Miraculous stone icons

At the memorial complex "Kurapaty" (a wooden area in which a vast number of people were executed between 1937 and 1941 by the Soviet secret police) on the outskirts of Minsk there is an unusual exhibit of forty four stones with the images of different saints painted on them. The author of these icons is an icon-painter of the Minsk Holy Resurrection parish, Anatoly Kuznetsov. Critics commonly refer to his work as amateurish, and the church believes that the saints painted by him don't follow the canons of iconography. But the matter is that the artist calls his work "restoration of the image hidden in the stone," he simply sees with the inner sight what is already there on the stone, and only helps by painting and varnishing the image. Often Anatoly sees images of saints in his sleep or after prayers.

Many stones are brought to the artist by pilgrims from different holy places: the Trinity-Sergius, the Alexander Nevsky Monasteries, from the island of Valaam, from the Mount Athos.

Among the images that can be seen on the stones in Kurapaty are St. Nicholas, St. Seraphim of Sarov, Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Mary Magdalene, Gabriel Bialystok, Anthony the Great, John the Baptist. Besides the biblical prophets, apostles and saints there are also the faces of the five priests who were executed in Minsk in 1937.

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