Neck Cross Akimov 101.263 «Lord Almighty. Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God»
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"On the cross obverse we see Jesus Christ as the Almighty, ""Pantocrator"" in Greek. It is the oldest image of the Savior, where He presented as the lord and the ruler of the world. Christ holds a book that symbolizes the Book of Genesis, i.e. the whole God-created world. In this book registered are foredooms of all people living on earth. Often this Book is figuratively called the Book of Life. The first similar extant picture dates from the 6th century and is kept in Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. Such images of Christ had been painted in Palestine since ancient times. But the Holy Land was so often plundered by conquerors that none of the ancient icons remained there. Most of the icons in the Holy Resurrection Church were created in the 19th century.
«Lord Almighty. Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God»The Jerusalem miracle-working icon of Our Lady in Gethsemane placed on the cross reverse was also painted at the end of the 19th century by a nun of one of the convents. This image resides in the Assumption Church in Gethsemane. The Most Holy Mother of God appeared before the iconographer and ordered to write an icon for the temple over the tomb where the most pure body of Her had been resting for three days, where She resurrected and ascended to heaven. Virgin Mary wished that the image on the new icon to repeat it venerated image in Bethlehem at the entrance to the cave where she gave birth to the Savior. The Mother of God wished the image on the new icon to repeat the venerated image of Her in Bethlehem at the entrance to the cave where She gave birth to the Savior. In the middle of the 19th century the Bethlehem icon was donated by the Russian Royal House. The icon plating was made in the 20th century of the dress of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna Romanova, Righteous Martyr. The Bethlehem icon differs from the Gethsemane by the smile, shining the Virgin face. Both icons were famed for many miracles. They are highly venerated in Palestine, and not only by Christians, but also by the Moslems, and numerous pilgrims from around the world.
The cross has a Jerusalem iconography, pentanomiality being its hallmark: large central cross potent is surrounded by four smaller plain crosses, one in each quadrant. On each potent there is written the name of the Holy Jerusalem. Such cross symbolizes the Holy Land. There exists a tradition in pilgrimages to Jerusalem of apposing crosses to the Holy Sepulchre. Such a cross may also be sanctified in New Jerusalem monastery near Moscow, being apposed to the local shrines.
This Cross is thought strange for the Orthodox Christians. It is called the ""Crusaders' Cross"" and is attributed just as an emblem of the Catholic military Order of the Holy Sepulcher. However, this view is not correct. Five-fold composition of the Cross appeared in the East long before the Crusades, and was one of the most important symbols of the Eastern Christian civilization. Jerusalem Cross was very often represented on flags. Since ancient times, it had decorated flags of Byzantium, Armenia, Russia, of the Christian peoples of the Caucasus and Northern Anatolia. Jerusalem Cross can still be seen now on the national flag of Georgia, as well as on annalistic pictures of banners of the first regular regiments of medieval Russia.
The Jerusalem cross shape represents the projection of a cross-in-square Orthodox Church. Like a five-domed Orthodox Church it symbolizes Christ and the four Evangelists, as well as the spiritual unity of all Christians of the four corners of the earth. According to the canon the Ecumenical Council of Orthodox Churches should include not less than five patriarchates. Therefore four smaller crosses around the larger central on the flags of the Eastern Christian states symbolized the synodical unity of the Orthodox Church, rallied round Constantinople."
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