The Theotokos of the Passion is one of the most recognized Byzantine icons of the Mother of God (Theotokos) by both Eastern Orthodox Christians as well as Western Roman Catholics. Traditionally, it is said to be one of the icons painted by St. Luke the Evangelist, and it is known in the Western Churches (primarily the Roman Catholic Church) as Our Lady of Perpetual Help The icon's commemoration is celebrated on April 30 and on the sixth Sunday after Pascha (Sunday of the Blind Man). The Roman Catholic Church celebrates this memorial on June 27.
The Icon of the Mother of God "Of the Passion" received its name because on either side of the Mother of God are two angels with the implements of the Lord’s suffering: the Cross, the lance, and the sponge.
There was a certain pious woman, Katherine, who began to suffer seizures and madness after her marriage. She ran off into the forest and attempted suicide more than once.
In a moment of clarity she prayed to the Mother of God and vowed that if she were healed, she would enter a monastery. After recovering her health, she only remembered her vow after a long time. Afraid and mentally afflicted, she took to her bed. Three times the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to her, commanding the sick woman to go to Nizhni-Novgorod and to buy Her icon from the iconographer Gregory.
After she had done this, Katherine received healing. From that time on, miracles have occurred from this icon. The Feast day of this icon is on August 13, commemorating its transfer from the village of Palitsa to Moscow in 1641. A church was built at the place where it was met at the Tver gates, and in 1654, the Strastna monastery was built.
Other “Passion” icons of the Mother of God have been glorified in the Moscow church of the Conception of St. Anna, and also in the village of Enkaeva in Tambov diocese. The icon has been in Rome since 1499, and is permanently enshrined in the church of Sant'Alfonso di Liguori, where the official Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help text is prayed weekly.
This icon is reproduced from a scan of the original icon provided by the Redemptorists of Limerick, Ireland. Legacy Icons reproduces this icon with the full blessing of the C.Ss.R.
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