This striking icon depicts the Mother of God, “Joy of the Oppressed”, with various extended scenes.
The Mother of God is displayed in her full grandeur, draped in royal garments. In front of her are people suffering from different diseases and hardships, guided by angels. Her feast day is October 24.
The prominence of this icon of the Mother of God emerged towards the end of the 17th century. The sister of Patriarch Joachim of Moscow, named Evfimija, who resided in Moscow, was afflicted with a severe illness for an extended period. During a prayer, she heard a voice: “Evfimija! In your anguish, why don’t you seek solace in the one who brings healing to all? In the Church of the Transfiguration of my Son, you’ll find my image titled ‘Joy of All the Afflicted’. Ask a priest to bring this image, and after he has held a prayer service with a dedication of water, you shall be cured.” Evfimija heeded the call of the Holy Mother of God and was restored to health.
From the top down:
- Archangel Michael appears with the text: “Thus says the Lord”, alongside: “Joy of all oppressed starving”.
- Archangel Gabriel presents the words: “Rejoice and be glad”, with the accompanying phrase: “Joy of all oppressed bearing great burden”.
- Saint Martyr Boniface of Tarsus (December 19).
- Saint Martyr George the Victorious (April 23).
- Saint John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople (January 27).
- Saint Basil the Great, Metropolitan of Caesarea (January 1).
- Saint Apostles Andrew (November 30), Peter, and Paul (July 29) are depicted with the phrase: “the great name of the Holy Trinity”.
- Saint Righteous Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary (July 25).
- Saint Martyr Photini, Confessor (March 20).
- Saint Venerable Niphon, Bishop of Constantia, Cyprus (December 23).
- Saint Sergei of Radonezh, monastery founder (September 25).
- Saint Maron of Beit-Marun, hermit and abbot (February 14).
- Saint Righteous Job with the text: “…if we accept the good from the hand of the Lord…”.
- Saint Venerable Pimen (August 27) and Joseph.
Below from left to right, the entreaties to the Most Holy Virgin include: “Lead the stranger home…” “Be the leader of those sailing on the water…” “Visit the imprisoned…”
At the bottom, there are four groups accompanied by an angel, each with a plea to the Most Holy Virgin:
- “Give walking to the paralyzed…”
- “Provide healing to the sick…”
- “Offer food to the starving…”
- “Distribute clothing to the naked…”
The background of the icon is gilded. This is an exceedingly rare and beautiful depiction.