The Tyshkevych, one of the most influential and greatest families of the Land of Kyiv, venerated the icon of the Virgin Mary, which was a sacred relic of their family since ancient times. The icon was painted in oil on linen and fastened on a cypress board, which indicated its western origin though it was one of the varieties depicting the Virgin Mary as the Hodegetria (“she who points the way”). An unknown icon-painter created it in the western style of painting but at the same time without Hellenistic harsh lines, gold background or Greek letters. The icon was kept in the castle chapel after the construction of the church and monastery was completed,Yanush Tyshkevych gave the icon of the Virgin Mary to the Discalced Carmelites on July 22, 1642. The icon was placed above the main altar and became famous for its many graces. In 1643-1648 seventy-seven cases of healings were registered. Bishop Stanislav Zaremba was healed due to the intercession of the Virgin Mary of Berdychiv and he announced it to be miraculous. This event took place on May 23, 1642.
During the following century the icon was famous for its graces. By the year 1756, two hundred sixty-three miracles were officially confirmed. On January 28, 1753 Pope Benedict XIV issued a special decree ordaining the coronation of the icon. The decree and gold crowns were sent to the monastery. On July 16, 1756, the bishop Kaietan Soltyk crowned the icon with due ceremony. Unfortunately the crowns were stolen in the first half of the XIX century. Some time later Pius IX sent new ones. The miraculous icon was crowned for the second time in 1856. The icon was decorated with gold and silver. It was framed with embroidered settings as a sign of gratitude for the graces received from it.
In 1926 the church and monastery were taken over by the Soviet authorities and turned into a museum of religion and atheism. The icon was put on exhibition in this museum. In 1941 before the Fascist invasion a fire broke out in the monastery. The icon of the Virgin Mary was believed to have perished in the fire.
The search carried out afterwards proved futile – the original icon had not been found. A new one was commissioned. Bozena Mucha-Sowinska, a painter and restorer from Krakow, Poland completed the commission in 1991. Six years later Pope John Paul II blessed this icon in St. Jadwiga Church in Krakow. In response to a request including supporting documents, Pope John Paul II gave permission to crown the new icon for the shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Berdychiv. On July 16, 1997 the new icon was solemnly unveiled before believers and pilgrims. Bishop Jan Purwinski of Kyiv-Zhytomyr crowned the icon in 1998.
Believers contemplated the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the divine service led by John Paul II on June 24, 2001 at the airport Chaika in Kyiv.
In July 2006, the Carmelites and all people solemnly honored the icon of the Virgin Mary of Berdychiv on the very day of the 250th anniversary of its first coronation.Apostolic Nuncio Ivan Yurkovych led the divine service.
The Mother of Mercy, “Beauty and Patroness of the Ukrainian steppes” watches over the temples of human hearts and souls, abodes of the living God.