Neck Cross Akimov 101.029 «The Saviour. The Kasperovskaya Icon of the Mother of God»
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- Miniature relief, casting, gilding, niello, handwork.
"Artistry of cross image with icons of The Saviour Up-to-Shoulders and the Kasperovskaya icon of the Mother of God “Eleusa” (“Tenderness”) is based on symbolical glorifying of Christ as “the Sun of Truth” (Mal. 4, 2) enlightening all around by His rays. The Lord rose onto the cross “enlightened the entire Universe, dispelled the darkness and proclaimed the light”, His Cross being “the Universe middle, to illume all the ends of the earth more than the Sun brightness” (St. Ephraem the Syrian, †373).
On the obverse the Saviour face is portrayed wherefrom crossbars radiate. It is the image of the Universe Divine plenitude and harmony. Circle is a sign of eternity, heaven and God Who, according to Clement of Alexandria, is an “endless circle wherein all forces come together”. The cross symbolizes the world stretching out to four winds, and extending both in breadth and upwards. The basic transverse crossbar that spreads in breadth signifies the earthy, the vertical one marking the nether and the heaven worlds, as well as the earth aspiration for Heavens. Cross and circle combination creates an image of unifying in God and eternity communion of the whole Universe, heaven and all ends of the world. This is the Kingdom of Glory embodied by Christ image. “Oh, Christ Cross, you illumed splendidly all in the world! – the great preceptor of the Church St. Theodore of Stoudios († 826) exclaims — Offered to everybody is lavish grace; shown is a source wherefrom consecration springs and whereto everyone zealous for bounteous blessing may stick to”.
Around Christ image evangelic words are scripted in Slavonic: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8, 12), the crossbars having symbols of four Evangelists. Angel corresponds to Matthew, the Eagle – to John, the Lion – to Mark and the Calf – to Luke. Their images are given the same way as they are portrayed in the Revelation Book: “and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion: and the second living creature like a calf: and the third living creature, having the face, as it were, of a man: and the fourth living creature was like an eagle flying. And the four living creatures had each of them six wings: and round about and within they are full of eyes. And they rested not day and night, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (Apoc. 4, 6—8).
The Holy Mother of God is as well glorified on the cross as the world enlightener. Alongside Her “Tenderness” image a prayer is scripted: “Our Lady, enlighten our souls with Divine daybreak, supplement our minds by grace of Yours”. Grace and enlightenment are given by Her wonder-making icons. The Kasperovskaya icon is such a sacred thing worshipped particularly in the South of Russia. It was painted in 16th century and possessed by the Kasperovs, Kherson landowners. In 1840 the icon got renewed and became wonder-making. There were so many wonders, and so many pilgrims that the icon had to be constantly carried from city to city during many years. At the time of Crimean war besieged Odessa was salvaged by the prayers to the Kasperovskaya icon (commemoreated is on July 12, October 14 and on the first Wednesday after Easter, the Week of Renewing). "
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