Among the numerous images of the Blessed Virgin Marythere is one that can be seen mainly in Russian Orthodox churches. In the West, it is extremely rare. You can learn it from the first glance by the vestments of the Mother of God, whose colors are dominated by glowing red tones. They gave the name to the image - the icon of the Mother of God "Fire-like".
Information about the creation and history of this image is veryare mean and forced to be cautious in any conclusions. The story of his appearance is covered in mystery. It is only known that the now lost original source was written in 845. However, there is reason to believe that in its iconographic type it was identical to the image of "Agiosoritissa", which means "Intercessor and supplicant". This ancient image was widespread in Byzantium in the 12th-15th centuries, it was evident that Rus came to Greece from Greece.
The original version of the icon represented a figureThe Virgin without the Child, but holding a scroll in her hands. In this scroll are listed petitions for us, converted by the Blessed Virgin to his Son. This gives us hope that the "Fire-like" icon of the Mother of God, like all other images of the Virgin, will help and protect us from all troubles and adversities. Therefore, they pray before the icon about everything that goes beyond the limits of our strength and needs God's help.
The red robe of the Virgin symbolizes the bloodJesus Christ, shed by Him in the name of the atoning sacrifice for all people. The fiery color is the symbol of the cleansing fire that burns in the souls of our tares the evils sown by the enemy of the human race. In Orthodox prayers and chants, the Most Holy Theotokos is often referred to as the "Candlestick with Divine Fire" and "The Throne of the Cherubic Fire". In the canon written in Her honor, the Mother of God is likened to the "Fiery Chariot of the Word".
Looking at the icon, you can not help paying attention tothe eyes of the Virgin. He is turned directly at us and full of meekness and humility, as if penetrating into the soul of the viewer. This feature is very typical for Byzantine icons, lacking in external emotionality. In this case, the emotional impact is created by a saturated red color.
The first one mentioned in historical documentsthe icon of the Mother of God "The Fire" was written in 1812. The orthodox saints introduced it three years later. This explains that in the Orthodox prayer-book there is no prayer composed specially for this image. Akathist to the icon of the Mother of God "The Fire" also does not exist. Therefore, before the icon, ordinary prayers of God are raised.
Most often a prayer is written, which is written foricon, called "Bogolyubskaya". It, like the icon of the Mother of God "Fire-like", in its iconographic type goes back to the icon "Agiosoritissa" - "Intercessor and Helper", mentioned above. It received its name on behalf of the pious Russian prince, who was honored to see in the dream the Blessed Virgin, holding in his right hand a scroll with petitions, and the left stretched to Jesus Christ.
There is a lot of information thatThe "fire-like" icon of the Mother of God did not leave without an answer the prayers addressed to it with faith and humility. Without this, it is impossible to get help from above. Remembering the evangelical words of Jesus Christ that we receive everything we ask for only by the strength of our faith, they can undoubtedly be attributed to the grace that is poured out through the image called the icon of the Mother of God "The Fire". They turn to her for help during childbirth, and also pray for the sending of healing for the diseases of children. In addition, they ask for the speedy cessation of wars and the salvation of the lives of Orthodox soldiers.
It is no coincidence that the military theme is linked inour country "Fire" icon of the Mother of God. Its significance acquires a new connotation due to the fact that the memory of the icon is celebrated on February 23, when our country celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day. From her admirers, one sometimes hears words about the fact that there is no figure of the baby on this icon because the Most-Holy Mother of God is ready to take in her arms all the children of Christ scorched by war.
Studying the iconographic features of this imageand trying to reconstruct the history of his appearance, researchers are faced with a curious fact. From the documents that have come down to us, it appears that his original source, from which all subsequent lists were made, fell into Russian lands in 845 AD. Since the year of the Baptism of Russia is considered to be 989, then, consequently, the icon appeared a century and a half before that.
This fact may indicate thatChristian faith penetrated into Russia long before its official adoption. Obviously, this happened in the early years of the reign of the Rurik dynasty. Nevertheless, its distribution in the lists and the veneration of the icon of the Mother of God "The Fire" was received only in the XVIII century.