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By its structure, the icon-folding is akin to the small iconostasis, since they most often depict the foreplay of the saints to Christ and the Mother of God, symbolizing the completeness of the Church. The church is the Christians themselves, the Head of the Church is the Savior. The image of the Church in the person of her saints is a traditional theme not only for folding, portable altars, iconostases, but also for the icons of the "Last Judgment". "The Last Judgment" is one of the most joyful depictions of ancient Russian art, and it is not surprising: after all, the triumph of the righteous is presented here, and the image of Paradise is repeated thrice, and sometimes four times, within one work. The hierarchy of the saints who are to come to Christ has an apocalyptic meaning, that is, the end of earthly history, marked by the image of Heavenly Jerusalem - the city of the Future Century. The famous altar polyptych (multi-folded folding) XI-XIV centuries. - the so-called Pala d'Oro ("Golden Altar") - taken out by the Crusaders from Constantinople and placed in the altar of the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice, depicted Christ and the hierarchy of saints.
Precious enamels on a gold background should have reminded of the Hail City, like a golden crystal (Rev.21: 10-18). In this collection there are not only folds that correspond to this tradition, but also triptychs with scenes of Christian holidays. Holidays have always been present in the composition of the Orthodox iconostasis, they are also an integral part of the place intended for home prayer. Three-part festive icons, presented below, in most cases, are oriented to aristocratic works of art of the XVIII century, which unites domestic and European traditions. The latter feature is manifested in the form and iconography of products. Sometimes portable altars were built with ark with the relics of the saints or a particle of the Life-giving Cross, which brought them closer in function to the medallions of the relics intended for the storage of holy relics.
Moshchevik Native Gospel
The two-folded ark-reliquary gospel is designed to store the St. relics or other holy relics: for example, incense or dried flowers, brought from Jerusalem or Sinai. Outside, there is an image that usually decorates the Gospel: the central medallion shows the Resurrection of Christ, in the corners - the images of the four evangelists. The salaries of the sacred books were traditionally decorated with the same images as reliquaries and ark. The most common theme for this group of things is the image of Paradise and Heavenly Jerusalem, which rarely have the form of a garden or city with a wall and towers, but almost always represents a hierarchy of saints coming to Christ. On the relic, you can see the Savior worshiping Him angels and the four apostles John, Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the Bible, the Gospel is symbolized by the four heavenly rivers: Piso, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates, who irrigated Eden before the fall of man.
Similarly, the four Gospels irrigate the whole world with the joy of the gospel. Thus Paradise is figuratively represented on the outer fold of the ark: in its center is Christ and the Tree of Life (ie the Cross), the four "Paradise rivers" - the four Gospels personified by St. apostles. The sign of the apostles, according to the Revelation of John the Theologian, lies at the base of the High Jerusalem, which stands on twelve foundations "according to the number of the apostles of the lamb" (Rev.21: 14). Executed in the form of a book, the miniature ark differs with a special delicacy of filling. The decorative loop of the pendant is decorated with exquisite floral ornament.
Moshchevik "The Execution of the Dead"
"Execution of the dead" - the image of Our Lady of Tenderness (on the icon, Christ and the Blessed Virgin touch faces). As a sign of mourning for the spiritually perishing people, the Mother of God is depicted with the wilts that have broken out from under the charge. A baby dressed in a short tunic is presented standing. According to legend, the miraculous icon "The Execution of the Dead" was famous for healing in the 6th century in the Asia Minor city of Adana. Naming originated, thanks to the miraculous rescue of the repentant monk Theophilus from eternal perdition. Praying before the icon, Theophilus called her "The Execution of the Dead." In Moscow, this image, revered as an ancient shrine, stood in the Church of the Resurrection of the Speaker at the Assumption Vrazhka. The church memory of the icon falls on February 18, according to a new style. Before it you can pray for the news of those who did not return from the war, or about those who died under unknown circumstances. Blessed Matrona, whose image is depicted on the reverse side, had a prophetic gift from childhood. Every day she received a lot of Christians, who asked for her prayers and spiritual support. Deprived of corporal vision from birth, Matrona never looked at the fuss of this fast-moving world, but fixed her inner gaze on the Gornyu world. In her speeches there was beauty, coming from a merciful heart.
Abbess Arseny, who worked in one of the Russian monasteries in the XIX century, wrote: "We are often ready to accept, forgive and even love, but very few people really consider themselves to be the worst." About St. blessed old man can be said that she was able to acquire all these spiritual gifts, not counting herself in anything. Memory of St. Matrons of Moscow are celebrated on May 2 on a new style. The union of the two icons on the ark expresses the idea of mercy to sinful people. The Reverend Isaac the Syrian likens purity to mercy, thereby showing the deep affinity of these virtues. Inside the mosquito are the prayers of the Mother of God and the saint.
"The Almighty, the Blessed God and Nicholas the Wonderworker"
In closed form, the fold is a miniature kiot with the image of the Crucifixion of Christ. The three-part patterned frame of the icon is the image of the church, under the arches of which each time a great Sacrament is performed, connected with the death and Resurrection of the Savior. Above the symbolic "altar arch" one can see a chased "banners" with the image of the Savior Not Made by Hands. In the temple, this icon almost always adorns the central arch and reminds of the wonderful imprint of the face of Christ on the board, which became the greatest Christian shrine. On the inside, the flaps are perceived as an iconostasis, consisting of the throne image of Christ, the full-figured image of Nicholas the Wonderworker and the waist icon of the Virgin "Odigitrii". All three images are subject to a single concept: the icons express the image of the Glory of the Lord, inseparable from the theme of His Suffering. Inside the fold, Christ is no longer represented as a martyr for the whole human race, but as the King, the Almighty and the Judge. The greatness of Christ the Judge is inseparably linked with His mercy, the symbol of which is the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, a reliable Intercessor of every person who resorts to Her with a request for help.
St. Nicholas also recalls the grace and remission of sins: the blessing gesture of his right hand and the Gospel in hand seem to represent the final moment of confession, when the priest blesses the Christian, giving him the cross and the gospel. Skladen contains prayers to Cross and Nicholas the Sinner, and can be a solace in a distant journey, a reminder of God in difficult life circumstances, an everyday way of praying and forgiving all the grievances and sorrows inflicted on us by our neighbors.
Moshchevik "The Most-Holy Theotokos"
The baroque design of the product gives the bivalve a festive look. The medallion with images of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saint is decorated with graceful curls of acanthus shoots: sepals support the bottom of the icons field, fine-grained surroundings of the frame with its rich plastic make the images particularly light. The complex outline of the medallion and its spectacular ornament contrast with the traditionally strict image of the saint. In liturgical texts, saints are often compared with fragrant lilies, majestic cypresses or benign palms. The image of the saint, surrounded by flowers, reminds of Paradise - our Heavenly Fatherland. The prayer appeal to the saint, placed on the inner edge of the fold, is surrounded by an ornamental midseller, which is also based on artistic motives creating the image of the Garden of Eden. Skladen can not only be worn, but also supplemented with a home iconostasis, since the product has a small pedestal in its lower part.
Moshchevik "Smolensky Image of the Blessed Virgin"
The Smolensk icon of the Mother of God "Hodegetria" ("Guide") according to the Church tradition was written by the holy Evangelist Luke during the earthly life of the Blessed Virgin. The Immaculate Virgin is portrayed with the Infant Christ. The blessing gesture of the God-Bearer refers to all prayers and to the Most Holy Theotokos personifying the Church. The Virgin Mary points to the Savior as the Way of Life - in this sense She is the "Guide". Christ speaks of Himself in the Gospel: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14: 6). According to tradition, the Evangelist Luke wrote three images of this type: "Jerusalem", "Tsargradsky" and "Ephesus." The holy icon of the Mother of God "Hodegetria" is one of the main relics of the Russian Church. He is known in various iconographic "expulsions". These are icons of Our Lady of Smolensk and Tikhvin, iconographically associated with the greatest shrines of the Christian world. The icon of the Smolensk Mother of God repeats the oldest Tsargradsky image of the "Odigitria", whose list was brought from Greece by the wife of Vladimir the Great - Anna - and later staged by Vladimir Monomakh in the Smolensk Cathedral Church. Celebrating this miraculous image on July 28 was established in 1525 in memory of the return of Smolensk to Russia. Believers received and receive from her abundant, fertile help. The Mother of God, through His holy image, steps forward and strengthens, leading to salvation. "You are loyal to the people - the All-Good Hodegetria, You are Smolensk Praise and all the land of Russia - a statement! Rejoice, Hodegetria, Christian salvation! "Blessed I Xenia, pictured on the other side of the relic, was born between 1719 and 1730.
The feast day of Xenia Blessed is celebrated on February 6 th. Twenty-six years old Xenia was left a widow and was deeply shocked that her husband died without proper Christian preparation and did not manage to bring repentance, so she decided to pray for God's forgiveness of the sins of the servant of God Andrew. She gave her house, wandered through the city during the day, mostly on the Petersburg side, with extreme meekness, carrying off all mockeries and insults, and prayed at night in the field. Blessed Xenia carried the feat of voluntary insanity for 45 years and died about 1803. At her grave in the Smolensk cemetery was erected a stone chapel, which to this day is one of the shrines of St. Petersburg, attracting numerous worshipers. For great feats the Lord honored blessed Xenia with the gift of foresight. Residents of the St. Petersburg side noticed that if the blessed one takes a sick child in his arms or blesses him, it will certainly recover if he takes some small thing from the merchant's shop-trade will be successful, if he enters the house, peace and harmony will reign in the house. "You have loved the misery of Christ, have now enjoyed your immortal meal, you have disguised yourself as an insane imagination of the frenzy of the world, you have accepted the power of God with humility. This is for the sake of the gift of miraculous help that has been acquired, Blessed Ksenia, pray to Christ God to deliver us from every evil by repentance "(Troparion, Tone 7).