Encolpion Triptych Akimov 104.258 «Transfiguration of the Savior. Valaam Icon of the Mother of God»
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"On the obverse of the reliquary cross we see the icon of Transfiguration of the Savior. The Savior in between shine stands against Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Valaam (or Valamo) Monastery. On either side He is beforestood by the Prophets Elijah and Moses. The Holy Transfiguration of Jesus Christ is narrated in three Gospels: of Matthew (17:1-6), of Marc (9:1-8), and of Luke (9:28-36). They tell of the Lord to retire to the mountain for praying together with His three disciples — Peter, John and James. “And whilst he prayed, the shape of his countenance was altered and his raiment became white and glittering.” (Lk. 9:29). And after that a voice proclaimed from heaven that Christ is the Son of God.
Transfiguration is one of the few Gospel events in which painting not only the real scene which is canonically allowed being represented. On the icons the Holy Transfiguration may be depicted against monasteries and temples dedicated to it. This owes to the fact that every Christian church is a spiritual Tabor where while sacraments and prayers the believers’ soul arrive at its transfiguration. It is this symbolism that underlies the imagery of the reliquary cross.
The cross reverse shows the main sacred thing of the Valaam Monastery — the Valaam icon of the Mother of God. On either side the Mother of God is beforestood by Sts. Sergius and Herman of Valaam, the founders of the monastery. The icon of the Mother of God was painted in 1878 by Father Alypius, Hieromonk Valaam Monastery. Its first miracle happened in 1897, when a groundling Natalia Andreeva was recovered from an incurable foot disease. After that miracle icon was famed for other wonders as well, and became one of the most venerated in Russia. Great Dukes and ordinary people went to it with their maladies, later returning again with rich gifts in gratitude for the help.
Until 1940, the Valaam icon remained in the monastery that subsumed into Finland after 1917. After Ladoga being joined to the Soviet Union, Valaam monks took the icon to Finland. There they founded a ""New Valaam"", the miraculous icon being its main sacred thing. It resides in the Transfiguration Cathedral of the monastery until now. The old Valaam now has a miraculous copy from Saint-Petersburg.
Inside the reliquary on both wings the troparion is written, which starts Supplicatory Canon (Paraklesis) to the Most Holy Theotokos: To the Mother of God we, sinful and humble, now diligently resort, and fall down before Her, from the bottom of our hearts invoking contrite and low in spirit: “Our Most Holy Lady, help us, have compassion on us, hurry — we perish from the multitude of sins. Do not leave us with nothing, since You are the only hope we have.”"
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