Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow

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Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow is the name of at least three well-known wonder-working icons of similar design.

On October 24th, the Church commemorates the icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow of Moscow. A woman named Euphymia (sister of Patriarch Joachim) received healing from sickness after obeying a voice telling her to find this icon and have the priest celebrate a Molieben with blessing of water. This miracle occured on October 24th, 1688.

On July 23rd, the Church commemorates the icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow of St. Petersburg. This icon was glorified in 1888 when the chapel it was located in was struck by lightning. Miraculously, this icon survived despite all else being burned, and twelve coins from the poor box became attached to the icon.

On November 19th, a third icon of similar name and design is commemorated.

Icon’s Design

The design of this icon depicts the 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, framing the Mother of God, are suppliants (us), asking for her intercession. She stands with her arms spread open and her head tilted as if listening. The tenderness and kindness of a loving mother are evident in her face. She stands in paradise and yet among us.

Icon’s Theology

The theology in this icon depicts the Theotokos as also being our mother, who feels our pain. It is believed, by Orthodox Christians, that she intercedes for us, bringing our pain into her Son’s presence. She is praying our prayers with love, bringing our needs into the unique relationship that a mother shares with her children.

She is our joy, because, in her love she hears us. Her unceasing intercession and her limitless love help heal our sorrows.

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