MOSCOW, November 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday commemorates the icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow of Moscow.
The Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow icon revealed itself as a miracle-working icon for the first time in Moscow in 1688. A woman named Euphemia, the sister of the patriarch at that time, Joachim, was sick and had suffered for a long time with an abdominal abscess, which was an open sore. It seems that it was so serious that Euphemia’s internal organs could be seen and there were very real fears for her life. Her ardent prayer to the Mother of God was answered in that she understood that she must have a moleben (service of intercession) sung before the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” icon in a Moscow church. The priest was summoned. He brought the icon, served the moleben, with the great blessing of water, and blessed the ailing women with the holy water. Euphemia’s life was spared and she recovered from her malady. Giving thanks to the Mother of God, Euphemia make public the news of her miraculous healing and so this ikon came to prominence. The Church established a commemorative festival, on October 24 (November 6), in honour of the miracle.
The icon depicts the Mother of God holding the Christ Child and shown in glory in the centre surrounded by supplicants, the sick, the suffering, the poor, the bereaved and people who are in need or sorrow. On either side of the Mother of God are angels who are directing the petitions to her. The petitions are represented by small scrolls.
The icon is kept in Moscow’s Church of Icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow, also known as Transfiguration Church. The church is located on Bolshaya Ordynka, in Zamoskvorechye area. Following the tradition, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will serve the Divine Liturgy here in honour of the icon on Sunday.
The first mention of the church in Ordyntsy dates back to 1571. Starting from 1625, the place was known as the Church of Transfiguration. In 1685, the wooden church was replaced with a stone building. The church received its present name in 1688. In the early 1930s, the church was shut down. Luckily for the church, it was transferred to the Tretyakov gallery to serve as a depository, so both the building itself and the church’s unique interiors survived. In 1948, the church was consecrated once again and has been holding services ever since.