Neck Cross Akimov 101.208 The Lord Almighty. The Icon of the Mother of God «Of the Seven Lakes (Sedmiezernaya)»
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"On the cross adverse we see the Lord Almighty surrounded by St. Demetrius of Prilutsk and St. Cornelius Komelsky prostrating themselves before Him. On the reverse there is the image of the Mother of God “Of the Seven Lakes” surrounded with the images of St. Cyril of Beloozersk (above), Therapontus of Mozhaisk (on the right), St. Nilus of Sora and Sts. Zosimus and Sabbatius of Solovki (underneath). All these saints are united by the place of their deeds – the monasteries of Russian North.
The territories of Vologda and White Lake (Beloozero) shore up to the White Sea have anciently been populated mainly by monks. “That was entirely the monastic field as if studded with hermitages and cell-huts, and seculars were compelled to follow the monks and settle there as well” – those were the words by A. N. Muravyov, Russian spiritual writer of 19th century. It was he who named this country poertically — “the Northern Thebaida”.
St. Demetrius of Prilutsk (+1392), the disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh was the first to come to the impenetrable forests of Vologda in “the Northern Thebaida”. At the bend of the river Vologda he founded the Prilutsk Monastery of Our Saviour that became a place of “spiritual and bodily healing; a source of aid in various misfortunes. On the given cross the saint is portrayed to the right of Christ. On the other side St. Cornelius Komelsky (+1537), the founder of the Komelsky monastery prostrates himself before the Lord. Both St. Cornelius Komelsky and St. Demetrius of Prilutsk are especially venerated as tutelary saints of children and sick persons, and as helpers of those who are in difficult circumstances.
In the center of the cross reverse there is the icon of the Mother of God “Of the Seven Lakes” (observed is on June 26/July 9 and on October 13/26). The icon is glorified for great wonders made in 17th century in the Bogoroditsk hermitage of the Seven Lakes that is near Kazan. People from the whole of Russia came to participate the cross procession with that icon; witnessing exists of mass healings due to the icon during those processions. In 16th century the wonder making object of worship was brought to Kazan by a monk named Euphymius; but the image of such an iconography was first painted in 1503 by Dionysius, the great icon-painter for the St. Therapontus Monastery founded in1398 by году St.Therapontus of Mozhaisk (+1426).
St.Therapontus (to the right) and St. Cyril of Beloozersk (above) – the greatest Russian saints – came together to the impenetrable thicket of the Beloozersk land in pursuance of St. Sergius of Radonezh blessing. In 1397 on the shore of the Siverskoye Lake they founded the famous Cyrilo-Beloozersky Monastery of Dormition. The year after St.Therapontus quitted it for founding a cloister of his own, the one that is now famous throughout the world due to frescos by Dionysius. St. Cyril of Beloozersk (+1427) remained at the Siverskoye Lake and transformed his monastery into the most important spiritual centers of Russia.
To the left the icon of St. Nilus of Sora (+1508) is there placed on the cross. That holy anchorite was God glorified for his diligent and being an extreme Non-Possessor. It was he who founded secluded hermitical monasticism in Russia, inspired by an example of the Holy Mount Athos. St. Nilus was one of those professed in the Cyrilo-Beloozersky monastery but left it in search of greater seclusion. He has built a hermit of his own not far, on bank of the river Sora, and a wonder making spring digged out by him still spouts there.
Another monk of the Cyrilo-Beloozersky monastery, St. Sabbatius (+1435) in search of greater seclusion as well quitted the cloister and went far to the North; he was one of founders of the Solovetsky (Solovki) Monastery. Many years after his demise St. Zosimus (+1478) settled on the island who became the first hegumen of the monastery. St. Zosimus prayed a lot before the shrine with relics of St. Sabbatius and asked him to be a defender of the monastery before God. The Lord united both saints in heaven, so now on icons they are always portrayed together near the walls of their cloister. Their images are put at the foot of the cross. The saints are venerated as healers, as saver for people in distress at sea, and as the patron saints of beekeepers."
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