Sunday, 20 April 2014 | 09:16

Vatopedi Icon of the Mother of God (Comfort, Consolation) will arrive in Grodno in a week

Vatopedi Icon of the Mother of God (Comfort, Consolation) will arrive in Grodno in a week The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos, Greece

The exact copy of the miracle-working Vatopedi “Comfort” or “Consolation” Icon of the Mother of God from the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos will arrive in Grodno on 20 September.

The icon is known as Vatopedi for the Monastery on Mount Athos where this form originated in the 9th century, BelTA reports.  It is also referred to as the Comfort or Consolation Icon, as Mary being consoled by the Christ-child; and she, in turn, is the Consolation of all Christians.

The Vatopedi “Comfort” or “Consolation” Icon of the Mother of God is in the old Vatopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos, in the Church of the Annunciation. It was called “Vatopedi” because near this monastery in 395, Arcadius, the son of Emperor Theodosius the Great, fell off a ship into the sea, and by the miraculous intercession of the Mother of God he was carried to shore safe and unharmed. He was found sleeping by a bush, not far from the monastery. From this event the name “Vatopedi” (“the bush of the child”) is derived. The holy Emperor Theodosius the Great, in gratitude for the miraculous deliverance of his son, embellished and generously endowed the Vatopedi Monastery.

On the Vatopedi Icon, the Mother of God is depicted with Her face turned towards Her right shoulder. This is because on January 21, 807, She turned Her face towards the abbot of the monastery, who was standing near the holy icon, about to hand the keys of the monastery to the porter. A voice came from the icon and warned him not to open the monastery gates, because pirates intended to pillage the monastery. The Holy Child then placed His hand over His Mother’s lips, saying, “Do not watch over this sinful flock, Mother, but let them fall under the sword of the pirates.” The Holy Virgin took the hand of Her Son and said again, “Do not open the gates today, but go to the walls and drive off the pirates.” The abbot took precautionary measures, and the monastery was saved.

In memory of this miraculous event, a perpetual lamp burns in front of this wonderworking icon. On Mt. Athos, this icon is called “Paramythia,” “Consolation” (“Otrada”), or “Comfort” (“Uteshenie”).

On September 21, when the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated, the monastery will celebrate 20 years of its revival. The arrival of the icon will become a gift to celebrate the event. The wonder-working copy of the icon will be on display for worshiping from 20 to 22 September. On September 21, on the occasion of the celebrations, the Divine Liturgy will be held by Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk Filaret, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus.

People pray to this icon in grief and sorrows to cure maladies, including sever illnesses. The copy of the miracle-working icon was made by the Vatopedi Monastery monks. Every time the copy of the icon goes on a pilgrimage to different countries the monks of the monastery say prayers before the copy which stands next to the original icon.

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