Icon Akimov 102.210 «The Kazan icon of the Mother of God. Two prayers»
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- Miniature relief, casting, gilding, niello, handwork.
"The Kazan icon is a great object of worship of Russia that worshipped as wonderful patroness and protectress of all Russian lands; martial shield of our army. That is why November 4, the day of liturgical reverence of the wonder working image is a public holiday. However, the Kazan icon makes not only wonders important for the whole country. Since it miraculous appearance at the scorched ruins in Kazan in 1579 till now it makes numerous wonder by individual prayer as well: it heals, helps in regulation of one's married life, in love searches, in birth and safeguarding of children … That is why many couples getting married take the Kazan image of the Most Holy Mother of God as a wedding icon.
This small icon presents the great wonder working icon just as a personal object of worship. The face of the Most Holy Mother of God is full of love and holy peace. Her head is slightly inclined, Her look being directed to Her Divine Son; and we read in it infinite motherly love and tenderness as well as prayerful appeal and request for mercy for sinful men. The image of the Mother of God on this small icon is the most similar to the earliest extant copy painted in 1606 and kept now in the Tretyakiov Gallery in Moscow. The image complies with the ancient iconography in details: the Mother of God hands are invisible; She slightly inclines to the Divine Child Who is full-faced. According to early icons the Mother of God looks at Christ. A tradition of Her looking at the worshippers has been established later.
Unfortunately, now we can judge of the Kazan icon appearance only by copies. The great wonder working icon has been lost. On July 12, 1904 a group of thieves hunting for church material values penetrated into the cathedral of the Kazan Monastery of the Mother of God and stole the original – miraculously appeared – image. On July 21 sacrilegers were caught but the holy piece in all likelihood had been already destroyed by them.
It's hard to believe that the Kazan icon of the Mother of God, one of the most worshipped images of the whole Chridendom, was destroyed owing to its precious incasement. There exist great number of legends and even scientific versions of its being saved miraculously. The only thing is provable – its numerous copies spread all over the world are really wonder working. An they are worshipped not only by Christians; there are examples of worshipping by Moslems. Therefore, when you buy a Kazan icon you should remember that every reproduction of the image may become a source of great miracles.
“The Most Holy Virgin, pray for our saving!” – is written on the small icon around the face of the Most Holy Mother of God. The reverse is symbolically ornamented with two doves looking at the deiparous eight-pointed star, and with one more pleading prayer: “O blest Mother of God, open the door of mercy for us”.
Two doves are a symbol of peace, and tranquillity, and bliss as well as of marriage love and happiness. That is why this small icon together with the twin image of ”The Lord Almighty. Two prayers” (code No. 102.211) is usable as a wedding icon.
The Kazan icon is observed on November 4 (October 22), the day of liberation from Polish."
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