Softener of Evil Hearts icon

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The Softener of Evil Hearts icon is also called the Prophecy of Simon (or Simons Prophecy.

Prophecy of Simon

According to the Evangelist Luke, the Holy Spirit told righteous Elder Symeon the God-receiver that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. And thus when, forty days after the Divine Infant's birth His parents brought Him to the Temple of Jerusalem, Symeon "was inspired" to come there as well, and took the Infant into his arms (hence the title "God-receiver"), and pronounced those famous words which ever since have been spoken at the conclusion of each Vesper service, and which are known as the Prayer of St. Symeon the God-receiver: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant to depart in peace, O Master, according to Thy word…" After that, he blessed St. Joseph and the Most-pure Mother of Our Lord, and addressed Mary with that same prophecy. It was after he had blessed St. Joseph and the Most-immaculate Mother of the Savior, that he addressed Mary with that same prophecy: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sin which shall be spoken against. Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

History

This icon appears to have its origins in the southwestern Russia, however, no supporting documentation exists for its origins and where it first appeared.

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