In the year of Our Lord 1240AD the Icon of Our Lady of Zarvanytsia is said to have appeared miraculously to a fugitive monk, making his escape from Kiev in the wake of the Mongol invasion led by Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis. The following description, of an Assyrian offensive, from the Book of Isaiah, written in the 8th century BC, seems eerily to forecast the devastating impact of the Mongols on the peoples of central and eastern Europe;
He whistles it up from the ends of the earth;
And look they come, swiftly, promptly.
None sleeping or drowsy,
None of them with belt loose,
None with sandal-straps broken.
Their bows all bent,
The hoofs of their horses are like flint,
Their chariot-wheels like tornadoes.
Their roar is the roar of a lioness,
Like young lions they roar.
They growl and seize their prey,
They bear it off, and no one can snatch it back.
Growling against it, that day,
Like the growling of the sea.
Only look at the country: darkness and distress,
And the light flickers out in shadows.” [Isaiah 5:26-30]