"Merciful" Icon of the Mother of God

Commemorated on December 26, November 12

      The Icon of the Mother of God, named the "Merciful" ("Kykkiotisa", "Milostivaya"): This icon was written, according to tradition, by the holy Evangelist Luke. It received its name "Kykkiotisa" from Mount Kykkos, on the Island of Cyprus. Here it was situated in an imperial monastery, in a church named after it. Before its coming to the Island of Cyprus, the wonderworking image of the Mother of God long wandered about through the will of God: at first it was situated in one the earliest Christian communities in Egypt, and then it was taken to Constantinople, where it remained during the time of Alexius Comnenius (end-XI to early-XII Century). During these years it was revealed to the hermit-elder Isaiah through a miraculous sign, that by his efforts the wonderworking image written by the Evangelist Luke would come to reside on the Island of Cyprus. The elder exerted much toil into fulfilling the Divine revelation. When the icon of the Mother of God arrived on the island, many a miracle was worked by it. From of old through the present to the monastery of the Mother of God the Merciful there throng those from every side afflicted by every sort of infirmity, and they receive healing through faith. In the miraculous power of the holy icon believe not only Christians, but also those of other faith who hearken to it in misfortune and illness. Inexhaustible is the mercy of the MostHoly Mother of God, Mediatrix for all the suffering, and Her image accurately bears the name, the "Merciful". The wonderworking "Kykkiotisa" Icon of the Mother of God possesses a remarkable peculiarity: from what time-period is unknown, but it is covered by an half shroud from the upper left corner to the lower right, such that the faces of the Mother of God and the Divine Infant no one is able to make bold to see. The depiction of the Mother of God appears to be of the Hodegetria type, as is also the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God. The head of the Mother of God is adorned with a crown.
      At present a copy of this icon is particularly venerated at the women's Nikol'sk monastery in the city of Mukachev.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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"Merciful" Icon of the Mother of God

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