In the temples of pre-revolutionary Moscow there were manymiracle-working icons, which they worshiped, and asked for help in all worldly affairs. Under the sound of the bells, the Orthodox people rushed to them. But there were among them especially revered. They came from all parts of Russia. One of them is called "Holy heavens". About it and our story will be.

The appearance in Russia of the miraculous image

Gracious sky, icon

About how this wonderful image appeared in Russia,there are different opinions. According to one version, in the XIV century the icon was brought to Moscow from Smolensk by the pious wife of Prince Vasili Dmitrievich - Sofya Vitovtovna. In Smolensk, she was sent from Constantinople, along with other ancient images. According to another version, the icon is of western origin. But this version is less convincing, because it is based solely on the iconographic features of her writing.

There is a special group of the Virgin icons,called "akathist". Their main meaning is to glorify the Queen of Heaven. Each of them is a joyful, laudatory hymn in Her honor. To this group belongs and "Holy heaven" - the icon of the Mother of God. What are they praying for in front of her? About many things. But the main thing is to instruct on the path leading to the Kingdom of Heaven. Does not leave the Immaculate Virgin of all, with faith falling to Her.

Prototype of the Graceful Image

Icon of the Blessed Virgin

It is commonly believed that the icon of the Mother of God"Holy Grace" as a prototype has a different image, known as "Wife, clothed in the sun." The figure of the Virgin with the Child on his hands depicted on it stands on a crescent moon. Its crown is crowned by a crown, and all of it is surrounded by rays. The motive for his writing was the lines from the book of John the Divine.

The Holy Apostle describes how he was honored to see inHeaven, a wife dressed in sun rays, giving birth to a baby, who was destined to become a shepherd for all the people of the world. Created in Western Europe in the 15th century, this iconographic type came to Russia in two hundred years. He gave the beginning to the writing of the Holy Mother of God, among which the "Solar" and the icon of the Mother of God "Blessed heaven".

The image from the Moscow temple

In Orthodox Russia, these icons were in specialhonor. The most ancient of them was the icon of the Virgin "Blessed heaven", which was in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. It was a copy of a more ancient icon, written by the decree of the pious Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. For her, a chased silver salary was made. In 1812, he was abducted, but a few years later replaced by a new one. Some of its details, unfortunately, are not preserved.

Icon of the Blessed Virgin

Today the icon is kept in the MoscowThe Archangel Cathedral. Its wide veneration is connected with the name of the Moscow Metropolitan Philaret (Drozdov). In 1853 he ordered to collect all available documents related to the image of "Holy Heaven". The icon took its place in the renewed iconostasis of the cathedral, and on the instructions of the metropolitan twice a year its celebration was celebrated. In addition, a special prayer service was performed daily in her honor. Numerous pilgrims carried candles, oil and lamps to it. At the very beginning of the last century a new list was made from the image of "Holy Heaven". The icon is currently in one of the temples of the Yaroslavl region.

The famous fresco by VM Vasnetsov

The story of this miraculous image will beincomplete, if you do not recall the famous fresco of the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, the work of VM Vasnetsov. The work is so significant that it is worth dwelling in more detail. His story is not only interesting, but also wonderful.

In 1885, one of the leaders ofthe design of the newly built temple, Professor A. Prahov, invited Vasnetsov to paint the walls, but his son's illness prevented the artist from accepting the offer. However, soon the thought of the image of the Mother of God took possession of him so that he changed his mind. The impetus was the scene he witnessed: his wife, holding a baby in her arms, a son who threw up his arms in a joyful burst.

"Holy Grace" - an icon that has become part of the temple

Icon Blessed sky, meaning

Meanwhile, the preparation of the church was finished in Kievto the painting. Professor Prakhov with a group of assistants inspected the newly plastered walls. The plaster, as is known, dries unevenly, and the dried up light areas alternate with dark, still damp. Going to the part of the wall where there should be a zaaltar image, everyone suddenly saw on the dry and whitened part of the wall an unclear yet dark area, similar in appearance to the image of the Virgin and the baby in her arms.

Prahov immediately sketched what he had seen, and allpresent authenticated. When Vasnetsov came to Kiev and he was shown this sketch, he was amazed - the outline of the Virgin exactly corresponded to the image of his wife he saw with his son in his arms. Impressed by what he saw, he began to work.

Blessed heaven, the icon of the Mother of God, praying for it
Two years later the wall of the cathedral was decorated with the famous fresco "Blessed heaven". The icon, which became part of the cathedral, generously endowed the grace of all with faith coming to it.

Icon - patroness of the defenders of the sky

Today, this icon remains one of the mostrevered by the people. Her celebration is on March 19th. The icon "Holy Grace", the meaning of which went beyond the purely religious symbol, became the patroness of Russian airborne troops, thus fulfilling an important patriotic mission. A decree of the Russian government established the Blessed Heaven medal.

She is awarded for special services in the protection of the skyour homeland. It is known that the legendary military pilot AI Pokryshkin was born on the day of her celebration, and the Mother of God protected him throughout the war in battles.