Icon Akimov 102.212/K «The Icon of the Mother of God «The Unfading Blossom»
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"Worshipped are in Orthodoxy several iconographic versions of the Most Holy Mother of God images where She is portrayed with the Divine Baby in Her one arm and a lily blossom in Her other hand. Such icons are called “the Unfading Blossom”, or “the Fragrant Blossom”. The image symbolizes the unfading flower of virginity and chastity of the Most-Pure Virgin Who is glorified in akathists as “virginity Root and Unfading Blossom of chastity”. But the Church hymnography speaks not only of sanctity and chastity of the Mother of God. In the “Canon of Thanksgiving of the Most Holy Mother of God” by Joseph the song-writer who was the basic literary source of the icon according to many researchers, the Mother of God is glorified as “the Unfading Florescence” that brought «the sweet-smelling apple” into the world, and as “the perfume” of life. She is not simply “a flower” but Florescence that resulted in precious fruit – the Lord Christ, the Sweet-Smelling Apple, and is therefor extolled and caroled by Church.
It is such image of the Mother of God that is chosen for our small icon.
Robed and crowned as a queen, the Most Holy Mother of God keeps the Infant God in Her right arm, having a long-stemmed precious flower in Her left hand. Both images as if continue each other in their mirror symmetry, disclosing deep symbolism of the whole composition.
The copies of the wonder working image came to Russia from Balkans at the end of 17th century and became famous in Moscow, Voronezh and many other towns. The Mother of God in Her “Unfading Blossom” image is prayed for in sorrow and in various troubles. But in this image She is an especial helper for women in their struggles against temptation, and endeavors to purity and righteousness. Also She is a good adviser in choosing a future husband.
“The Most Holy Mother of God, save me”, is written on the reverse of the small icon.
The icon is commemorated on April 16 (3)."
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