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Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons

Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons 86

Orthodox Christianity provides the faithful with many sacred objects of worship, especially icons – artistic depiction of holy figures. It is commonly believed these holy relics possess spiritual powers to perform miracles and protect individuals and even whole country from possible danger.

What is holy icon?

An icon (from Greek “image”) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, where the most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. In Orthodox Christianity the icons provide inspiration and connect the worshipper with the spiritual world, sometimes they are called “windows into heaven.”

These objects are important for believers because they depict patron saints, people who are chosen as special protectors or guardians over all areas of life. Traditionally people see them as symbols of how to live a better life. Most of Orthodox Christians understand that they are merely expressing honour and respect for the people and events depicted, and not for the icons themselves.

Since the time of Byzantine Empire the icons had become a major part of worship and devotion among the Orthodox Christianity followers. The walls of churches were covered inside from floor to roof with icons, scenes from the Bible, allegorical groups. Icons were taken on journeys as a protection, they marched at the head of armies, they hung in a place of honour in almost every house etc.

More reverence has been always paid to icons believed to have miraculous origins.

‘Our Lady of Vladimir’

Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons

Our Lady of Vladimir

Our Lady of Vladimir is one of the most venerated Orthodox icons. Regarded as the holy protectress of Russia, the icon is displayed in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Patriarch Luke Chrysoberges of Constantinople sent the newly-painted icon as a gift to Grand Duke Yury Dolgoruky of Kiev about 1131. The beautiful image was coveted by Yury’s son Andrei the Pious who brought it to his favourite city Vladimir in 1155. When the horses that transported the icon stopped near Vladimir and refused to go further, this was interpreted as a sign that the Blessed Virgin wants to stay in Vladimir. To house the icon, the great Assumption cathedral was built there, followed by other churches dedicated to the Virgin throughout northwestern Russia.

In 1395, during Tamerlane’s invasion, the image was taken from Vladimir to the new capital, Moscow. The spot where people and the ruling prince met the icon is commemorated with the Sretensky monastery. Vasili I of Moscow spent a night crying over the icon, and Tamerlane‘s armies retreated the same day. The Muscovites refused to return it back to Vladimir and placed it in the Assumption cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The image was also credited with saving Moscow from Tatar hordes in 1451 and 1480.

One of the most exquisite icons ever painted, Our Lady of Vladimir is imbued with universal feelings of motherly love and anxiety for her child. By the 16th century the Vladimirskaya (as the Russians call it) was a thing of legend. It was even rumoured that the icon was painted by St Luke on the Lord’s table of the Last Supper. The venerated image was used in coronations of tsars, elections of patriarchs, and other important ceremonies of state.

But its most important service was yet to come. In December 1941, as the Germans approached Moscow, Stalin order that the icon be taken from a museum and placed in an airplane and that it be carried around the besieged capital. Several days later the German army started to retreat.

‘Our Lady of Kazan’

Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons

Our Lady of Kazan

This miraculous icon of the Mother of God appeared after the fire in Kazan in the 16th century in a rather mysterious way. Theotokos appeared to a nine-year-old girl Matrona in a dream and told her to find her icon on the ashes. This dream was repeated again and again, until the girl decided to go with her mother in search of the icon. And indeed, the icon was found there.

This image of the Mother of God is the most revered and beloved, and considered the ‘Great Intercessor of Russia.’ The icon more than once helped the Russian people in the most difficult times. Its appearance symbolizes victory over the Time of Troubles. Russians thank it for the disposal of Moscow from the invasion of the Poles. Before the Battle of Poltava, Peter the Great with his army prayed to the image of the Kazan Mother of God. The icon was the main patron of the Romanov dynasty. During the Great Patriotic War, this icon was the spiritual driver of the Russian people.

Beginning with Baptism, all the most significant events in life of a Russian Orthodox take place with this icon. It gives a blessing for marriage, helps in work and in everyday problems. Feast days of ‘Our Lady of Kazan’ are 21 July and 4 November.

The Pochaev Mother of God

Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons

The Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God

Pochaev mountain is in the west of Kyvian Rus, now in modern-day Ukraine, and it is there in the 14th century, that an appearance of the Mother of God with her Saviour was granted to two monks and a nearby shepherd. After the vision, a single footprint remained in the mountainside, from which a spring emerged. The previously uninhabited mountain became the site of a monastery dedicated to the miracle. Over 200 years later, the monastery was visited by the a Greek Bishop, Neophit, who left behind as a gift, an Icon of the Theotokos from Constantinople. This is the Icon which came to bear the monastery’s name: the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God.

It is believed this icon saved the town from Turkish army’ attack in 1675. After people start praying a vision of the Mother of God appeared in the sky along with an army of angels, swords unsheathed. At this appearance, the defenders were over-joyed, whilst the besieging Turks were terrified. In panic, the Turks fired arrows into the sky at the image but the arrows simply fell back to earth upon the attackers.The Turks turned to flee, and the monastery was saved. The Pochaev Icon produced many other miracles over the years, and is still known as a wonder-working image to this day.

Our Lady of Smolensk

Holy Relics: Miraculous Powers Of Icons

  Our Lady of Smolensk

Another important icon in Russian Orthodoxy is Our Lady of Smolensk. With the population of 200,000 inhabitants, Smolensk was probably the largest city in the 15th-century Lithuania. Three Smolensk regiments proved decisive during the Battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic knights. It was a severe blow when the city was recaptured by Vasili III of Russia in 1514. To commemorate this event, the tsar founded the Novodevichi convent in Moscow and dedicated it to the holy icon of Our Lady of Smolensk.

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Spirituality

Indigo boy Anand predicts the disaster of “Six Stars” in February, opens a website

Indigo boy Anand predicts the disaster of "Six Stars" in February, opens a website 89

Abhigya Anand, a popular Indian indigo boy, predicted that under the influence of six stars , an astonishing disaster might happen in February 2021. In addition, Anand announced at the beginning of the new year that he had set up a personal official website to post messages to get rid of social media censorship and fake messages.

” Six Stars” in February 2021

14-year-old Indian boy Anand became popular online because he predicted the outbreak of the epidemic last year. He also predicted that the world would be in danger from November 2020 to November 2021.

He said that Jupiter will enter Capricorn in November 2020, and the disaster will begin again. In particular, the rare conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020 will affect the earth, from wars, epidemics to economic collapse, and there may be problems with the vaccine being developed. 

A mutated strain first appeared in the UK. This new strain has a 70% higher transmission rate than the old strain, and has spread to more than 50 countries, and the mutated virus has turned to attack young adults, and many adults Died in the virus. As of January 12, the number of people diagnosed worldwide was 91.38 million, which is equivalent to 1 in every 100 people. All this has confirmed Anand’s prediction about the epidemic.

Anand even predicted that on February 10, 2021, there will be a “six-star connection”, that is, the sun, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon will be connected in a straight line, just like a candied haw. This means that greater dark forces will impact the earth, and there may be astonishing disasters, and the economy may even collapse.

At present, all parts of the world have begun to take measures to close the city and curfew. Will these measures be implemented wrongly? People don’t work anymore. If you don’t work and just eat, how long can you say this economy can withstand?

Anand said that until Jupiter enters Aquarius in November 2021, most of the disasters caused by these astronomical changes will gradually disappear and the world economy will begin to recover.

Anand predictable manner is the use of “Vedic astrology “, also known as ” Indian astrology ” (Jyotish Astrology), it originated in the ancient Indian system of astrology, and Western astrology is different. And 14-year-old Anand is already a master of Vedic astrology.

In addition to being proficient in “Vedic Astrology “, Anand is also familiar with Ayurveda (Ayurveda, refers to Indian traditional medicine), Sanskrit and management. He has obtained a master’s degree in herbal microbiology and is studying for a PhD in financial astrology, so Anand is a real super genius.

Anand sets up an official website

Due to unexplained reasons, YouTube has repeatedly deleted videos, so Anand set up a personal official website (abhigyaanand.com). Friends who are interested in his predictions can now go to his website to watch his videos freely. Log in to the website to directly obtain his updated information, avoiding the interference of Internet censorship and false messages.

In the introduction video, Anand stated in words:

“Tubing has been desperately deleting Anand’s predictions, and these predictions are now being fulfilled. Therefore, we are launching our website to you.”

Anand’s website, for example, predicted in a short film published on April 1, 2020, that “the next (epidemic) outbreak will occur around December 20, 2020.” However, this short film was deleted by YouTube on May 16, and was re-uploaded by a third party.

Anand reminded people in the comment area at the bottom of the video that he does not have any Facebook, Twitter or Reddit accounts. Now someone is issuing false predictions in his name, don’t believe it. 

He said, “Having a social media account does not help. We try to use every alternative platform.”

Anand wrote:

“Because Youtube deleted the film without any reason, threatening Internet freedom, and some people deliberately faked it, so he created a personal website.”

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Spirituality

An ancient Greek inscription of 1,500 years dedicated to Christ was discovered in Israel

An ancient Greek inscription of 1,500 years dedicated to Christ was discovered in Israel 90

The team is sure that the inscription comes from a church and not from a monastery. The discovery was reported by the Israeli Foreign Ministry with reference to the Antiquities Authority. It was performed in the Jezreel Valley, which since ancient times was the main battlefield of biblical Israel.

An inscription 1,500 years old writes in ancient Greek “Christ, born of Mary”. This was found by a team of archaeologists in an excavation in northern Israel, a text that was placed above the church door to ward off evil spirits.

The phrase was used by Christians to exorcise the evil eye, a superstition of the Greeks and Romans.

The inscription was discovered during the excavation of the ruins of a once magnificent Byzantine church, probably built during the early Islamic period. The church came to light during the mandatory excavations to cross the new road to the Jezreel Valley.

The researchers also established the identity of Theodosius mentioned in the text, who founded this church. This was one of the first Christian bishops. He was an influential person, the supreme religious leader of the Metropolitanate of Bet Shean, to which the modern village of al-Tayyib belonged.

“This is the first evidence of the existence of a Byzantine church in the village of et-Taiyiba and adds to the other findings that certify the activities of Christians in the area,” said Dr. Walid Atrash of the Antiquities Authority of Israel.

The team is sure that the inscription comes from a church and not from a monastery.

According to the researchers, artifacts from different periods were also found during the excavations. They shed new information on the long history of the settlements that existed in al-Tayyiba, as well as on their status.

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Spirituality

Why does Satan’s name mean “light-bearer”?

Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 91

In modern languages, Lucifer is one of the names of Satan. However, from Latin the word lucifer literally translates as “luminiferous” and comes from the words lux (“light”) and phero (“carry”). What kind of light is this that the infernal ruler carries?

Franz von Stuck.  Lucifer
Franz von Stuck. Lucifer

The ancient Romans called the planet Venus by the word Lucifer, that is, the “morning star”, which is better than all other celestial bodies visible in the morning (as well as evening) firmament. By the way, this name is “tracing paper” from ancient Greek: the ancient Greeks called this celestial entity Phosphorus (from Φωσφόρος – “carrying light”).

Lucifer means ‘that which brings light’. From φῶς (phôs, “light”) +‎ -φόρος (-phóros, “bearing”), from φέρω (phérō, “I carry”).

Venus in the morning sky in January
Venus in the morning sky in January

Why did the name of the star become the name of Satan? This happened as a result of “translation difficulties”. The Bible, in the Book of Isaiah, contains a prophecy about the death of the Babylonian king – a terrible enemy of the ancient Jews. It looks like this:

“… You fell from the sky, morning star, son of the dawn! He crashed to the ground, trampling on the peoples. “

“Morning star” and “son of the dawn” here are nothing more than magnificent oriental titles of the ruler. When Jerome of Stridonsky, the first translator of the Bible into Latin, translated this passage, he translated the Hebrew word הֵילֵל (“heylel”, “morning star”) as lucifer, because that is how the morning star was called in Latin.

Caravaggio.  Saint Jerome
Caravaggio. Saint Jerome

However, Christians, contemporaries of Jerome, associated this passage not with the king of Babylon – the embodiment of evil for the ancient Israelites, but with their enemy – Satan. And the word “lucifer”, which was just the title of the Babylonian king, began to write with a capital letter. So the innocuous name of the star became a terrible hellish name.

Jerome’s other translation error led to an amusing misunderstanding. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, European artists and sculptors depicted Moses – the main biblical prophet … with horns on his head! Why?

Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 92
Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 93
Why does Satan's name mean "light-bearer"? 94

The Bible says that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, his face was radiant. In Hebrew, the words “ray” and “horn” are similar. So Jerome got it: “His face became horny because God spoke to him.”

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