Color symbols on the icon
The Mother of God is the embodiment of tenderness and severity. She holds the Son of God Jesus in her arms and looks at Christians praying in front of the image. Infant Jesus with frightened eyes looks at the flying angel. In his hands Jesus sees his fate in the form of a crucifix, a spear and a sponge, with which Christ was given to drink.
The inscriptions on the icon tell us that these archangels are Michael and Gabriel. The background of the image is painted in gold, which symbolizes eternity and God himself. The Mother of God is depicted in the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in a red robe and a blue cape. Red color means love, and blue means loyalty and faith. The green color that is present on the icons of Our Lady of Perpetual Help symbolizes the divinity of the baby. His brown robes – an inextricable connection with humanity and the earth, since Jesus is both a man of flesh and the Son of God.
The Christian Legend
As Christian legends say, the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, like forty other images of the Holy Trinity. This Icon was written by the companion of the Apostle Paul – Luke. From that time until 1453, the image of the Virgin was kept in the temple of Constantinople. Until the city was raided by Turkish troops. It was then that the icon was destroyed.
Of course, today there are many lists from the original. However, all of them, unfortunately, have undergone some, albeit insignificant, but still changes, and have also been supplemented with new colors. The oldest icons that have survived to this day are subsidized by the 16th century. On these lists, as on all images of Byzantine iconography, the Mother of God appears before believers in the image of the all-forgiving Mother of God, as the last hope and “refuge for sinful souls”, to which even the most hopeless sinners can turn.
From Сhurch records it can be learned that a merchant who lived in the Middle Ages. His name is unknown, stole the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that once stood on the island of Crete. He hid the icon in his belongings and sailed on a ship sailing to the West. Then a terrible storm began. A storm literally tore all the nearby ships to pieces. The ship on which “the Mother of God sailed” did not receive any damage and safely docked at the port.
A year later, the icon ended up in Ancient Rome, where a merchant sought refuge. Then he stopped at the house of his friend and at the hour of his death the merchant revealed to him a terrible secret. This secret was about the stolen image. He asked his friend to take the icon to the nearby temple of the Lord. The friend of the merchant vowed to fulfill the last will of the dying man. But his wife did not want to give this beautiful image and therefore the vow that the friend of the merchant made was never fulfilled.
About a little girl
After some time, the Mother of God appeared to the merchant’s six-year-old daughter. The Mother of God ordered to place her image in the church of the Apostle Matthew. Then standing on the Lateran Hill. According to legend, the girl accurately described the Mother of God who appeared in a dream and conveyed the order to her mother. After much doubt, she nevertheless took the image to the monks who then served in the Church of St. Matthew. This event was recorded in church manuscripts and dated March 27, 1499. In the very church of the Lord, the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was kept and venerated by the monks for another 300 years. And the services held in honor of this image soon became known throughout Rome. This is how a new stage in the history of the icon Our Lady of Perpetual Help began.
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