Saturday, November 19, 2011
Joy of all Who Sorrow
Icons of this type depict the Mother of God standing full-length, with a scepter in Her right hand. In some variants of this icon, She is also holding Christ in Her left arm.
The wonderworking "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Icon of the Mother of God was glorified in the year 1688. Euphymia, the sister of Patriarch Joachim (1674-1690), lived at Moscow and suffered from an incurable illness for a long time. One morning during a time of prayer she heard a voice say, "Euphymia! Go to the temple of the Transfiguration of My Son; there you will find an icon called the "Joy of All Who Sorrow." Have the priest celebrate a Molieben with the blessing of water, and you will receive healing from sickness." Euphymia did as she was directed by the Most Holy Theotokos, and she was healed.
The design of this icon depicts the Theotokos, a most beautiful blossom of heaven, standing among the flowers of paradise. Her Son is visible above her in the clouds, the King of heaven and earth. Along both sides of the icon, framing the Mother of God, are suppliants (us), asking for her intercession. She stands with her arms spread open and her head tilted as if listening. The tenderness and kindness of a loving mother are evident in her face. She stands in paradise and yet among us.