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You're reading: Then & Now: Velyka Zhytomyrska Street still missing its grand church
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Stritennya (Meeting of the Lord) Church, at the intersection of Velyka Zhytomyrska and Stritenska streets, was one of dozens of temples demolished during the campaigns against religion in the U.S.S.R. It was believed to have been destroyed during Josef Stalin’s reign of terror in the 1930s.

It is rumored that this church dates back to the age of the landmark St. Sophia Cathedral and St. Michael’s Cathedral, with roots in medieval Kyivan Rus. But Kyiv historian Mykhaylo Kalnytskiy finds no evidence that Stritennya dates back that far – either in the Primary Chronicles of the time or in archaelogical reports. Kalnytskiy said that, according to scientists, the original wooden temple on this site did not appear before the 17th or 18th centuries.

One undisputed historical distinction is the church’s status as the historical home for the honored Icon of the Mother of God – the “consolation for all who have sorrows.” It attracted many pilgrims who believed contact with the icon would improve their health. The holy image also had other miraculous properties, according to legend, even helping unmarried women find husbands.

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