Icon Akimov 102.088 «The Theodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God. St. Parasceva, Martyr, surnamed «Friday»
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"The icon is devoted to the Theodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God that is kept in the city of Kostroma. It is the greatest sacred object of Russia, by legend the eldest of the extant wonder-making icons. It is spoken to have already stood in a chapel of a town of Gorodets on the Volga bank in the 11th century. After Gorodets being destroyed by Batu Khan Army in 1238 the icon disappeared, and a year after appeared in the forest near Kostroma. The Prince Kostroma Vasily Kvashnya found it on a tree during hunt. The Prince wanted to take the icon into his hands, but it “evaded” him. Then the priests of Kostroma went to the forest in cross procession, and brought the image to the town ceremonially. Kostroma inhabitants remembered that the day before the icon was seen carried along the town by an armored warrior looking like St. Theodore Stratelates, the Great Martyr. The newly found sacred object was put in the church after his name, and the icon itself had since been evidently called Theodorovskaya.
The first known wonder occurred during the Tatar invasion of Kostroma. The Prince set out against them carrying the wonder-making Theodorovskaya image before his army. All of a sudden the icon shed rays of extraordinary brightness and power. That dazzling light stopped the Tatar army, and put it to flight.
Many other wonders were worked by the Most Holy Mother of God through Her Theodorovskaya icon. But it became the most famous after the great Elder Martha Ivanovna gave her blessing to her 16-yers old son Mikhail who became the first Russian Tsar from the Romanovs house.
But not only events of national importance are related to this image. It has made and keeps on making many wonders for common people. The Mother of God is particularly sensitive to maternal prayers, and helps in difficult delivery.
The observance of the Theodorovskaya icon is held twice a year: on August 29/16, and on March 27/14. In the 13th century an image of St. Parasceva, “Friday” was painted in the back of the old Theodorovskaya icon. St. Parasceva is one of the most worshipped saints in Russia. Its image is also on the reverse of this small icon.
St. Parasceva was called in Russia “the women's saint”, since she helped girls to find a good match, and married women – to preserve family. She was also worshipped as a patroness of fields and livestock. On her commemoration day fruits taken in for the winter were consecrated in churches.
St. Parasceva, Martyr, surnamed ""Friday"" lived in the 3d century in Ikonia (present Konia, Turkey). She was born to a wealthy and pious family. For her parents Friday – the day of the Passion of Our Lord – was of particular reverence, therefore when the daughter was born just on that day they named her Parasceva, which means Friday in Greek. When a girl, Parasceva decided to devote her life to God. She vowed celibacy and started preaching Christianity to heathens who inhabited the country. Many people lent their ear to her words. Authorities surely could not like it, since pagan sacrificing was a form of an oath to the Roman Emperor. Young Parasceva was seized, and offered to make a sacrifice to a pagan idol. But she refused in a steadfast manner. St. Parasceva was martyred extremely for that and then beheaded.
Commemorated is on November 10/October 28."
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