===Kazan Mother of God icon===
Closely associated with the diocese is the [[icon]] of the Mother of God. The icon was found by a ten year old girl, Matryona, on [[July 5]], 1579. The priest Yermolai, the future Patriarch Hermogen of Moscow and saint, placed the wonderworking icon in a [[church]], before it was moved to the Kazan Convent of the Mother of God. A number of copies of the icon were made over the years that were sent to various places. In 1904, the icon was stolen from the Kazan Convent and never found. Since the true identity of the icon sent to Moscow in 1612 is lost in time (was it the original or a copy), the fate of the original has been open to question. Over the years many miracles have been attributed to the wonder working icon.
As the diocese entered into the difficult times of the Soviet years, the year 1917 is a benchmark for the following years. In 1917, the diocese recorded the statistics before the difficult years to come. The diocese had 794 churches, 27 monastic communities, 419
chapels, 1554 married priests, 202 nuns, and 1601 monks. There were also 26 priests of the old belief who came under the jurisdiction of the Church of Russia.
During the Soviet times, the diocese, as well as the whole Church of Russia, suffered greatly. More than twenty priests were killed by 1918. The ruling bishop Metr. Kyrill was under banishment and in prison, only twice able to visit his see before he was [[martyr]]ed. Except for Bishop Afanasy (Malinin) who ruled the diocese from 1918 to 1937, all hierarchs were martyred. All monasteries were closed. Over 100 priests and monks were martyred during the years 1929 to 1931 and 1937 to 1938. By 1939, only two churches were functioning.
In 1938, Abp. Andrei (Komarov) was the ruling bishop of the diocese, with the only church (Wonderworkers of Yaroslavl at the Arsky cemetery) operating in Kazan city as his cathedral. As part of the softening of relations by the bolshevik government during World War II, the life of the church revived some in 1944. About 40 of the Tatarstan churches were functioning again. But, in the 1960s, persecutions returned to the church and the number of churches in Tatarstan was reduced to 15.
Under Bp. Panteleimon (Mitryukovsky) from 1975 to 1989, the diocese began to recover again. He was able to restore three parishes in major districts and, by the end of 1988, the diocese recorded 25 churches in Tatarstan and Mari.
On [[December 11]], 1988, Archimandrite Anastasy (Metkin), rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral, was consecrated bishop in the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow to fill the [[cathedra]] of the Diocese of Kazan. In 1989, the Cathedral of the Apostles [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] and [[Apostle Paul|Paul]] was returned to the diocese, the start of a stream of churches that gradually were returned to the Kazan diocese over the following years. In succession, the [[Raifa Monastery of the Mother of God|Raifa Monastery]] was returned in 1991, St. Barbara’s and St. Sophia Churches were returned in 1994. In 1996, Makaryev Monastery (of St. Makaius Zheltovodsky) and the Church of the Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God led the return of many churches and monasteries that year.
The Diocese of Kazan, in more recent years, has opened some 176 active parishes, divided into 22 deaneries. The diocese has been restoring six male and two female monasteries. In 2005, 25 deacons and 22 priests have been ordained. In September 1997, the Kazan Theological School was re-organized as the Kazan Theological Seminary, and church schools have been steadily opened in many of the parishes.
The 450th anniversary of the founding of the Kazan cathedra was held in 2005.