Antique Russian Icon Ikone Старинная Икона "virgin Of Smolensk" 19th Century For Sale
Antique Russian Icon "Virgin of Smolensk" (Hodigitria), 19th Century, wood, gesso, egg tempera.Size: 10 3/8" x 12 3/8" inches (27 x31.5 cm)Condition: the images of the Virgin and Jesus are in exceptionally perfect condition! Only some ware to gold and paint around the images, some ware on the corners. No Restorations!! No cleaning! Absolutely original untouched condition!Will be shipped 100% insured with a tracking number.Please look at our other Antique Icons.This Icon, called Hodigitria, which means Directress or Guider of the Way, according to Church Tradition was written by the Holy Evangelist Luke during the earthly life of the Theotokos. At this time, according to the same Tradition, the Mother of God blessed her portrait, saying, My blessing will remain always with this Icon. According to St. Dimitry of Rostov, this Icon was written at the request of Theophilus, Governor of Antioch, the most excellent Theophilus (Luke 1:1). From Antioch, the Holy Object was transferred to Jerusalem and from there, about the middle of the 5th Century, the Empress Eudoxia, wife of the Emperor Arcadius, transferred it to Constantinople, as a gift to Pulcheria, her sister-in-law, who placed the Icon in the Blachernae Church.The Greek Emperor Constantine IX (1042-1054), in 1046, giving his daughter, Anna, in marriage to Prince Vsevolod of Chernigov (son of Yaroslav the Wise), blessed her on her way with this Icon. After the death of Prince Vsevolod, the Icon was presented to his son, Vladimir Monomach, who presented it to the Cathedral of Smolensk in 1101. At this time the Icon received the name, the Hodigitria of Smolensk.In 1238, at a voice from the Icon, the selfless soldier, Mercurius, defeated a mighty Mongol army (led by the great invader Batu). Later receiving the blessed end of martyrdom, he was numbered among the Saints by the Russian Orthodox Church (commemorated Nov. 24).In the 14th Century, Smolensk fell under the rule of the Lithuanian princes. The daughter of Prince Vitovtus, Sophia, was given in marriage to Grand Prince Dimitry of Moscow (1398-1425) and in 1398 she brought to Moscow the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. The Holy Image was placed in the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kremlin at the right corner of the Holy Doors.In 1456, at the request of the inhabitants of Smolensk, headed by Bishop Mishael, the Icon was festively returned to Smolensk, while two copies were left in Moscow one in the Annunciation Cathedral and the other, in 1524, in the Novodevichy Convent, memorializing the return of Smolensk to Russia. This Monastery was erected on the Devichy Field where, with many tears the Muscovites had offer farewell to the Holy Icon when it had been returned to Smolensk.In 1602 an exact copy of the wonderworking Icon was written, which was then lodged in the Tower of the Smolensk fortress wall over the Dnieprovsky Gates, under a specially-constructed roof. Later, in 1727, there was erected there a wooden church and in 1802 one of stone.The new copy received the blessed power of the ancient Image and, on August 5, 1812, when the Russian armies left Smolensk at the advance of Napoleon, they took with them the Icon for safekeeping. The day before the Battle of Borodino, they bore this Icon around the camp so that the troops would be strengthened. The ancient Image of the Smolensk Hodigitria, temporarily placed in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow, on the day of the Battle itself, together with the Iveron and Vladimir Icons of the Mother of God, were carried through the streets of Moscow, as well as to the sick and wounded in the Lefortovsky Court. After the victory over Napoleon, the Smolensk Hodigitria, as well as the glorified copies, were returned to Smolensk.The Feast in honor of this Icon was established on July 28, 1525, in memory of the return of Smolensk to Russia. This Icon is one of the principle Holy Objects of the Russian Church and the faithful have received and still receive from it abundant graces of help and healing. The Mother of God, through Her Holy Image helps and strengthens us, guiding us to salvation and thus, we cry out to her: O All-gracious Hodigitria, Praise of Smolensk and the whole Russian Land you are the confirmation of the believing people. Rejoice, Hodigitria, Salvation of Christians!