"All the Sorrowful Joy" - the icon of the Mother of God: description, history, prayer
Is there a higher ministry in the world than to console the mourners and turn their sadness to especially obvious when you consider that from time immemorial the word “grief” has been given a wider meaning than now. In the understanding of our ancestors, this concept included not only feelings and sorrows, but in general everything that we call negative today - everyday failures, illnesses, as well as physical and moral suffering. It was in these cases that she gave people her gracious help “Joy of All Who Sorrow” - an icon of the Mother of God.
Icons bearing grace
Starting a conversation about one of the most venerated images of the Most Pure Mother of God in the Orthodox world, it is necessary to dwell on one very important circumstance and emphasize that it is not the icon itself that has the power of miracles, but the one depicted on it. This may be our Savior Jesus Christ, His holy beloved, or, as in this case, the Queen of Heaven.
It is to them we turn our prayers, and from them, according to our faith, we receive mercy. The very same icon is a kind of transmission link, through which Divine grace is bestowed upon people. Therefore, it is important to understand that we turn our prayers not to an icon, not to a blackboard covered with a painting layer, but to the one whose holy image is imprinted on it.
“All the grieving joy” (the icon of the Mother of God) gained fame thanks to numerous miracles revealed through prayers before it, from which it can be concluded that it is through her that the Heavenly Queen pleases Her mercies to people.
The beginning of the universal worship of the image
The name of this widespread image of the Virgin was the words from the verse "Joy of All Who Sorrow" - a festive divine service text, the prayer words of which are addressed to the Mother of God. The appearance of the icon itself, researchers attributed to the XVII century, emphasizing that in its artistic features significantly influenced by the Western European school of painting.
In addition, in the presence of a large number of izvodov (variants of writing) there is a lack of a common for all compositional scheme.For this reason, the icons bearing this name often differ significantly from each other. An example is the additional figures that were absent in the early versions and included in the composition of icons written after 1688.
It is known that these plot changes were made as a result of the healing received in that year by Patriarch Joachim’s sister Euthymius, who offered prayers before this image. The miracle manifested through the icons triggered the beginning of her glorification, and on the subsequent pieces there appeared images of the suffering, which should emphasize the healing power of the image.
Common iconographic tradition and its features
Despite frequent plot differences, “Joy of All Who Sorrow” is an icon of the Mother of God, which, nevertheless, has its own characteristics and features. These include the established tradition of placing the figure of the full-length figure of the Virgin in a vertical oval shine, called the mandorla.
At the same time, we note that this form of the image, which is often found in Christian painting, for example, in the iconographic subjects “The Second Coming”, “The Transfiguration of God” and a number of others, is also used in Buddhist art. In the same oval shine, it is customary to depict the figure of the Buddha.
Over time, the composition of this icon, in addition to the already mentioned suffering, began to include images of angels - the direct performers of acts of mercy, bestowed on the people of the Blessed Virgin. In its later models, dating back to the middle of the 18th century, one can also see figures of saints placed on the left and right side of the Mother of God.
The worship of the icon of Old Believers
Contrary to the fact that “Joy of All Who Sorrow” (the icon of the Mother of God) appeared after the church schism provoked by the Nikon's religious reform in the middle of the 16th century, the Old Believers, a significant part of the believers who broke with the official church, enjoy universal reverence. Especially popular among them are its izvoda, written in the village Vetka (Belarus). They also celebrate the Day of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow”, which is celebrated by the entire Orthodox Church annually on November 6 (in a new style).
Commandment of the Blessed Virgin
As mentioned above, the glorification of this image of the Mother of God began with the healing of the patriarch’s sister, Euphemia, who was brought to her by the prayer read near the image. “All the sorrowful joy” (the icon of the Mother of God), previously little known and located in a small Moscow church on Ordynka, has since become an object of universal worship.
Her story about the voice of the Blessed Virgin, heard in a subtle dream, commanded to strengthen the religious feeling of believers, who commanded everywhere to testify about the miracle and glorify Her name, also strengthened the religious feelings of believers. On the same days, by the decree of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Akathist to the icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” was drawn up and her nationwide reverence began. At the same time, a prayer appeared, the text of which is given in one of the photos placed in the article.
In 1711, in connection with the transfer of the capital of the Russian Empire to St. Petersburg, the royal family set off to the banks of the Neva. From archival documents it is known that when leaving Moscow, the sister of Peter I, Natalya Alekseevna, ordered a copy of the image of the Mother of God “All Who Sorrow Joy”, in whose miraculousness she believed with all her heart. But what she took with her to the new capital - the original or a list of it, is still unknown.
Original or copy?
Over time, the church on Ordynka, from which the glorification of the miraculous image began, began to be worshiped as the temple of the icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" and in the people received the name Skorbischenskoy. In the years following the October Revolution, she suffered the same fate,as many other churches of the country: the church was closed, the parish was liquidated, and the building itself was used for many years for economic purposes.
In subsequent years, the church was returned to believers and today is once again one of the centers of the spiritual life of Moscow. This is good, but the question is the authenticity of its main icon. There is reason to believe that the original that was kept in it was stolen during the long-term anti-religious campaign, and in its place today is a very valuable copy, but made in the 17th century and in the collection of Patriarch Alexy I.
Church on Shpalernaya street
There is a church of the Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" in St. Petersburg. It is located in the city center, on Shpalernaya Street. In ancient times, it was the home church of Natalia Alekseevna Romanova - sister of Peter I. It was in her that she placed the image brought from Moscow, the authenticity of which does not calm down the debate to this day.
However, regardless of how the situation is in reality, both the icons — both Petersburg and her Moscow sister — are undoubtedly miraculous, for which there is much evidence.In particular, it is known that one of them, as a symbol of heavenly patronage, accompanied the Russian army in the Prut campaign of 1710-1713. and helped her with honor to get out of the difficult situation during the fighting.
Gift of the merchant Matveyev
Among the numerous icons of the icon, there is one whose appearance is connected with St. Petersburg. In the people he is called the icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" (with pennies). The legend says that in the middle of the 19th century, the pious merchant Ivan Matveyev donated one of the chapels located near the city, the Theotokos icon, which was once nailed to the shore with Neva waves.
No one would have known about this, if a terrible thunderstorm happened in July 1888, during which a lightning strike destroyed the dilapidated chapel, destroying almost all the utensils in it. By the Will of God, only the icon “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” donated by a merchant, was left intact, not only unaffected by fire, but also unusually enlightened and transformed.
Groschiki on the icon
But the most surprising thing was that part of the coins (groschiki), scattered from the church circle broken by lightning, inexplicably adhered to the surface of the icon, merging together with the painting layer.Soon this icon saved from the fire became famous for many miracles revealed through it and became one of the most famous shrines in St. Petersburg. From it began to make copies, depicting on them once sticking coins.
Today, this miraculous icon is, as before, on the banks of the Neva, in the church, which received the name “Easter cake and Easter” for its architectural appearance. Its name, which was popular among the people, became official under the personal decree of Patriarch Alexy II, who also established a special holiday of the Mother of God icon “All Who Sorrow for Joy” (with pennies), celebrated annually on 5 August.