"Adding Intellect" or "The Enlightening"
The Virgin Mary
and Jesus Christ are covered up to the shoulders with a bell-shaped
cloak, a symbol of sorrow and glorification. Angels can be
seen sitting on clouds with burning candles symbolizing the light of
the truth. The symbolism of the icon reflects the basic idea
of Christianity-the idea of Jesus Christ's sacrifice to allow
forgiveness of our shortcomings. It is believed that the icon
helps in studies and making decisions in difficult situations.
This is a very classic image of St. Michael in
battle armor holding the Christian flag and olive branch of peace.
He is one of the principle angels and is known as a leader of God’s
army during the Lucifer uprising. There are writings of him in all
major Religions and his name is recorded in the scriptures four
Saint Gabriel is also known as the Angel of
Incarnation. It is believed that he invited the shepherds of
Bethlehem to see the newborn Jesus. The angel Gabriel is mentioned
in the scriptures four times, including giving the Virgin Mary news
that she would be the Mother of the Messiah. Gabriel is known as the
bearer of good news and the helper of men.
The icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa was
painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. While painting the picture, Mary
told him about the life of Jesus and he later incorporated it into
his gospel. The painting was later found in Jerusalem in 326 A.D. by
St. Helen who gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in
Constantinople. The painting was again located in Czestochowa,
Poland in a church that was invaded in 1430 by a looter who struck
the painting two times with a sword. On his third attempt, he fell
to the ground in great pain and died. The sword cuts are still
visible on the painting. The painting has been credited with many
miraculous events for those who make pilgrimage to the painting. The
soot residue from centuries of votive lights and candles burning in
front of the painting contribute to the name of the Black Madonna.
The original painting is located in Poland nowadays.
Christian is given a Guardian Angel by God who is invisible to our
eyes, but protects each person throughout their life. Angels support
us during the good times and protect us against evil forces. They
are even with us after death. You are strong if you can hear your
angel. Guardian Angel is a witness in front of God regarding our
life. Evening prayer to your Guardian Angel protects you during the
night from bad spirits. Guardian Angel protects believers from
falling. They never leave and are ready to help you anytime.
Feast of the Intercession. Pokrov.
of the Theotokos or the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos
and Ever-Virgin Mary, known in Church Slavonic as Pokrov
(protection), and in Greek as Skepê (Σκέπη), is a feast of the
Mother of God celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine
Catholic Churches. The feast celebrates the protection afforded the
faithful through the intercessions of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary).
In Russia it is celebrated as the most important solemnity after the
Twelve Great Feasts. The feast is commemorated in Eastern Orthodoxy
as a whole, but by no means as fervently as it is in Russia and
The Russian word
Pokrov, like the Greek Skepê has a complex meaning.
First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means
protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast
is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil
of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the
Intercession of the Theotokos.
The icon, “Inexhaustible Cup” or “Undrinkable
Cup” dates back to the late nineteenth century, when a peasant
suffering from alcoholism had several dreams of a venerable old man
instructing him to go to the Convent of the Entrance of the
Theotokos in Serpukhov located about sixty miles south of Moscow,
where he should request a moleben/or prayer before an icon called
the Inexhaustible Cup. After a long journey, the man reached the
convent, but he was told that no such icon was known. He was so
convincing that they searched until the icon was discovered hidden
in a passageway. The moleben/or prayer was served, and the peasant
fully recovered. The icon became venerated throughout Russia once
word spread, of being a source of healing from alcoholism.
"It Is Meet"
of the icon “IT IS MEET” is located at Mt. Athos (Afon), Greece. The
words of veneration…”It is truly meet to bless you…” were said to
have been given by Archangel Gabriel in 980 to the monk who was
singing a hymn before an icon. The scroll in the Child’s hand reads:
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to
preach the gospel to the poor”.
Christian belief in the
resurrection of Jesus: It is that Jesus returned to bodily life
on the Sunday Following the Friday on which he was executed by
Icon of Christ "Divine Inspiration" also
known as "Made Not By Hand" is one of the oldest and most recognized
images of Christ.
The Royal Family was Glorified and Canonized
by the Church. Before the Holy Martyrdom of the Royal Martyrs, it
was not uncommon to find each Family member in deep prayer. It was
almost as if they where making preparations for their fate. Their
last days alive were as if they lived in preparation to go to
Golgotha, where all seven of them would be crucified to one
Now considered saints, the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II,
Tsarina Martyr Alexandra, Tsarevich Martyr Alexis, Grand Duchess
Martyr Olga, Grand Duchess Martyr Tatiana, Grand Duchess Martyr
Marie, and Grand Duchess Martyr Anastasia, this holy glorification
and act of Holy Canonization took place in Moscow, Russia on August
Olga and Marie are on the left. Tsar Nicholas II,
Alexandra Feodorovna and Alexis are in the middle. Tatiana and
Anastasia are on the right.
The original of “Ostra Brama“ (Ostrabramskaya)
icon of Mother of God was delivered to Vilnius, Lithuania from
Crimea in the 14th century. The icon provides a focal point for
Byzantine (Eastern) Catholics, Roman Catholics and the Orthodox
faith. The original icon can be seen from the street below in its
chapel housing at the Ostra Brama gate. Her crossed hands show an
attitude of prayer
and The Mother is depicted on the icon without the
Mary the "Majesty"|
seated in majesty, holding the Christ Child.
The "Ruling" icon represents Mother of God as
Tsarina on the throne in red imperial clothes. Holy Trinity is
depicted above the image of Mother of God. She is holding symbols of
Ruling-scepter and sphere.
This icon from Mt. Athos gets its name from
the Iveron (Iberian) Monastery. St. Luke is also given credit for
this icon. In 1648, it became famous in Russia after Tsar Alexei
Mikhailovich had a chapel built for a copy of the icon. According to
legend, 365 fathers of the Iveron Monastery held an all night
service. Holy water was used to bless the original and the panel on
which the replica would be painted. The water was also given to the
painter to mix in with his paint.
Madonna of Jerusalem
icon depicts the Virgin Mother holding the Christ Child. This icon
is also attributed to St. Luke and was brought from Jerusalem to
Constantinople in the 5th Century. After his conquest of the city in
988, the icon was presented to the Great Prince Vladimir during the
9th century. He was also generous enough to give the icon to the
people of Novgorod at the time of their conversion and baptism.
The icon was discovered in 1579 in Kazan, central
Russia, in the ashes of a destroyed house, wrapped in cloth after a
young girl saw the Mother of God repeatedly in her dreams telling
her where it was buried. The icon was with soldiers freeing Moscow
in 1612 and with troops fighting Napoleon in 1812. One of the oldest
originals is now kept in the Marian shrine of Fatima, Portugal.
This icon was brought to the Pochaev region of
the Voluinsk province and given to Anna Goyskaya in 1550 by the
Metropolitan Neofit of Constantinople. The icon has performed
miracles and in 1598, Anna gave the icon to a community of monks on
Pochaev Hill, which was already a site known for the appearance of
the Mother of God in 1340 where she was surrounded by flames and
left her footprint in the stone.
Madonna of Smolensk
is one of the most famous national “miracle working” icons. This
icon is said to be attributed to the Apostle Luke and is said to
have come from the Byzantium to Chernigov when in 1046, the Greek
princess Anna wed Vsevolod of Chernigov. The icon was given to the
Smolensk Cathedral in 1101. During the battle of Borodino in 1812,
the original was prayed to for success. The original has since been
returned to Smolensk.
The original of “Tikhvin” Mother of God was
painted by St. Luke and was kept in the Church of Blachernae,
Constantinople for about five hundred years. It was sent to Russia
in 1383, before the upcoming fall of Constantinople. It was said
that fisherman saw it surrounded in lights over Lake Ladoga, Russia.
The icon was later found on the bank of the TIKHVINKA River and was
placed in the church. The icon was kept in Chicago and was recently
returned to Russia.
This famous icon pays tribute to St. Luke and
was brought to St. Andrews Cathedral in Central Russia via
Constantinople in 1155. The icon was then placed in the city of
Vladimir, central Russia, from which the name is derived. It is
believed the icon saved Moscow from Tamerlane in 1395 and from the
Poles in the year 1612. Although the icon has been repainted several
times, it still survives today in Russia.
Mary and the Burning
The icon is also known as the "unburned bush"
or Neopalimaya Kupina. The Mother of God can be seen holding the
Christ Child in her left arm and a ladder in her right arm set in a
four point blue star. The symbols of the Four Evangelists: the
winged man of Matthew, the eagle of Mark, the ox of Luke, and the
lion of John are depicted in the red points of the star. Moses,
Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jacob are also on the icon from the old
Testament as seen by the Mother of God and her role in the
Incarnation. The icon is also used as form of fire protection and to
help stop a fire once it has begun.
Melter of Evil
The icon depicts the Mother of God with
three swords on her left breast, three swords on her right breast
and one sword in the middle, hanging from below. The icon is also
known as the "Prophecy of Simeon" due to the fact that Simeon
predicted that a sword would pierce the soul of Mary. The seven
swords also symbolize the seven sorrows of Mary.
of God "Three Hands"
The monasteries in Mt. Athos, Greece
have been attacked throughout history. During one attack, the arm
was cut off one of the defenders of the monastery during a battle.
He prayed to the Virgin and his arm was miraculously restored to
it's original state. He was so grateful, that he attached an
additional arm to the icon horizontally at the bottom area of the
icon. It is believed that the three hands of the "Three Hand" icon
shows: support of the Child, the way to God through the Child and
the third arm is to support you in your good deeds in life.
of our Lord Jesus Christ
Slaying the Dragon is a famous Christian icon. Saint George was
known for his great strength, intelligence and beauty. He rescued
the King's daughter from the dragon and was baptized by the
Saint Nicholas was born of wealthy
parents in Patrara (Turkey). He was orphaned at an early age, but
his Christian upbringing greatly contributed to his charitable
deeds. As an ordained priest, he was made Bishop of Myra when the
bishop of his district died. Saint Nicholas is well known for his
love of children and he used his vast wealth to help those in need
such as: orphans, widows and poor families. He is honored by
children and adults all over the world. He is now known in the West
as Santa Clause, the great patron Saint of children and giver of
gifts. He is also known in Russia as Grand Father Frost.
of the Lost
The icon is
also known as the "Tree and Hut" Mother of God and
was venerated By 18th-19th Century homeless and
destitute peasants in urban areas. It is
also one of the beloved icons of Russians who
suffered under serfdom. The icon is
also referred to as "Mother of God, Searcher
of the Abandoned", "Rescuer of the Perishing" or
even "Seeker of the Dead" because salvation from
freezing to death is one of the miracles
attributed to it by a peasant from Bor. The
icon is also known for healing a deathly ill
child, thus making this icon a protector of
In 1640, the icon “Sooth my Sorrow” was taken
to Moscow and placed in the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.
Shortly thereafter, a woman who’d been suffering with a difficult
and long illness heard a voice telling her to go to the icon for
healing. The Mother of God is shown holding a reclining child Jesus
as he holds a scroll that reads: “Render true Judgments”.
Her life was
changed on February 4, 1905 after her husband was killed by an
assassins bomb. She gave up the food she was accustomed to, living
on only bread, milk and vegetables. She decided to devote her life
to the service of the poor. One of her possessions was a plain white
towel made of peasants linen with flowers embroidered on it. Saint
Elizabeth showed great strength, calmness and was determined to do
the will of God. On the unfortunate night of July 18, 1918, she and
others were brutally attacked and left dying a mineshaft, but it is
said that she attended the wounds of another and could be heard
reciting hymns before she succumbed to her wounds.
Saint Tatiana was a Christian Martyr in 2nd
century Rome. She was a deaconess of the early church. According to
legend, she was the daughter of a Roman civil servant who was
secretly Christian, and raised his daughter in the faith. This was
dangerous, and one day the jurist Ulpian captured Tatiana and
attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She prayed,
and miraculously, an earthquake destroyed the idol and part of the
temple. Tatiana was then blinded, and beaten for two days, before
being brought to a circus and thrown into the pit with a hungry
lion. But the lion did not touch her and lay at her feet. This
resulted in a death sentence being pronounced, and after being
tortured, Tatiana was beheaded with a sword. The miracles performed
by Saint Tatiana are said to have converted many people to the
fledgling religion. Saint Tatiana is patron saint of students. In
Russia Tatiana Day also known as "Students Day", is a holiday.
The icon was first seen in 1470 near the
village of Zhirovits in the Grodnesk province of Poland. A shepherd
found the icon in a tree located in the woods belonging to the
Lithuanian nobleman Alexander Saltuk. The icon has been attributed
with many miracles.
The "Sign" Mother of
The original icon from 1170 has been
credited with saving the city of Novgorod from the invasion of the
Suzdal troops. Miraculously, the icon shed tears when it was struck
by an arrow and turned its face towards the city as a visible “sign”
that the Mother of God was interceding on its behalf. The prototype
of the Icon was a marble relief located in Constantinople. In Russia
the type “Znamenie” became venerated after its use by the City of
Novgorod against the invading army of Bogolyubski in 1170.
The "Tree of Life" icon depicts the Nativity scene
in the middle and The Holy Trinity at top of the icon. Many other
icons are included in the tree such as: Madonna of Iveron, Madonna
of Smolensk, Madonna of Kazan, Madonna of Chernigov, "Quick to
Hear", Madonna of Tihkvin, "it Is Meet", Madonna of Pochaev,
"Breastfeeder", "Sooth My Sorrow, "The Sign" and others.
Holy Trinity by Rublev. The icon was painted by
Andrei Rublev in the beginning of the 15th century in the memory of
St. Sergei Radonejski. The background of the icon comes from the Old
Testament story in which God appears to Abraham nearby the Oak Tree
in the image of Three Angels. The original of the icon is located in
the Tretyakov Art Gallery in Moscow, Russia.
Nicholas II of Russia (May 18,1868-July 17, 1918) was the last Emperor of Russia, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He ruled from 1894 until his forced abdication in 1917. His rule ended with the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which he and his family were executed by Bolsheviks. Nicholas's full name was Nikolay Aleksandrovich Romanov. His official title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russia. Subsequent to his canonization, he has been regarded as Saint Nicholas The Passion Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Tsar Nicholas II was Glorified and Canonized by Russian Church in year 2000.
Breast Feeding Madonna. Giver of Life.
Divinity scholars argue that these images of mother
and breast-feeding child have important religious significance. Jesus
was a baby like all others. His divinity does not exclude his
humanity. The Virgin Mary who nurses her son Jesus is one of the most
eloquent signs that the word of God truly and undoubtedly became
Mary in Blue/Fragrant Flower
The icon depicts the Child
seated on the Virgin Mary’s left arm and a stalk of a white lily in
her right hand. The icon was kept in the Pokrov Monastery of
Voronezh. The flower is symbolic of the unfading bloom of virginity.
Mary “Umilenie”/ Emotion
The original of this icon dates
back to 1337 in Novgorod, Russia where it was glorified. The Mother
of God is depicted standing alone with her hands crossed before her
breast. The original of this icon was kept by St. Seraphim Savorski
who prayed to the icon most of his life, including his last minutes.
It was seen that the eyes of the image were shedding tears.
Mary with Seven Swords
The icon was glorified through
several miraculous healings. The icon became known when a lame and
suffering man heard a voice telling him to go to the church and pray
before this icon. He did so and was healed. The icon of “Seven
Swords” Mother of God was kept in Tozhensk-John the Theologian Seven
Swords Church in the region of Vologda.
The Seven Swords symbolize the Seven Sorrows of
Mary: 1- The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2: 25-35). 2-The Flight into
Egypt (Matthew 2: 13-15). 3-The Child Jesus Lost in the Temple (Luke
2: 41-50). 4-Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross (Luke 23: 27-29).
5-Mary at the foot of the cross (John 19: 25-30). 6-Mary receives
the body of Jesus (Psalm 130). 7-Mary witnesses the burial of Jesus
(Luke 23: 50-56).
It is believed that one of the versions of Seven
Swords is that the Mother of God protects you seven days of the
Matrona was born to Dmitry and Natalia Nikonov in the village of
Sebino in Tula Province. She was the fourth child. Her struggling
parents planned to place her in an orphanage after her birth, but her
mother changed her mind after she had a dream. Natalia dreamed that a
white bird of holy beauty, with empty eye sockets landed on her
breast. When Matrona was born, she was blind, with eyelids closed over
empty eye sockets. Her mother took this as a sign from God. By the
time she was eight, she had revealed a faculty of prophecy and healing
At a time when other religious people were sent to gulags or sent
into exile for their beliefs, no one ever betrayed Matrona's location
in Moscow. People continued to come to Matrona for advice and for help
with their troubles.
She is said to have predicted her own death three days in advance,
accepting all visitors during those final days. Following her death in
1952, her gravesite became a pilgrimage site.
Before her repose the
Blessed Matrona said: "Everyone, everyone who will come to me: tell
me, as if I were alive, of your sorrows, and I will see you, and hear
you, and help you." She was recently canonized by the Russian Orthodox
St. Panteleimon had been
educated as a physician, and he "dedicated his life to the suffering,
the sick, the unfortunate and the needy. He treated all those who
turned to him without charge, healing them in the name of Jesus
Christ. He visited those held captive in prison. These were usually
Christians, and he healed them of their wounds.
Other physicians brought his case
before the Emperor Maximian. St. Panteleimon confessed to being a
Christian and refused to offer sacrifice to the state gods. Although
his body was thrown into a fire, it came out unharmed and was buried
by Christians. His head is located on the island of Andros at the
Panachrantos monastery and, on occassions, is taken to other
monasteries for veneration.
Saint Princess Olga|
Olga, born in about 890, was the wife
of Prince Igor of Russia, and after his death in 945 she was regent
for their son. She appears to have ruled well by secular standards.
According to the annals, she was terrible and merciless to the enemies
of her motherland. But the Russian people loved and respected her as a
mother for her caring devotion, compassion and fairness. She never
tyrannized anyone, she was a fair judge, her punishments were
merciful, and she cared for the poor, the elderly and the crippled.
She listened patiently to every petitioner and was glad to fulfill
every fair request. In 957 she visited Constantinople and, either then
or earlier, became a Christian.
According to an author from that
period, St. Olga "having perceived the true God, Maker of heaven and
earth, and having converted into Christianity, destroyed the idols of
the devil and began to live according to Jesus Christ's commandments.
She loved God with all of her heart and soul and sanctified herself
with the good deeds of clothing the poor, giving food and rest to
homeless, providing the destitute, orphans and widows with everything
they needed and doing this all with the quiet love of her heart." She
died in 969, probably on 11 July. Later (before the Mongol invasion)
God glorified the relics of the Princess Olga with wonders and she was
Mary and Christ-multi panel
Christ on crucifix is in the
middle separating four icons. Virgin Mary of Smolensk is depicted on
the top left icon, Virgin Mary with Seven Swords is depicted on the
top right icon, "Sooth my Sorrow" is depicted on the bottom left
icon, and "Seeking of the Lost" is depicted on the bottom right