The Enlightening


This is an icon of an extremely rare iconographic type. The origin of its name and the miraculous cures wrought by it arc unknown. In the icon, the Mother of God with the Pre-Eternal Infant, surrounded by Heavenly Powers, is shown against the background of the portal of the entrance to Paradise, at the foot of which the Heavenly Jerusalem in the form of miniature houses is to he seen. The figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ are covered up to the shoulders with a bell-shaped cloak— a symbol of sorrow and glorification. On the upper ledges of the porlal are burning lamps and in the hands of the angels sitting on clouds are burning candles symbolizing the light of the truth. The symbolism of the icon reilecls the basic idea of Christianity—the idea of Jesus Christ's redemptive sacrifice which opened for people the road to the Heavenly Jerusalem. There is no special feast day in honor of this icon.