Valaam icon of Mother of God
This icon was painted by Hieromonk Alipy (secular name Alexei Kon-stantinov), a monk from the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior on Valaam Island. He was admitted to the monastery in 1875 mostly for his gift as a painter. He passed away on August 17, 1901, at the age of 50. Alipy's manner of icon-painting shows traces of a strong influence of the Mount Athos school. Because of the saintly life led by the Valaam ascetics, Valaam Island was dubbed the Russian Mount Athos. In the Valaam Icon of the Mother of God, the Most Holy Theotokos more than in any other of Her icons resembles a stern nun, a Mother Superior. Only the red color of Her maphorion reveals the royal, divine status of the Heavenly Queen, the Mother of God. Among the great many Theotokian icons, every believer searches for the one that is consonant with his soul. The miracle-working Valaam icon invented at the austere northern cloister is a source of divine warmth for many pilgrims. There is no special feast day in honor of this icon. Feast day: July 25 / August 7.