Icon of the Virgin of Barlovskaya (Blessed Womb)

Icon of the Virgin of Barlovskaya (Blessed Womb)

Days of celebration: January 8
Until 1924, the icon of the Mother of God “Blessed Womb” was located in the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, but at present its location is unknown. The name of the icon was derived from the lines from the Gospel of Luke “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that fed You “(Luke 11: 27). In the history of its veneration, a special place stands out in the cathedral opposite the tsar’s place, and in the XVII century the icon was restored by Simon Ushakov, the head of the icon painters of the Armory. The icon depicts the Mother of God for generations, and the Christ Child lies drinking milk from her nipple. According to legend, the icon was brought to Moscow from the city of Bari, where it was located at the tomb of St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra, hence the other name of the icon – “Barlovskaya”. The icon “Blessed Womb” from the collection of the Rybinsk Museum is represented by the Mother of God in the type of “Mammalian” (Greek – “Galactotrophus”). According to legend, it belonged to St. Sava the Consecrated and was located in the lavra named after him near Jerusalem. In the 13th century, Saint Sava of Serbia moved the icon to the Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos, where it is now located in the Karelian cell under the name “Tipikarnitsa”. On the Rybinsk icon, the pose of Christ is more dynamic and complex compared to the ancient monument. The decoration is a frame with a late Baroque ornament in the Regency style, apparently borrowed from a Western European engraving.

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