The crucifix resembles the elegant Russian crosses of the XVIII century and is made in their likeness. All four crossbars at the ends are decorated with the symbol of the Most Holy Trinity – a shamrock. The front side of the cross shows the Crucifixion. Following the tradition of not depicting the physical suffering of the Savior on the Cross, the artist created a life-affirming, solemn image of the salvation of humanity. On the sides of Christ are the Most Holy Theotokos and one of the twelve apostles – John the Theologian. The instruments of the passion of Christ are also depicted here:
- walking stick with a sponge;
Above the Crucifixion, angels are seen flying down from heaven and the sun. The sun reminds us that Christ is called the Sun of Truth, because the light of His teaching and love for man have removed the darkness of human vices.
On the sides of the Crucifixion are depicted Xenia the Blessed and Matrona of Moscow-old women from the two capitals of Russia-Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Orthodox world often turns to them for help in family matters, people ask for the health of their children, success in work, and highly honor the martyrs. Their images have become part of the culture and history of the two majestic cities.
The Most Holy Mother of God "Nursing the Child"
On the reverse side of the crucifixion is the image of the Most Holy Theotokos, surrounded by angels. The depicted Mother of God "Mammalian" is the only Orthodox icon that shows the Mother of God feeding Jesus. This image symbolizes mercy and comfort, as well as the promise of eternal life. Mothers of the sick turn to this icon of the Mother of God, asking her to grant health to their children, mothers waiting for their sons from the battlefields. The Mother of God was also asked to send more milk to the nursing mother or to ask her for help if it was time to wean the baby. Listening to the power of the mother's prayer, the crucifixion becomes the embodiment of the protection of children and mothers, but the miracles that occur through prayers to her also give spiritual protection to the family hearth.
Icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
The image of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker-the most revered saint in Russia-adorns the lower part of the cross. St. Nicholas helps in the education of new generations, in family affairs and education, and also the sick, the needy, the distressed, and the faithful seek his intercession. St. Nicholas also patronizes seafarers, and sailors who are in danger of shipwreck turn to him for help.
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