Monday, November 06, 2006

Rejoice, O Virgin, Joy of all who sorrow!

Today the Church commemorates the wonder-working icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow in Moscow.

On this day, in the year 1688, Euphemia, the sister of the Patriarch Joachim suffered a serious wound in her side. As the doctors failed in their treatments, she prayed with tears to the Most Holy Theotokos. She then heard a voice, saying "Euphemia, go to the Church of the Transfiguration of my Son; there you will find the icon 'Joy of All Who Sorrow' - have the priest pray for you before this icon and you will be healed." Euphemia obeyed, and was immediately cured.

The icon depicts the Holy Theotokos, a most beautiful blossom of heaven, standing among the flowers of paradise. Her Son is visible above her in the clouds, the King of heaven and earth. Along both sides of the icon, supplicants ask for intercession. She stands listening with her head tilted and her arms spread open. The tenderness and kindness of a loving mother is evident in her face. She stands in paradise and yet among us. She is our joy, because in her love she hears us. Her unceasing intercession and her limitless love heals our sorrows.

Seeking to understand the incomprehensible reason for the bitter sorrows that assail us, in need of consolation we flee to Thee, O Mother and Virgin. And in that Thou art good, teach us to see in them the merciful providence of Thy good Son for the salvation of our souls and the cleansing of our many transgressions, that we may joyfully cry to Thee:

Rejoice, Thou that didst bear the Saviour Christ, the Joy of the world!
Rejoice, Thou that deliverest the world from sorrows!
Rejoice, Thou that didst endure the blasphemies and slanders hurled at Thy Son!
Rejoice, Thou that didst suffer together with Him through His suffering!
Rejoice, consolation of the sorrows of mothers!
Rejoice, gracious preservation of their children!
Rejoice, speedy help amid misfortunes!
Rejoice, correction of the erring!
Rejoice, nourishment of infants!
Rejoice, guidance of the young!
Rejoice, mother of the orphaned!
Rejoice, help of widows!
Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of Grace, Joy of all who sorrow!

Ikos 4, Akathist to the Theotokos, Joy of All Who Sorrow


Blogger Ian said...

Thank you: I was unaware of the history.

And a belated Happy Birthday and Many, Many Years!

Wed Nov 08, 03:50:00 pm 2006  

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