One of the brightest and most colorful images of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the icon “Fadeless Color”. The Virgin Mary is always depicted on it among flowers and plants. And it is not surprising that this image is loved not only by Orthodox believers, but also by people who do not identify themselves with religion. The Green Party initiated the construction of a chapel in honor of this image in Moscow on the territory of the Alekseevsky Monastery. On their initiative, the icon “Fadeless Color”, whose photo in front of you, has become a symbol of the struggle for the ecology of Russia.
Image from the chapel of the Alekseevsky Monastery
The choice for the construction of the chapel of the Alekseevsky monastery is fully justified. The fact is that here in ancient times was kept the most revered in the Orthodox world icon of the Virgin “Fading Color”. However, even during the reign of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna she was lost. Now it is difficult to say what exactly was the reason why the monastery lost such an important shrine. But since then, a multitude of evidence has remained of miracles manifested in this remarkable way.
Currently, another icon in the chapel is “Fading Color,” but according to the pilgrims, it also performs miracles. And this should not be surprising. The fact is that “Fadeless Color” is an icon, meaning, prayer and even the iconographic style of which is filled with special content. They go beyond the traditional image of the Virgin. Only the image of the Virgin Mary and the Baby, surrounded by flowers, carries a powerful positive charge.
Miraculous icon from Voronezh
Among the existing icons of this type, the miraculous icon from the city of Voronezh, which was kept in the Nativity of the Mother of God Church, is widely known in Orthodox circles. Her story is remarkable. During the revolution, she disappeared. Information about it is preserved only in archival documents of that period.
But at the beginning of the two thousandth, when they began to return to believers everything that was illegally selected in the hard times, the Nativity of the Virgin church was returned to the parishioners. However, the miraculous appearance of the icon itself, which was considered irretrievably lost, became a real holiday. Now it can be seen in Voronezh in the left limit of the Pokrovsky temple. Already in our days collected a lot of evidence of its miracles.
Icon of the Virgin from Saratov
Another icon of the Mother of God “Unfading color”, which is worth mentioning, is in Saratov. It is kept in the temple, built and consecrated in honor of another well-known icon of the Mother of God - "Soothe my sorrows." This icon is remarkable because it was written by a Greek master on the holy Mount Athos in St. Andrew's Skete. The exact dating of the creation of the image could not be established, according to the researchers, it was written no later than the middle of the XIX century.
Arzamas image, lost and recreated again
Before the Revolution, in the Pokrovsky nunnery near Arzamas, there was also the everlasting icon of the Mother of God “Unfading color”. But in the fire of revolution the monastery suffered greatly, but the shrine itself was irretrievably lost. Only the memories of the miracles sent down by the Queen of Heaven through her remained. In 2010, one of the businessmen Ardatov initiated the re-creation of the image on the basis of the preserved photographs and testimonies of old parishioners who remember the icon. Specialists were invited, with their help the image was restored.
Favorite image of St. Seraphim of Sarov
Another icon for its miracles icon "Fading color" is in the city of Cadom. Here once was located the Merciful-Bogorodsky monastery. Nowadays, it has not yet been restored and lies in ruins, but on its territory there is a temple, which houses the icon “Fadeless Color”, brought from Georgia.
During the long years of the rebellion, it was kept in a private house, only during the church revival it was transferred to the church. This icon is remarkable, first of all, by the fact that it was once in the possession of Saint Reverend Seraphim of Sarov and enjoyed his special love. A characteristic feature of the iconography of the image is the half-length figure of John the Baptist depicted above the Savior's head.
In 2006, in the village of Ivankovichi in the Kiev region, the temple of the unfading color icon was built. It is remarkable that during its construction, despite the scale of the work being carried out, not a single tree from the growing trees was damaged. This is also a kind of miracle. In the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery (as well as a number of other museums) there are several such miraculous images.
Help sent through the icon
Icon “Fadeless color” helps, above all, in solving all sorts of family problems. This is usually the case, the year in the marital relationship comes disorder, and help is needed to strengthen them. Also, when conflicts arise and between all other household members, they offer prayers in front of her image. It was noted more than once that the Mother of God helped young girls in search of a worthy partner in life.
It is widely believed that during prayer-giving, help is provided not only to the soul, but also to the body of the worshiper, helping to preserve beauty and youth. A very important help is the icon “Fadeless Color”, the meaning of which is very broad, for people who have experienced strong life dramas. Her support is invaluable in cases where people suffer from loneliness and mental breakdown as a result of the grief that has befallen them. In such cases, the prayer in front of the image instills new strength in a person, helps to endure a difficult period in life, to get rid of anxieties and gloomy thoughts.
Numerous testimonies of beneficial assistance
Currently, there is a lot of testimony from those who personally in prayers turned for help to the Most Holy Theotokos in front of her miraculously. The prayer to the icon “Fadeless color” helped many unmarried women to find their chosen one and arrange family happiness. Survivors of mental suffering talk about the granting of emotional balance, about the grace of help in gaining strength for later life, in getting rid of anxieties and dark thoughts.
A wonderful phenomenon of the icon in the village of Chernovka
The Russian Orthodox Church knows many examples of the miraculous phenomena of the icons of the Most Holy Theotokos. This usually happens at times when people especially need Her holy help. Often such phenomena occur at crucial moments in history. But even in our days there have been cases of miraculous manifestations of the icons of the Mother of God. One of them occurred recently in the Samara region.
In the spring of 2012, in the village of Chernovka, Sergievsky District, an icon appeared miraculously on the window of an elderly woman. It is noteworthy that it happened on April 16, that is, on the day of the celebration in honor of the image "Fadeless Color". On this day, the owner of the house decided to remove the oilcloth from the window, which covered it in winter from cold winds. What was her surprise when in the window, freed from the protective layer, she saw the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Her Baby. From it came a quiet radiance. Before the goggle of a woman was the icon “Fadeless Color”.
Not yet fully understanding the meaning of what had happened, the woman began to cry with joy. But this miracle is not over. Since then, every evening with the onset of darkness, the wonderful image disappears and appears again in the morning. Each time it happens very slowly and gradually. The image is impossible to take and carry. He seems to live in the window of the house. The hostess says that both church attendants and curious people came to her many times. Many tried to catch her in deception. But, no matter how hard they tried, each time they left the house in embarrassed silence. And in the window the icon “Fadeless color” was still glowing quietly. Photo of the icon, unfortunately, did not appear in print, although there were many members of the press among the visitors.
Fertile spring in the Yeisk region
For a long time, on the outskirts of a small village in Yeisk district, a miraculous spring was beating from the earth. He was famous for the fact that so many sufferers received healing from his blessed waters. He healed many hopeless patients. And no one could say for sure when his fame began, who was the first to know his power on himself. A wooden church was built above the spring and consecrated in honor of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.
Many of those who came to the source recalled later that they clearly saw in its waters the outlines of the Mother of God and the Son, surrounded by flowers. According to their descriptions, the Fadeless Color icon was recreated exactly. The value of such a miracle for the suffering was enormous. Their faith from what they saw immensely strengthened and the prayers became grace, and this brought healing. After the revolution, the church was destroyed, the spring was filled up with earth. And only in 2008, during construction work, he was accidentally dug up. And again he brings healing to people, and again the prayer to the icon “Fadeless Color” sounds over him.
It should be remembered and the image that is currently located in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the Kherson region. This is another great icon “Fadeless Color”. Its value is that it is a myrrh-water. Not only from all over Ukraine, but from other countries, pilgrims come to her to worship and ask for the prayers of deliverance from the misfortunes of everyday life.
The history of the holy image
The history of icon creation is remarkable. In Greece, a miracle occurs on the mountain of Kefalonia every year, witnessed by many pilgrims. According to the tradition that has developed over many centuries, on the day of the Annunciation white flowers are brought to the festive service, in memory of the flower that was in the hands of the Archangel Gabriel at that great hour. These flowers are carefully folded into the icon case under glass and stored there without water until the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin, that is, for five months. And every year on the same day, dry stems of flowers are filled with life-giving power, fresh snow-white buds appear on them. The look of these colors inspired the Athos icon painters to create the image “Fadeless color”.
The power of the icon in our faith
Many pilgrims come to the monastery on Mount Athos to bring their prayers to the wonderful icon and in return receive healing from diseases and deliverance from troubles. But sometimes people forget that the Lord brings healing and deliverance, and the “Fadeless Color” is an icon. The value of prayer will be only if deep faith. “By your faith you shall be!” Jesus Christ commanded his disciples. The icon “Fading color” helps only those who keep these words in their heart.
In their sermons, the priests of the Athos monasteries very poeticly say that the stalks of flowers in the icon case of the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos are like the souls of men. As flowers deprived of moisture and vital juices dry up, so human souls deprived of gracious communion with God, steeped in sins, wither in moral desolation. And just like those white buds touched by the breath of God's mouth can regenerate and be filled with fragrance.
Nothing can affect a person and the world around us like a prayer, ascended to God from the depths of our hearts, filled with faith. The Holy Fathers teach us that words, deprived of confidence in the all-encompassing mercy of God, will never find gracious power. They will always remain just an empty and worthless set of sounds.