"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.