Icons of the Theotokos: Assuage My Sorrows


The Assuage My Sorrows icon, whose writer is unknown, was originally brought to Russia from a Russian Monastery on Mt. Athos. The icon’s first appearance in recorded history comes after a 17th century victory in a battle against Poland, during the reign of Tsar Michael Fydorovich. In response to the victory, a copy of the Assuage My Sorrows icon was brought to Moscow and placed in St. Nicholas Church.

In the second half of the 18th century, a woman was suffering from weakness in both her hands and her feet, with doctors unable to heal her pain in any way. In a vision, however, the woman saw an icon, and was told to go to Moscow and pray before an icon that bore the inscription Assuage My Sorrows.

However, upon arriving in the church, she could not find the icon that matched what she had seen in her vision. Turning to a priest for help, he retrieved every icon from the bell tower. When the woman saw the icon with the words “Assuage My Sorrows” written on the scroll held by the Christ Child, she cried out, “It is she! It is she!” After a Moleben (in Greek, a Paraklesis) the woman felt so much stronger, she was able to leave the church without assistance.

As the miracle took place on January 25 1760, a Feast Day was established in honor of the Assuage My Sorrows icon. The icon worked numerous miracles for the faithful who came to venerate it, as well as through the fours copies that were written and distributed throughout Russia.

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