Neck Cross Akimov 101.273 «Crucifix.The Mother of God Icon «Seven Arrows»
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"Austere and monumental neck cross in its shape goes up to the Constantinian cross with rays radiating from the center. Before battle of the Milvian Bridge that was to determine the fate of the Roman Empire Constantin the Great, Byzantine Emperor, saw a cross on the sun and an inscription beside: “Overcome with it” (in Greek, ΕνΤούτῳΝίκα). St. Constantin ordered to put the cross on the flags of his army and won the battle. After winning power he stopped persecutions of Christians and made Christianity official religion of the Roman Empire. Since then the teaching of Christ had started spreading freely over the world, Constantinian cross with its style becoming as revered as the cross of the Savior Himself.
In ancient times, the victorious Constantinian Cross had different pattern. Most of all it was almost equilateral cross with expanding beams between which a symbolic sun and the inscription NIKA (Overcome!) are sometimes placed. It was such a cross that Christians for a long time wore as a pectoral, as a sign of victory over the forces of darkness and evil. In the later Middle Ages Constantinian cross was often combined with calvary. And neck cross took as if double effect. Near the initials of Christ’s holy name of on the crucifixes there appeared the inscription NIKA, the same as on the Constantinian Cross. Our cross is made according just according to this tradition.
Here the Constantinian cross includes complete image of Golgotha. Next to crucified Lord on both sides there stand St. Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles, His faithful follower and disciple; Mother of the Savior, the Blessed Virgin Mary; His beloved disciple John the Evangelist. Among the people close to Christ these alone were unabashed to follow Him while His suffering. But not only close ones are portrayed next to the crucifix. Together with John the Evangelist there stands one of the soldiers who crucified Christ — Longinus, the Centurion. According to legend, it was Longinus who pierced Christ's ribs with lance, and then frightened by the ensuing eclipse and earthquake believed that Christ is the Son of God. He started preaching the Word, and was killed by the Jews therefor. The Orthodox Church honors Longinus, the Centurion as a martyr.
When the Body of crucified Christ was pierced by nails and spear, the soul of the Most Blessed Mother of God was struck by the ""sword"" of sadness and heartache. According to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, the Lord was crucified not only for human past sins. Mystically Jesus Christ is crucified again at the everyday liturgy for new sins of all living. On the Mother of God icons ""Seven Arrows"" (or “Seven Swords”) these arrows represent symbolically Her past and present sufferings. The Most Holy Mother of God is pierced with seven arrows — by the number of seven deadly sins. The image of Our Lady with ""Seven Arrows"" surrounded by two worshipping seraphim and archangels Gabriel and Michael is placed on the cross reverse.
The Most Holy Mother of God in Her wonder working icon ""Seven Arrows"" is worshipped as quieter of hostility, defender from ill will. The image is offered up prayers by mothers wishing to protect their children from malevolent people and the evil spirit; by men — to guard their families from enemies. It is appealed for intestine strife to be stopped, for enemy hearts to be propitiated, as well as evil thoughts and hostile feelings to be overcome in one`s own heart. And if you pray for your enemies in front of this image, hostile feelings make way for clemency, the mordant hatred abating. Indeed, the Mother of God forgives everyone who crucifies Her Son and prays for sinners relentlessly beside His Divine throne."
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