Icon: Unexpected Joy
|Name:||Icon: Unexpected Joy||Size:||8 x 6,4 cm|
The icon is overlaid with a silver oklad, dated 1827, with hallmark of Moscow.
The Theme of the “Unexpected Joy” icon is based on a manuscript by Bishop Dimitry Rostovskiy (1651-1709). A standard element of this icon type is an icon within an icon, there image of Mary holding the child that is seen hanging on a wall within a room and before that icon a man is kneeling. The inscription below the icon tells the origin story of this type, which is one of a great many known as “miracle-working” icons.
A certain “lawless” man had a daily rule to pray to the most holy mother of God with the words of the archangels greeting.
According to the story, the man kneeling before the icon, was a habitual lawbreaker. Het was just about to leave his home to perform more dastardly deeds when, as he paused to greet the icon, he was astonished and horrified yo see that the images were alive and moved and spoke to him, the child showing him the wounds on the hands, the thief seeing that spoke: O mistress, who did this?
Mary replied to him: You and all other sinners, with your sins, have crucified my son anew.
Of course this miracle resulted in the repentance of the thief, and the whole strange event was to him an Unexpected Joy, because he changed his way of living.
Courtesy David Coomler: Icons and their interpretations. www.russianicons.wordpress.com