Joy of All Joys Icon. Seraphimo-Diveyevskaya icon of The Most Holy Theotokos

 The Most Holy Theotokos is depicted here at a young age, at that moment of Her life, when Archangel Gabriel announced the News of the incarnation of the Son of God. The face of the Holy Virgin Mary is thoughtful, her hands are folded crosswise on her chest, her gaze is turned down, her eyes are half-closed, and the whole look conveys a state of deep humility and love. Above the head, the inscription of the words from the Akathist Hymn to the Holy Virgin: “Rejoice, O Virgin Bride”

icon Joy of All Joys Icon. Seraphimo-Diveyevskaya icon of The Most Holy Theotokos

The Slavonic inscription around her halo reads: “Rejoice, O Virgin Bride” (Радуйся Невесто Неневестная) which is the refrain of the Akathist Hymn to the Holy Virgin. 

The Tenderness Icon of the Mother of God “the Umilenie (Умиление) ” of Seraphim-Diveevskaya belonged to St. Seraphim of Sarov, was his cell icon. The history of painting and the author of this icon are unknown, its origin dates from the end of the XVIII century.

St Seraphim, Joy of all Joys icon

St.Seraphim would use the oil from the Lampada burning before the icon to bless the many visitors who came to him for the sacrament of confession, anointing them with the sign of the cross after saying the prayer of absolution.

Towards the end of his life, St Seraphim charged the sisters of the Diveyevo convent to prepare a suitable place for the Blessed Lady, indicating the icon.

After the death of St. Seraphim, the Sarov abbot, Fr. Nifont gave the holy icon of "Joy of all Joys" to the sisters of the Seraphim Convent in Diveevo. They transferred it to the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Diveyevo Convent, where the icon was located until the Soviet period. For this, a special chapel was rebuilt, and the icon was placed in a special, elegant icon case. 

In 1902, the holy emperor Nicholas II presented to the monastery a precious gilded riza for the icon "Joy of all Joys" and a silver decorated lamp. In the year when Seraphim of Sarov was glorified, several precise lists were made from the icon of the Mother of God, which were sent to various Russian monasteries.

In 1927, the Diveevsky Monastery, where the original icon “Joy of all Joys” was located, was closed, but the holy image was secretly taken out of the Diveevskaya Abbess Alexander in Murom. For decades it was kept by pious people.


icons painted by Georgi Chimev 

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