Icon Akimov 103.223 «The Icon of the Mother of God "Seven Arrows»
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"The Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God is the greatest Russian object of worship having for centuries been personification of our country. In the face of it Russian Tsars has been crowned, and Patriarchs has been elected. It is to “the Vladimir image of the Most Pure Mother of God” that warriors has vowed fidelity to Motherland, and died at battlefields. And it is upon her protection that Russia has always set its hopes in the years of hardships.
According to the legend the great and wonder-working image had been painted by Apostle Luke in the lifetime of the Mother of God on the top of the refectory table that stood in the Holy Family house. The Mother of God blessed the icon and said that the grace and power of Hers was on it henceforward. About 1131 the Greek Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges of Constantinople sent the icon as a gift to Grand Duke Yuri Dolgoruky. In 1155 the St. Prince Andrew of Bogolyubovo took it to Vladimir, and erected a majestic Dormition cathedral for it there, on the high bank of the Klyazma river. Since then the icon had always participated all the significant events of Russian history.
And there was no case either for any believer, or in the being of our Homeland that praying to the Vladimir icon of the Mother of God of turned out vain. There are thousands of examples of miraculous help. Several of the greatest ones are commemorated by special liturgies. In 1395 invasion of dreadful conqueror Tamburlaine was stopped by prayers to the icon. In 1480 after the Great Standoff of Russian and Tartar armies on the Ugra River the Mongol overlordship was miraculously over.
Tartars time and again had still appeared in Russian land, however not as masters invested with power but simply as plunderers and robbers. And had been withstood always through the help of the Vladimir icon. Thus, in 1514 by prayers of St. Basil the Blessed before the Vladimir icon of the Mother of God hordes of Crimean Khan Mengli Giray were frightened with a vision of innumerable Russian forces. In 1521 the army of another Crimean Khan, Mehmed Giray (who had united Crimean, Nogai and Kazan Tatars) was again deterred with a vision of wonderful troops and retreated without a blow.
Many other wonders happened due to praying to the Vladimir icon of the Mother of God, and not only on a national scale. Occurrences of miraculous help to individuals are incalculable – benediction in activities, various kinds of healing and, even raising from the dead.
The small icon is encircled with lilies. In Christianity lily symbolizes purity, sanctity, charity and intimacy with God. It was lily that the archangel Gabriel presented to the Most Holy Mother of God when annunciating of Her giving birth to the Savior. A specific attitude to lilies is also due to the Sermon on the Mount wherein Jesus Christ compared them with the most beautiful and perfect God’s creations.
On the reverse of the small icon a prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God is written: “Oh, Holy and Honored Virgin, pray for us to be saved”."
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