This week’s icon is rather different from those we have previously discussed. Firstly, in honor of the recent feast of the Dormition of St. Anna (July 25), this icon is of the Mother of the Theotokos, with the infant Mary.
Similar to the form of most icons of the Theotokos and Christ, this icon also has the distinction of being a very modern one. Begun in 1998 on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at the request of a former monk of that monastery, Fr. Athanasy, the icon was completed and blessed in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, before being brought to Philadelphia; to the Russian Orthodox Church of Our Lady of Joy of All Who Sorrow.
On Mother’s Day 2004, parishioners in this parish reported to Fr. Athanasy that the icon of St. Anna appeared to be weeping. Upon further inspection, Fr. Athanasy discovered that the accumulations of the miraculous, fragrant substance referred to as myrrh had appeared on St. Anna’s left cuff, as well as the left shoulder of her veil. Initially, the myrrh appeared to be streaming from St. Anna’s eyes, as if she were crying (see detail above).
Reports from St. Tikhon’s monastery in Pennsylvania (where the icon has resided since 2012) indicate that while the icon is no longer weeping, it still possesses a sweet fragrance, and that healings and miracles continue to be worked for the faithful, through the intercessions of St. Anna.