What’s your icon situation?

If you read one person’s opinion you’ll see that they place prayer above icons: ‘My grandmother had only one small set of icons and prayed to them everyday. Don’t become an icon junky.’ vs. ‘Put an icon of the Theotokos (Mother of God) in every room and carry one with you where ever you go.’.

Iconofthreejoys
Mother of God icon of Three Joys
On December 26th the Church commemorates the feast of the icon of the Mother of God “The Three Joys.”

In early 19th century a certain pious painter brought with him from Italy a copy of the painting of “The Holy Family” and left it in Moscow with his relative, the priest of the Trinity Church on Pokrovka, while he himself soon went back abroad, where he died. The priest, receiving the news of his relative’s death, donated this icon to his church and placed it over the entrance. Forty years passed. A certain noblewoman suffered heavy losses one after another within a brief period of time: her husband was slandered for something and sent into exile, her estates were impounded by the Treasury, and her only son was captured by the enemy during the war. The unfortunate woman sought comfort in prayer and entreated the Heavenly Queen to intercede for her and beseech God’s mercy for the innocent sufferers. One time she heard a voice in her dreams, commanding her to find an icon of the Holy Family and pray before it.

For a long time the sorrowing woman sought this icon among the churches of Moscow, until she finally found it at the entrance into the Trinity Church on Pokrovka. After earnestly praying before this icon, she soon received three pieces of joyful news: her husband was vindicated and returned from exile, her son was liberated from captivity, and her estates were returned to her by the Treasury. For this reason the icon was named “The Three Joys.”

Even in our times the icon does not cease to perform miracles. It is an intercessor for all who are slandered, separated from their relatives, who have lost their rightful property; it is a helper in family needs and a protector of family well-being.

For a while now, I have felt that I needed to purchase one of these ‘Three Joys’ icons. It is being shipped from Russia as I type. I will put a link at the end of this article to the ebay shop where I purchase my icons.

While I was shopping for the Three Joys icon, I saw this icon and fell in love…

Marytriptych

It too is being shipped from Russia. The seller’s description reads:

This Icon was consecrated in the Church of Seraphim of Sarov .
Icon of the Mother of God “In sorrow and grief Consolation” – a Triptych. In addition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it shows the St. George the Victorious, and Demetrius of Thessalonica on horseback, St. John the Baptist and the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, Saint Anthony, Euthymius, Onufry, Sava the Sanctified, saints Spyridon and Nicholas. Before the icon of Our Lady  pray for the healing of suffering a headache, muteness, paralysis, relaxation, for the healing of soul and body …

 

Now, will owning more icons make me, or you, a better Christian? Not necessarily. Will they automatically cause me to pray more, not necessarily. What they will do is remind me I am not alone in my faith. They will remind me of those who have gone before me who may have died but certainly have suffered to some degree or another in their life as a Christian. Ultimately it is of course up to me to pray, to read about the lives of the saints, etc.

Before our roof issues, my icons were in another room. When the water began coming through the ceiling, I moved them to a different spot to protect them. It just so happens that I can now see them from where I sit in my living room to read and blog. As I read my daily Psalms, or lives of the saints, or whatever book I’m in face-first, I can look up and see the serene face of the Theotokos (Mary) looking back at me and Christ the Pantocrator well, looking into me if I’m being honest. That icon has always been a bit unsettling. Should we ever be comfortable in our walk of faith? If you’re feeling pretty good about being a Christian like ‘I’ve GOT this!’ just stare at the ‘Pantocrator’ icon for a bit.

Going back to my original question, how is the icon situation at your home? Do you need more? Does your prayer corner need cleaning up? Do you need to make a prayer corner in your home?

Here is the LINK I promised you to the ebay store where I purchase my icons.

 

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