Madonna from the Kyiv metro…


In the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a photo of a woman breastfeeding a baby on the platform of the Kyiv metro flew through social networks and the media.

The woman, with a two-month-old child hiding from the bombs in the subway, became the personification of all Ukrainian mothers and inspired artists.

So, based on the photo, a picture appeared, and from the picture – an icon in one of the temples of Naples.

They hid from the bombs…

The woman with the baby in the subway is Tetiana Bliznyak from Kyiv with her daughter Marichka, who was two months old at the time. On February 25, Tatiana and her husband, daughter and pug Phoebe went down to the subway when an air raid sounded in Kyiv. A photo of Tatiana breastfeeding a baby leaning against the cold wall of the subway was taken by Hungarian Teleks journalist András Földes. And posted on his Instagram. Since then, the photo has gone viral.

Illustrator Maryna Solomennikova from Dnipro accidentally saw a photo of Tatiana from Kyiv, flipping through a news feed. This photo inspired her to paint a picture, the heroine of which would represent all the mothers of Ukraine in this difficult time.

“I already had all the puzzles I saw and read — this woman and child were a symbol of all Ukrainian mothers who have to hide from Russian weapons in bomb shelters,” says Marina.

She depicted Tatiana against the background of the train scheme of the Kyiv metro and with a golden halo over her head.

“Ukrainian women are the bravest and strongest,” Marina signed her work on Instagram.

Later, the illustration of Marina was published on his page by the consultant of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, James Martin.

Despite the fact that the image of a woman with a halo has already been called the Madonna of Kyiv, Marina Solomennikova says she did a good job. It has recently become known that the Madonna of Kyiv has become an icon in the temple of Naples, Italy. This is a chapel at the school of the Franciscan Sisters.

The photo was posted on Facebook by Ukrainian Jesuit priest Vyacheslav Okun, who is currently studying in Rome.

He was the initiator of the creation of such an icon and received permission from an illustrator from the Dnieper. According to Vyacheslav, it was important in Italy, where now, as in most European countries, there are Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes because of the war, to have something familiar from Ukraine.

The Madonna of Kyiv became a symbol of such unity.

Candles, flowers and services are lit near the image of a mother and baby in the temple of Naples.

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