and the icon itself is commemorated on April 4.
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