From among the saints commemorated on the 19th of November, we honor
the Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow".
of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow is the name of at least three well-known wonderworking icons of similar design.
On October 24, the Church commemorates the icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow of Moscow. A woman named Euphymia (sister of Patriarch Joachim) received healing from sickness after
obeying a voice telling her to find this icon and have the priest celebrate a Molieben with blessing of water. This miracle occurred on October 24, 1688.
On July 23, the Church commemorates the icon of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow of St. Petersburg. This icon was glorified in 1888 when the chapel it was located in was struck by lightning. Miraculously, this icon survived despite all else
being burned, and twelve coins from the poor box became attached to the icon.
On November 19, a third icon of similar name and design is commemorated.
There is also an akathist to the Theotokos, Joy of All Who Sorrow.
The design of this
icon depicts the Theotokos, a most beautiful blossom of heaven, standing among the flowers of paradise. Her Son is visible above her in the clouds, the King of heaven and earth. Along both sides of the icon, framing the Mother of
God, are suppliants (us), asking for her intercession. She stands with her arms spread open and her head tilted as if listening. The tenderness and kindness of a loving mother
are evident in her face. She stands in paradise and yet among us.
Neophytus, a bishop belonging to the see of Constantinople, was traveling through Volhynia in Ukraine where he was given hospitality
by a pious woman, Anna Goyskaya. The bishop gave this woman an icon of the holy Theotokos, which began to work miracles, including
the healing of her blind brother. In 1597 the icon was given to the monks residing in Pochaev near the border of Galicia,
where the Mother of God had appeared in 1340, leaving an imprint of her footprint in the rock, from which a stream gushed
forth. In 1675 when the Lavra of Pochaev was besieged by the Moslem Turks, it was saved by the miraculous intervention of
the Mother of God through her wonderworking icon. Even though the Lavra of Pochaev came into Uniate hands for over a century,
miracles continued to be worked through the holy icon. Since its return to the Orthodox Catholic Church in 1831, the icon
has been a grace-bestowing support for Orthodox Christians, especially those in western Ukraine and the Carpathian region.
As with so many
other icons of the Theotokos, wonderworking copies of this icon have been found throughout Orthodox Russia, each with its
own history and moving collection of miracles. In this icon, the most holy Mother of God is depicted standing full stature
sometimes with, sometimes without the Divine Child in her arms; she is surrounded by all manner of the sick and the suffering,
to whom Angels of the Lord bear gifts of mercy, consolation, and suitable aid from the most holy Theotokos. The icon "Joy
of All That Sorrow" was inspired by the hymn of the same name; see page 222 in Great Compline. Through one copy of this
icon, the sister of Patriarch Joachim was healed at the end of the seventeenth century in Moscow, from which time the feast
was established. Another copy of the icon was found in Saint Petersburg; on July 23, 1888, during the severe thunderstorm,
lightning struck a chapel at a glass factory, burning the interior walls of the church, but leaving the icon unsinged. From
the violent disturbance of the air, the icon was knocked to the floor, the poor-box broke open, and twelve copper coins adhered
to the icon in various places; afterwards many miracles were worked by the grace of the holy icon.Template:From the Synaxarion
The theology in this icon depicts the Theotokos as also being our mother, who feels
our pain. It is believed, by Orthodox Christians, that she intercedes for us, bringing our pain into her Son's presence. She
is praying our prayers with love, bringing our needs into the unique relationship that a mother shares with her children.
She is our joy,
because in her love she hears us. Her unceasing intercession and her limitless love help heal our sorrows.
Troparion of the Icon (Tone 4)
- Let us the sinful and unworthy fervently run to the Mother
- And fall down crying in repentance from
the depths of our souls:
- Help us, O Lady who hast
had mercy on us.
- Hasten, for we perish from a
multitude of sins.
- Turn not thy servants empty
away, for we have thee as our only hope.
Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone
- They that pray before thy holy icon, O sovereign Lady, are made worthy of healing,
- receive the gift of understanding of the true Faith, and repel the attacks of the
- likewise for us who fall down before
thee, do thou ask for forgiveness of our sins.
our hearts with devout purpose and raise thy prayer to thy Son for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion in the First Tone
- Thine icon of Pochaev, O Theotokos, hath been shown to be a source of healing
- and a confirmation of the Orthodox Faith.
- Therefore deliver us who flee to it from danger and temptation;
- preserve thy Lavra unharmed; strengthen Orthodoxy in the neighbouring lands;
- and loose thy suppliants from sins; for thou canst do
whatsoever thou dost will.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
- To God's Birthgiver let
us run now most earnestly,
- we sinners all and
wretched ones, and fall prostrate in repentance,
from the depths of our souls:
- Lady, come unto
our aid, have compassion upon us;
- hasten thou,
for we are lost in a throng of transgressions; turn not thy servants away with empty hands, for thee alone do we have as our
Kontakion of the Icon (Tone 6)
- We have no other help, we have no
- Apart from thee, O sovereign Lady.
- Come to our help. We hope in thee
- And in thee we glory.
- Let us not be confounded,
we are thy servants.