Seven-Arrows icon of Theotokos
Seven-Arrows icon of Theotokos is one of the most venerable Orthodox icons. According to Church calendar the Festive Day of this icon is on August 13.
In a front of this icon the believers ask for help of Theotokos in situations, when it is necessary to reconcile enemies or to avoid the cruelty and attack of hostile persons. Somebody prays for healing of lames, for protection of cholera, and for protection of soldiers during a war.
Seven-Arrows icon belongs to the same iconographic type, as icons of Mother of God «Mollification of Evil Hearts» and «Passionate», which have its distinctions and stories of finding. But here Theotokos depicted alone (on some icons the Savior, angels or saints depicted also). The body of Theotokos depicted like stroked-through by seven arrows, which symbolizes a fullness of grieve, bitterness and sadness, which accompanied Virgin Mary in Her earthly life.
According to Church calendar, the Seven-Arrows icon was depicted in Middle Ages over 500 years ago.
It became famous in the St. Apostle John the Theologian church near Vologda.
One lame peasant was in desperate because of his sickness. Once he heard a voice in his dream which commanded to go to the bell tower of the local church and to find the icon of Theotokos there. If he prays in a front of that icon he will be healed.
Nobody believed to that man in the church, and only after three-times request the peasant received permission to enter to the bell tower. The icon was used as a rung of a ladder and was covered by mud. Those present were surprised.
A prayer service was made in a front of the new-found icon and during it the lame was healed.
With the lapse of time that miracle was forgotten and somebody remembered about this icon because of epidemic of cholera, which took place in Vologda province in 1830. One year after several Orthodox shrines were translated. The Seven-Arrows icon was one of them and it was placed in the St. Demetrius church of Zarechye. The icon was in the Procession around Vologda and epidemic has stopped.
After the October Revolution of 1917 this wonderworking icon disappeared without a trace.
Today in the Hospital church of St. Michael the Archangel on Devichye Pole is the chrism-giving Seven-Arrows icon.