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The history of the miraculous journey of the Iberian icon in the Christian world begins in the distant era of iconoclasm, when Byzantium was ruled by Theophilus, the emperor heretic. Written on the Iberian Mount in Abkhazia even in the days of the apostles, the icon stayed for some time in Byzantium. Stephen Svyatogorets in his work "Paradise Mind", published in 1659 on Mount Athos, writes: "In the reign of the iconoclastic Theophilus was a great persecution of holy icons. This Christ-worshiper drove out many Orthodox ... commanding to erupt all the icons from the temples and destroy them. ... In Nicaea lived a widow, rich and virtuous ... She built a church near her house, where there was an icon of the Mother of God, to which she paid homage and kiss. Everywhere the roaming royal soldiers came to the house of that God-loving widow, and, looking closely at the window of that temple, they saw the sacred icon. " In sinful blindness, one of the soldiers struck it with weapons, "and immediately, as from a living person, blood began to flow." Wishing to save the shrine from desecration, a pious widow let the Iverian image through the sea waves. "And - about a miracle!" - exclaims the Monk Stefan, - the icon "did not lie on the water, but, standing on the water, began to move to the West."
"The Icon of the Ever-Virgin was in the innermost place for many years; On land or on the sea - it is known to the One who knows everything and does glorious and predicious deeds. " Once, during the time of the Athonite Hegumen Euthymius, the elders of the Iberian monastery "sat and talked about spiritual salvation. Suddenly they see in the sea like a flame of fire, like a pillar, the top of which reached even to the sky. " The image of the Mother of God found on the sea in the 12th century by the simple-hearted Athonite monk Gabriel who passed to the icon on water was installed on the gates of the monastery, for which he was called Portaitissa, or "The Goalkeeper."
On the obverse side of the rectangular pendant icon one can see the image of Our Lady of the Odigitria with the Infant sitting front. Greek letters on the crossed nimbus of Christ denote the word "Jehovah". This epithet speaks of the eternal existence of Christ, transcending human concepts of time and space. In the title of the icon is placed a miniature image of the Savior Not Made by Hands. On the reverse side of the suspension - lines from the troparion of the Iberian icon: "From the holy icon of Thy, O Sovereign Mother of God, healing and whiskers are fed abundantly with faith and love coming to her."
The icon of the Mother of God of Iversk, according to the Most Pure Lady of our Mother of God, was given to the Athonite monastery as a keeper "not only in the present, but also in the next century". "The monks who will live on this mountain with fear of God and reverence ... let them have confidence and hope for the prosperity of My Son," said the Virgin Mary to one of the Athonite monks, "As long as you see My icon, grace and mercy will not diminish for you My Son. "
A two-sided oval medallion with images of the Mother of God and the Crucifixion of Christ is distinguished by a special delicacy of execution. Its relatively small size makes the product scale for wearing a young bride-girl. The Iverian image will help to strengthen family relations, bless a happy and long-standing conjugal union.
It should not be surprising that the Iverian icon patronizes the marriage, being, above all, a monastic shrine. Only those who do not approach the Christian marriage seriously, see in the family relations only the way to achieve external harmony for the egoistic pleasure of lovers will see the contradiction. Marriage requires great self-denial, which brings the real fruit of joy - joy lasting and not soon transient. On the reverse side of the medallion is the Cross of the Lord. This image will recall some of the texts uttered by the priest at the wedding: the priest calls on young people the joy that "the holy queen Elena had when she found the Holy Cross." Thus, the Cross is always a joy, regardless of whether it is a monastic or the cross of an honest marriage.
The memory of the icon is celebrated on February 25 and October 26 according to a new style.