Miraculous icon "Unexpected Joy" where it is and what it helps?
In the Orthodox tradition, the icon becomes especially revered or even miraculous after certain supernatural events. But there is one image, the creation of which was preceded by a wonderful incident. The icon itself is not only the traditional face of the Mother of God and the Infant Christ, but also represents a whole iconographic composition.
Among the numerous literary heritage of Metropolitan Dmitry Rostovsky, according to Academician D. S. Likhachev, the last significant Orthodox writer in Eastern and Southern Europe, there is a description of miracles from the icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. The book is called “Irrigated Runo” and tells about the extraordinary events that took place in the Illyinsky monastery of the city of Chernigov. St. Dmitry talks about the many wonderful healings that took place during the reading of prayers in front of the icon of the Mother of God, which he himself was a witness.
Consistently describing 24 miracles, the author applies two sensible words to each of them with instructive examples from the lives of the saints. In the last chapter, he describes a case that happened to one sinner. The source of this information, the location of the event and the name of the person are unknown. The book was published in 1683 and was dedicated to the glorification of the locally-honored icon of the Mother of God (although information about which one was also not preserved).
The story of a miracle in the presentation of Dmitry, Metropolitan of Rostov
The saint describes it this way. One person had a habit of praying every day before the image of the Virgin with the words of the gospel of the Archangel Gabriel: “Rejoice, Blessed One, the Lord is with You!” After such a pious exercise, he was sent to do something nasty. One day during prayer, he saw blood bleeding from wounds on the infant's body. The vision horrified the unfortunate. In a frenzy, he turned to the Mother of God with the question: "Who committed this crime?"
The Mother of God replied that the sinners are like the ancient Jews who condemned Christ to a painful death: “You and the sinners like you are crucifying My Son.”The man began to pray for mercy and forgiveness, to which he was answered: "You call me the Mother of mercy, and at the same time you give Me sorrow with your deeds." An insight came upon the man that sinful acts have truly universal consequences. He began to plead with the Mother of God for intercession before the Savior.
Only after the third petition did the Infant Christ agree to accept the petition of the Virgin. Divine ordinance commands the Son to honor the Mother. And the One who established the Law Himself must fulfill it. For the sake of the prayer of the Virgin, this man was forgiven of sins. The vision disappeared. Cleared and drenched in blood icon. The unexpected joy of the forgiveness of sins has transformed the inner world of man. Inspired by supernatural intervention and intercession, the sinner began a new life from that moment on.
Unique iconographic izvod
The sudden insight and the consequent repentance and correction of the sinful person were the reason for the icon “Unexpected Joy” to appear in the liturgical life of the Russian Church. The significance of the new image was so close to believers that by the end of the 18th century, almost every church had a list of this icon. Who was the author of the pictorial image of a miracle is unknown.The Mother of God herself is called joy, therefore the word in the title is written with a capital letter.
The icon "Unexpected Joy" is a unique phenomenon in the church art. The image is a dynamic plot. On the image there is an icon of the Virgin in icon case. As a rule, one of the three most common types is used - “Odigitria”, which in Greek means “indicating the way to salvation of the soul”. It is depicted as if the icon in the icon, and the action takes place in the temple.
In the lower part of the floor stand with the image of the Virgin Mary, icon painters place the initial phrases of the narrative about the miracle, taken from the book “Fleece of Irrigated”, or the words of the Archangel evangelism, or an excerpt from the prayer before the Unexpected Joy icon. Sometimes the story of the salvation of the sinner in summary is placed at the bottom of the composition.
An integral part of the plot is the figure of a man kneeling in front of the holy image. His penitential image looks to the Virgin Mary with the Baby. On the icon in the form of a narrow strip-ribbon, the words of the man’s speech to the Mother of God and Her answer are written. The baby Christ is depicted with open bleeding wounds, sores on his body, which later appeared to him during the crucifixion
The unique feature of the icon is that the image to which a man calls is turned directly to the sinner. This icon "Unexpected Joy" differs from the canonical image of the Odigitria, in which the Mother of God bends over the God-child. Such an artistic device allowed to reflect the essence of the miracle - the appeal of the Virgin and the Son of God to the person praying.
The miraculous icon "Unexpected Joy" in the Church of the Prophet Elijah
On the outskirts of the capital in Ostrog, more than three hundred years ago, a new stone one was erected in place of a dilapidated wooden church in honor of Prok Elijah. Today, this parish church is known as the temple of Elijah the Plain. Many pilgrims rush here because there is perhaps the most revered icon in Russia, "Unexpected Joy." About who and when the miraculous image was written, the history of information is not preserved.
Originally the icon was kept in the temple of St. the kings of Constantine and Helena, near the southern wall of the Kremlin in the lower garden. At the end of the 19th century, a well-known Moscow preacher and spiritual writer, Archpriest Valentin Amphitheatres, served here. Father Valentine regularly read akathists in front of the icon.Prayers collected a large number of believers of the townspeople. After the destruction of Constantine-Yelenensky Church in 1928, the image was transferred to Sokolniki in the Resurrection Church, which had an "Unexpected Joy" chapel. Only at the end of the war did the icon take its current place of honor in the Elias Church.
The holy image is decorated with a silver salary and a variety of lamps. The decorations left by grateful believers testify to the many miracles that the Unexpected Joy icon has shown. The value of this shrine is truly All-Russian. The salute has an inscription stating that in 1959, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy I, a robe was installed on the icon. Before this image, Patriarch Pimen loved to pray, who humbly considered himself a parishioner of this temple. The church itself in Soviet times was never closed, and the service in it did not stop. Many shrines from the destroyed and closed temples and monasteries of Moscow remained here.
One of the treasures of the great spiritual heritage of our pious ancestors is the icon "Unexpected Joy." A photo of this miraculous image, reverently revered by many Orthodox believers, is presented below.
Temple in Marina Grove
To the north of the Garden Ring, on Sheremetyevskaya Street, is the temple of the icon "Unexpected Joy" built in the first decade of the last century. The splendid church was erected on the donations of the parishioners of the settlement Maryina Roshcha. A plot of land for such a godly cause was provided by Count A. D. Sheremetyev himself. The miraculous image “Unexpected Joy” written in the middle of the XIX century was transported to the new church. The icon, where the particle relics of the martyr Tryphon are located, is highly esteemed among Moscow believers and pilgrims. Parishioners record the miracles occurring in the temple from this icon. One of the brightest happened in 2003, when an elderly Jew wanted to be baptized.
Akathist to the icon "Unexpected Joy"
In the Orthodox liturgical tradition there is a special form of chants, called the Akathist. For the first time such a work was created in the VII century in Byzantium. Akathist in Greek means "non-sedative singing" (that is, one in which you can not sit down and listen very carefully). In Hellenic liturgical practice, only original chants are called akathist.
In the Russian Church, this form was widely adopted at the end of the XIX century.By 1901, the censors of the Synodal Commission allowed about one hundred and sixty such works to be printed and subsequently used. By this time, the Akathist to the icon "Unexpected Joy" was written. Like most of the creations of his era, the hymn of praise in a solemn form retells the events described by Dmitry Rostov.
In church use, Akathists are read at the end of the Vespers, instead of Kathisma on the Matins, and most often at prayer after the Liturgy or at the request of parishioners. Reading the akathist, both at a public service and individually, helps strengthen prayer appeal, collect thoughts and clearly form the inner spiritual order.
Why do christians pray to different icons
The Christian faith testifies that the Most Holy Theotokos is the greatest Holy One. Prayers for the people of the Blessed Virgin, or rather, petitions for them before God, are the most effective. Believers in their appeals to the Virgin Mary ask her not only to help or hear, but also to save. But only Christ God can save. There is no contradiction or distortion of dogma in this. When Christians call upon the Mother of God to save, they believe in Her extraordinary spiritual power.
In this regard, icons are of particular importance for the practice of prayer.The icon, translated from Greek, means an image, not the very essence of the subject, but its appearance. Giving them honors, the believers thereby express a prayer reverence for the person whose face is on the shrine.
One or several supernatural events are associated with each icon of the Virgin. Believers in the history of the lives of the saints and the Mother of God find examples of miraculous deliverance from calamities, diseases, and the resolution of problems. Church prayers and images only help to correctly form and express their spiritual needs. Similarly, the prayer to the icon “Unexpected Joy” has its own characteristics. But we will talk about this below.
The icon is a kind of window into another dimension. Holy images can be compared with a spiritual crutch for fragile and vacillating souls. This support contributes to the detachment of everyday fuss and the creation of prayer mood.
Who helps the miraculous icon
Many people mistakenly believe that the miraculous icons are a kind of accumulator of grace, which can be used in case of need. That is, if you get to a particularly revered image, then a miracle will necessarily occur, and everything that is desired will come true. Believers testify that the icon "Unexpected Joy" helps to find precisely lost hope.
Grace does not come from a board covered with paints; help does not come from an image, but through an image. It is possible for years to attach to the icon, light dozens of candles, make a journey of hundreds of kilometers and at the same time not have faith in the efficacy of the power of God's grace. And you can worship the shrine once, not expecting any miracle, and get what you want, not what you want.
The other extreme is excessive arrogance or boldness. Some believe that if you diligently fulfill all the external regulations of the church charter, the gift from above will automatically be sent down. The icon of the Mother of God "Unexpected Joy" is not a kind of amulet that is guaranteed to provide well-being or invisible protection. This is a symbol of grace-giving help, capable of providing this very help.
What should pray in front of the icon
What kind of petitions should be addressed to the Mother of God before this icon, the canonical prayer says. In the liturgical text it is written that the icon of the Mother of God “Unexpected Joy”, or rather, prayer appeal through it to the Most Pure Virgin, will help to get rid of many diseases, first of all connected with hearing.This refers not so much to the physiological ability of a person as to the ability to hear his neighbor, and most importantly - to be spiritually receptive to the moral calls of the Lord and His saints.
For more than two hundred years of veneration of the shrine, there has been a tradition to pray in front of this image with a long separation of the spouses and loss of communication with their relatives. The prayer to the icon "Unexpected Joy" is especially effective in extremely difficult life adversities, in saving from unjust accusations, in hopeless circumstances.
Family and relatives on the road and in difficult conditions need spiritual help and protection from the dangers and various vicissitudes of life. And also in a quick and safe return. Sometimes we ourselves can not imagine what kind of trouble awaits us. It is in overcoming such obstacles that prayer in front of the icon contributes. Unexpected joy - the one that we already did not expect, did not hope, did not expect - and she lit up for us.
A sudden joy for many is the birth of a child. Many testimonies are known when, after the prayers before the icon “Unexpected Joy”, spouses of desperate and hopeless people lost their children.