46 x 41.5 cm | 18.1 x 16.3 in
On the icon, the Mother of God is holding the child in her left arm. Her right-hand points to the child in prayer. The Redeemer’s head is raised and his face is turned a little towards her, who bows her head to Him. On the right cheek of the Mother of God is a wound from which blood flows. It’s the mark by which the Iverskaya icon can be recognized.
According to the legend, at the time of the iconoclastic heresy and the cruel persecution of the icon worshipers (9th century), a pious widow lived near the city of Nikaia, not far from Constantinople. She had a miraculous icon of the Mother of God. Once the soldiers of the iconoclastic emperor Theophilos broke into the house of this woman, who were supposed to take the icon and destroy it. The widow begged her to wait until the next day. But one of the soldiers, driven by demonic malice, struck Our Lady in the face with his spear. Blood flowed from the injured spot on the icon as if from a living body. Wanting to protect the miraculous icon from further damage, the widow threw it into the sea. The icon began to swim standing upright on the waves as if someone were holding her. The pious woman’s son, who had witnessed these events and later became a monk on Mount Athos, told the Athos monks about the icon that had been given to the sea by his mother.
One day the monks of the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos noticed in the sea a pillar of fire reaching to the sky and standing over an icon of the Mother of God. After the monks fervently prayed, the Blessed Mother appeared to the aged monk Gabriel in a dream and told him to go across the sea to fetch the icon. The monks of Iveron Monastery received the sacred icon with joy and reverence and brought it to the church. But the next day they saw that the icon was not in the church, but above the monastery gate. The monks returned the icon to the church, but the next morning it was again in the same place above the monastery gate. This was repeated several times until Our Lady made her will known to Venerable Gabriel. She said that she did not want to be protected by the monks, but wanted to become their protector herself, not only in earthly life but also in eternal life.
The festival in honor of the Mother of God Iverskaya is celebrated three times a year: February 12, October 13 and Tuesday of the Holy (Easter) week.
Gilt background with engraved pattern and painted ornaments on the edge.