ICON MOTHER OF GOD "ASSUAGE MY SORROW"


Original Ikon -Ikona Bo¿ijej Matieri "Utoli moja pieczali"


Among the many miracle-working icons of the Most Pure One, there is one that is actually called "Assuage my Sorrow." The most ancient of the icons that carries this name was in Shklova in Mogilev Province. Where this miracle-working Icon was written is unknown: perhaps it was in the Russian Monastery on Mt. Athos or perhaps somewhere else. In a battle that took place in 1640 near Shklova, the soldiers of Tsar Michael Fyodorovitch defeated the Poles. In honor of this victory a copy of the miracle-working Image was translated by the Cossacks to Moscow and placed in the Church of St Nicholas in Zamoskovoretchie (since demolished). Apparently due both to a fire and to the many renovations of the church, the icon was forgotten for a time. Greatly neglected, it was carelessly left lying, in the bell tower. But the plentiful mercies manifested through it by the Mother of God forced [the people] to remember the forgotten icon. Tradition relates that the first time this Icon was glorified was in the second half of the 18th century. The miraculous power of the "Assuage my Sorrow" Icon of the Theotokos was revealed in the following manner: a certain women of noble extraction had long suffered from weakness in her hands and feet. In this case, physicians were of no help. In a vision, she was told to go to Moscow and pray before the icon of the Mother of God bearing the inscription "Assuage my Sorrow;" in the same vision, she was shown the Icon. Not finding that Icon in the church, she turned to the priest for help, who then brought all of the ancient icons down from the bell-tower. One of the icons actually bore the inscription "Assuage my Sorrow." As soon as the woman saw the Icon she exclaimed:
“It is she! It is she!”
After a moleben the ailing woman felt so much stronger that she was able to stand and leave the church unaided. This miracle occurred on January 25th (Julian Calendar), 1760. Since then, a Feastday in honor of the "Assuage my Sorrow" Icon has been observed. In the church of St Nicholas, the icon was installed in an appropriate place, and an altar was dedicated in its honor. From all over the city, the faithful and suffering came to Zamoskovorechie to bow down before the newly-revealed icon, and God’s power was revealed in many other miracles. An especially great number of miracles happened during the plague epidemic of 1771. Many copies of the miraculous Icon were made and distributed throughout all Russia; in Moscow alone, four other icons bearing the same name were glorified by miracles.
Today, the miracle-working "Assuage my Sorrow" Icon rests in the Church of St Nicholas-in-Kuznetsy in Moscow.
source : Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Washington D.C., "Parish Life" 2003


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