Icon Akimov 102.218/K «Mother of God Tenderness – the Joy of All Joys»
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"The icon of the Mother of God “Tenderness” was a cellular icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov. St. Seraphim hallowed his sacred thing as the Most-Pure Mother of God, called it “the Joy of all Joys”, and asked his visitors to call it the same way. The Elder wiped the feeble and sick persons with consecrated oil from the icon lampion and healed them by praying. It was before this icon that St. Seraphim on bended knee and with his hands folded on his chest in cross-like way passed away in the Lord on January 2, 1833.
After the death of St. Seraphim the Sarov Monastery prior Father Niphont gave the holy icon “The Joy of all Joys” to sisters of the Seraphimo-Diveevsky Convent the holy Elder had founded and protected. There it had been kept in the gilded icon case in the Trinity Cathedral to the right of the Royal Door. Now a wonder working copy of the icon is there in Diveevo. The observance day of the icon – August 10 (July 27) – is the patronal feast of the convent, and numerous pilgrims from all quarters of Russia gather there. The wonder-making icon of the Most-Holy Mother of God itself preserved by believers during the persecution of Church is now kept in Patriarchal Vestry. Orthodox Muscovites have the possibility to pray before it in the Cathedral of the Redeemer on the Saturday of the Passiontide that is called “The Eulogy (Laudation) of the Most-Holy Theotokos”, or “Saturday Acathystos”.
On this icon the Most Holy Mother of God is portrayed at the moment, when the Archangel Gabriel has appeared before Her and has annunciated that She would gave birth to the Messiah, the Son of God. The young Virgin Mary looks down, Her arms being folded on Her chest in cross-like way; and Her face shows the deepest humbleness. She as if says meekly: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word” in reply to the Archangelic Annunciation “Hail! Mary, Mother of God, Virgin full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.” Her answer marked the beginning of humanity salvation of thralldom of peccability and death.
According to legend the Archangel Gabriel gave a lily to the Virgin Mary in token of the good news and as a symbol of Her virgin purity, spiritual beauty and devotion to God. Therefore stylized lilies surround the image of the Most-Holy Virgin on the obverse of the small icon. They are as well put around the words of the Archangelic salutation on the reverse."
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