Iverskaya icon of Theotokos
the most famous and respected of Slavonic people.
Iviron is the name of the monastery on Holy Mount Athos where the Iverskaya icon hasbeen since the 10th century. According to church history, this icon was of the type paintedby the Apostle and Evangelist Luke on a panel of the table at which, The Lord Jesus Christand His 12 apostles had their Last Supper. This icon is of the Hodegetria type from theGreek meaning Pointer of the Way and is usually depicted with the Christ Child in Herarms giving His blessing, but the Iverskaya icon has also some blood on Her cheek.In the 9
century, a widow from Byzantium hid the icon in her house topreserve this icon of Virgin Mary from destruction of iconoclasts, becausethat time, was a time of iconoclasm, and all icons were being lookedfor and then they were burned or broken. One day, soldiers burst into
with his sword. At that moment the blood began to flow from the cheekof The Holy Virgin Mary. The Soldiers-iconoclasts were very scared and
Fearing that she would be caught, the widowtook the icon to the sea and after saying a prayer, she dropped it into
200 years later a monk from Athos found the icon in the sea and took it to the monastery.A copy was made and sent to Russia in 1648, where a chapel was built for it. Almost im-mediately this copy became highly venerated because of many-many miracles which hadbeen attributed to it. This Holy Chapel is in the heart of Moscow (the capital of the RussiaFederation) between the Historical Museum and the building where the State Duma met be-fore the Revolution. It was always the most revered place of all Russian holy places Afterthe revolution of 1917, the chapel was razed, and opened again only in 1994. The feast
monks saw the holy icon, gliding in the sea water to them. Since then and up to now, forabout 11 centuries the Iverskaya icon of Theotokos has been in the monastery on HolyMount Athos and a lot of miracles have taken place all this time.
Litanies are an integral part of worship in theOrthodox Church. They come in many different forms and bear several different
litanies that is difficult to ignore: all of them take the form of a dialogue between theclergy, who preside at our divine services, and the people, who can be thought of as co-celebrants. As in any good and healthy conversation, a few things are necessary. Foremost,there must be at least two parties; one cannot engage in dialogue by oneself. Litanies are aliturgical dialogue between the clergy and people. In order for this interaction to work ap-propriately, this conversation must consist not only of the priest chanting petitions, but of thepeople responding. In fact, a large portion of the Divine Liturgy involves dialogue betweenthe celebrating clergy and the people who have gathered in worship. Probably the mostpoignant example of such a dialogue is the anaphora. The content of these prayers impliesand rest upon the very fact that the congregation is present and that it actively participates,praying each petition as a single body. The celebrant exclaims, "Let us have our hearts on
ing. So, from the Great Litany at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy to the very end, when
ferent streams of dialogue between clergy and people, each affording us an opportunity tounify as a community, as the Body of Christ.