My acquaintance with the Iveron icon began thanks to an old neighbor. I went to her to ask for salt and noticed that right above the door, where the superstitious nails to the door frame, hangs a small icon. Could not resist, began to ask. It turned out that this was not a church superstition for gullible grandmothers — such icons were hung over the entrance even in monasteries, so that evil would not penetrate into the monastery. At first I was in doubt, but when the annoying sectarians on the floor above called my own door again, I realized that I urgently need such spiritual protection.
The history of the creation of this shrine
The Iveron icon is one of the most revered Christian shrines. She can be recognized by the bloody cheek of the Virgin Mary. This wound is depicted on all the lists and copies of the image for a reason ...
Legend has it that the apostle (evangelist) Luke himself created it. And he painted the Mother of God during her life.
By the way, the brushes of this author are attributed to another miraculous icon - the Vladimir Mother of God.
Iconoclasm in Byzantium (13th century) and the loss of the holy image
It is difficult to trace the path of the icon for the first thousand years of its existence. But it is known for certain that at the end of the 13th century this face of the Virgin was in the private possession of a certain rich widow from Byzantium (she lived in the territory of modern Turkey).
At that time, both secular and ecclesiastical authorities were in terrible confusion: inveterate iconoclasts came to power, believing that only God, His Son and saints needed to pray, and icons did not carry holiness, therefore they should be burned. In this way, many images were destroyed, and the clergy and common parishioners protecting them were persecuted and even martyred (like, for example, St. John of Damascus living in Syria, which was also affected by these near-religious unrest).
Iconoclasts broke into the house of the widow. Fortunately, she managed to bribe them. The greedy people gave the woman a day to hide an important shrine for her.
One soldier, wanting to show the widow that the icon does not carry any holiness, struck the face of the Mother of God with a spear. From the dissected place, blood immediately flowed.
The soldiers were very surprised by what happened. Doubt has entered their souls whether it is really necessary to destroy the image.
True, the widow understood: even if these people who had begun to see clearly spare the icon, tomorrow others will take their place. All night she prayed, asking the heavenly powers to give her a safe hiding place. And the place was indicated.
That same night, a woman brought an icon to the Mediterranean and dropped it into the water. Instead of lying flat on the water, the icon stood up vertically and swam away, and a strong beam of light went from it to the sky.
The acquisition of the icon of Athos monks
The image has come a long way, and finally the light emanating from it was seen by the monks of the Athos Monastery of Iversk.
They tried to take him out of the water, but the icon was not given, constantly sailing back. And only when the hermit Gabriel the Holy Trinity (the Heavenly Queen herself came to him in a dream with an order to take her image) approached her, was she removed from the sea. And the monk did not enter the water, but walked along its surface, and deep water obediently supported him.
Accompanied by prayers, the icon was brought to the monastery.
For three more days, the monks ruled thanksgiving services. But when after that they turned to the icon, it turned out that it was not there!
The monks rushed to seek the shrine. The icon hung over the monastery gates.
Not immediately realizing that this is a sign from above, the monks brought it to the temple three times, placing it on the place of honor, but the image came back every time.
In the end, the Queen of Heaven again came to Gabriel in a dream, ordering her not to bear her image anymore.
Where today can you bow to her?
Like many hundreds of years, this icon can be seen in the Iversky Monastery, which gave it its name. It is located in Georgia, on the sacred mountain Athos.
In order for the image not to be damaged by the weather, a small temple was erected at the monastery gates. For many years around the image has grown the richest salary. Opposite all the time the lamp is on. There are legends about her wonderful properties - they say that she starts to sway, if something very unkind should happen in the world (war, epidemic).
Many people ask: why does the monastery have such a name? It's simple: Iberia is the ancient name of Georgia. And, since it was the people from this country who founded the monastery, they named it in their honor.
Important! On Holy Mountain, one of the most stringent requirements for pilgrims. Women are not allowed here - moreover, even female animals do not have to enter Athos (except for cats fighting rodents in monasteries and chickens). If a girl or woman succeeds in penetrating the mountain, she faces criminal responsibility and even a relatively short, but still imprisonment.
How to pray the Mother of God of Iver?
Special prayer created by the holy fathers:
And in everyday prayer, asking for the Virgin Mary for something or thanks to her in front of her home icon, you can say these words:
When it is necessary to remember about it: church days of memory
- February 25th (12th is old style). On this day, two Iversk icons are honored at once - the original and the list created on Mount Athos for the Valdai Iversky Monastery (Russia). That day there was a solemn transfer of the list.
- May 6 (or April 25). Again honoring the original image and the list with it. This time I mean the icon from the Novodevichy Convent (Moscow). It has been stored here since 1648. And only in the years of the USSR the image was recognized as a work of art and transferred to the State Historical Museum. True, in our days, namely in 2012, it was returned to the parishioners.
- October 26 (13). Again, remember the list from Moscow. That day the icon appeared in the city back in 1648.
- Tuesday is Bright Week (there is no exact date, as this is a rolling holiday). The day of the discovery of the original shrine by the monks of Athos. Like many years ago, and to this day every year on this day the monks of the Iversky Monastery go on a procession to the seashore, where the icon was first opened to them.
Value of this image
In the people such an image is called "Portitissa", that is, "Goalkeeper" or "Gatekeeper". This name of the icon was due to its location in Athos monastery. It is believed that she will guard any gate or door.
But if you look at the canons of iconography, that is, the writing of this face of the Virgin Mary, this is “Odigitria”, that is, “Guide”. This is the name of the icon in which the Heavenly Queen is depicted with the baby Jesus in her arms, and the mother shows her Son with her finger or hand. Such icons point every faithful person to the true path that he must follow.
In addition, it is customary to portray the Virgin Mary also in this manner:
Where in the house you can hang the Iberian icon?
"Goalkeeper" is traditionally hanged near the entrance. Someone is right above the door, and someone is opposite, so that the Virgin Mary looks into the eyes of everyone who enters.
Many believe that the icon protects the house not only from evil people, but also from robberies, fires and floods.
What and to whom does it help?
- In healing the sick. A person who suffers himself, or his relatives, relatives can apply. This property of the icon is associated with a miracle that happened to the Psalmist, poisoned in the Athos monastery. And only prayers to the Virgin Mary brought him back to life.
- In deliverance from enemies. The monastery once tried to seize the Persians from the sea, but the Virgin Mary was pleased that their ship crashed and the holy monastery would not suffer.
- In the replenishment of the family budget, stocks of products. In difficult times, the porter of the monastery demanded money from the poor man who asked to spend the night. The Virgin Mary taught the monks a lesson — all the food in the monastery had deteriorated that night. She met the poor man on the way and gave him a gold coin. He returned to the monastery, talked about a wonderful meeting, and the monks understood who exactly was instructing them on the right path.
But this is not the only "food" miracle that happened thanks to the icon. For example, during the famine, thanks to the Virgin, the monastery barn itself was filled with flour.
- In replenishing peace of mind, getting rid of harmful thoughts and desires. After all, the Mother of God of greedy monks taught the true meaning of faith, virtue and mercy.
- About consolation in troubles and misfortunes. The Iversk Mother of God has preserved the monastery for hundreds of years, it was not damaged even in World War II. By the way, the icon foresaw this war - before the outbreak of hostilities, the face of little Jesus in the image of the meek for a while became formidable.
- The Iversk Mother of God is one of the most ancient icons: it was written by the apostle Luke himself during the life of Mary.
- Many hundreds of years ago, the Virgin was pleased that the icon fell into the Iversky Monastery on Mount Athos. There it is kept until now.
- Iberian Virgin pray, asking for protection, healing of the sick, peace of mind, as well as the replenishment of family stocks.
You will be interested to know that the Iberian Mother of God is miraculous and far beyond the borders of our country. Yes, the Montreal Iveron Icon was very popular in the US Orthodox community. From this video, you will learn about the fate of her guardian Joseph Muñoz, who unfortunately ended as a martyr:
Great news: not so long ago, in America, the peace-flowing Iversky image appeared again. Here is a news service entry about this momentous event: