Not many people know that the icon whereat thousands of Christians are praying now is of Greek-catholic origin.
It was made in 1681 by a priest from Iclod, a village nearby Gherla town. A Romanian, Ioan Cupsa, took the icon from this priest. In 1669, 300 years ago, it cried for the first time and it was known as "Fecioarei Lacrimande" Icon (Crying Virgin's icon). Since the news spread out soon and many Christians, orthodox and catholic, Romanian and Hungarians, came to see that wonder and to pray.

The icon cried between February 15 and March 12, 1669. During this time, nobles and officers, laity and pontiffs came to see it. At the beginning they were skeptical, they were looking at it on both sides, then made crosses humbly and came back home petrified by the wonder they had seen. A devoutly soldier put a veil under the icon, and the following day he found it wet as he could twisted it.
A Hungarian noble nearby, the Count Sigismund Kornis, was convinced that there was a wonder and said that the icon should stay in a better place, and moved it from the little wooden church, to his palace at Benediug. The icon was moved in the presence of all the military leaders, administrative and religious heads. Romanian peasants didn't agree with that. They protested and the danger of an imminent revolt was felt. The count admitted that the icon should go back to Nicula.

Wondered by this event's amplitude, the rulers of the Catholic Church sent a Jezuit Monk's Commission to Nicula. They listened to the testimonials of witnesses, they compared the facts and the result was the same: a real divine act was happening.

The year 1701 was the year of wonders. Since then many testimonials have been recorded about the incredible healings made by the icon. Priests, officers, nobles and peasants were praying with humility at the icon to heal them or their relatives and the icon's gift was coming for sure. Epilepicts and hard wounded people were asking for help and they recovered nearby the icon. Everything is written in documents, emphasized by the testimonials made by confident witnesses and has something from the emotion and the piety of the people who saw all these things.

Along centuries the icon has always been praised, venerated and protected. Under its influence, Nicula village became a painters'village. Between 1712-1782, the icon was buried. It is told that at the time it was revived, its frame was rotten, but the painting looked entirely untouched. In 1879, the icon was brought in a new stone church, raised next to the oldest one.

In 1948, the icon was bricked in a window by a peasant (Chezan Vasile) from the nearby villages in order to be protected by an imminent theft. Chezan agreed to give the icon to the monastery's abbot, that became orthodox, on 30 January 1964. Four hours after it had been removed, a group of security officers took it under protection at the Feleacului Archbishop Church of Cluj.

Although the icon left these places for a long time ago, its gift didn't disappear. The inhabitants says that the Police was blocking the way to prevent the access of the crowd, but people were coming over the surrounded steep hills on night to attend the ceremonies with the occasion of important religious fests.

In 1977, the old wooden church burned in a mysterious way. Authorities said that it was due to a short-circuit and it was entirely destroyed.

In 1991, the icon was restored and in 1992, with great pomp, it was brought in the place wherefrom it was taken away: the Monastery from Necula. In the last 7 years, the wonder story continued. Tens of Christians were healed.

Alive witnesses, people who have been keeping a real veneration for it from one generation to another wrote about it.

There are 300 years since the icon from Nicula has been attracting with an incredible power thousands of Christian pilgrims. Groups are coming from all around Transylvania and all over the Carpathians. In a world that has lost its direction, the piety remains a guiding star. The churches are more crowded than ever. Under the irresistible power of prayings, miracles are burnt again: the soul is purifying from sins and it is back to life, finding its communion with God.

Last update: 2002, November 5
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