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Work in Temples

1. Prophet Ilya - our patron
2. The sacred image of Our Lady Vladimirskaya

Prophet Ilya - our patron

There is a church of Prophet Ilya on the street of Ilyinka in Moscow near Red Square. Ekaterina Iljinskaya is the artist who painted the icon of prophet Ilya, a temple-sacred image for this church. By the way this church, being founded in XVI century, is one of the eldest churches at Kitai-Gorod and it has been restored many times. This church is working now though it's still under restoration and the icon of prophet Ilya is the only one in the temple.

The prophets of unmasked the erred people and conveyed the word of The Lord. Prophet Ilya was the most threatening among all. Even his birth was unusual: "... when Mother was giving birth to him, Father Savakh (the father of the future son) saw men giving fire and putting flames onto his son's mouth" (Life of Saints XVIII century).

The father terrified by this vision went to Jerusalem and told the priests about this. So one of them, a far-sighted man, said: Don't be afraid of the vision concerning your son, but you should know, that this child will be the source of good of the Lord; his word will be like fire- powerful and influential; he will be of great jealousy and love for God and he will judge by arms and fire.

Prophet had an indivisible soul with God. His prayer resuscitated a young man- a son of a widow. So that was the power of his prayer.

The left side of the icon portrays the argument with king Akhav. According to the proposal of prophet Ilya 40 priests of king Akhav made altar, put fire-wood on it and having slain a calf began to pray to their God Vaal asking him to set their oblation on fire. The priests jumped around the altar half a day crying out: "Listen to us, Vaal, listen to us!" Prophet Ilya mocked at them: "Call louder, your Lord is busy now carousing or taking a nap- call louder to wake him up". Before the evening came Ilya said: "Shut up and give it up, it is high time for my oblation". He made a new altar of 12 stones, put fire-wood and a calf on it, dig a ditch around and ordered the people to take buckets and water the oblation and fire-wood; the people did it. The water filled the ditch and prophet Ilya peering into the sky called out to God: "You are the soul God of Israel and I'm you're your slave and I made this sacrifice for you!" And God threw down the fire and the fire dastructed all, and fire-wood and stones and ashes and even water, which had been in the ditch.

In the central part of the icon we can see prophet Ilya in a desert. Here he is calm and benevolent because he left people and speaks to God. The raven, sent by God, feeds him.

Prophets Ilya got tired crossed the desert. He sat under the juniper tree and fell asleep. An angel came to him in the dream and said: "Get up, eat and drink, a long way lies before you." The prophet woke up and found a warm bread and a jug with water.

As the time, that God determined to take prophet Ilya to him in the flesh approached, Ilya along with his disciple Elisey left the town of Galgal to Vefil. There Ilya wanted to leave Elisey but he said: "God is alive and your soul is alive! I won't leave you". And prophet Ilya and prophet Elisey went from Vefil to Ierikhon. When both of them came to Iordan river, Ilya took off his rain coat, rolled it up and hit the water. The river moved aside and they crossed the Ioardan over the bottom. The rain coat is a symbol of the prophesy power , granted to Ilya by God. And Ilya gave the rain coat to Elisey.

On their way a chariot and fiery horses appeared and separated them. Ilya in a fiery whirlwind was taken to heaven.

Saint Goddish Prophet Ilya taken in the flesh to heaven by a fiery chariot, is alive, saved by God in paradise villages. Three saint disciples saw him their at the time of Transfiguration of God at Favor (L.9.30) and again he was seen by ordinary mortals before the second descent of God on the Earth.

Saint Goddish Prophet Ilya, pray God for us!

The sacred image of Our Lady Vladimirskaya

The chief monk of the church of saint disciples Peter and Paul (Novaya Basmannaya street), Father Stephan asked us to paint the sacred image of Or Lady Vladimirskaya for Vladimirsky church corner. This temple come through the Soviet times of faith and regious rejection and for a long time it was used as a plant. Old icons were not saved. But by miracle the parishioners managed to keep the setting of the sacred image of Our Lady Vladimirskaya and the church corner was named and blessed in its favour. Father Stephan asked to make the new icon for this setting but the icon should have resembled the most famous and the most worshiped sacred image, which according to old rumours and legends had been painted by disciple Luka.

As they say, disciple Luka created the sacred image on the table board on which when the Lord was young dined Jesus, Holy Our Lady and Josif ... When Maria saw the sacred image she said: "Since now let all my descendant humour me" and added: "The grace of my descendant and my grace will be with this icon".

In the 17th century the sacred image was sent to Kiev for Jury Dolgorukiy, The son of Vladimir Monomakh, by the patriarch of Konstantinopol Luka Khrisoverkh. It was settled at the princelly village of Vishgorod, in the female monastery. Once the priests of the monastery, entering the temple, saw that the icon was hanging in the middle of the temple, in the air. They placed it back but the icon moved to the air again.

Prince Andrei, the heir of Juri, was a great admirer of Our Lady and decided that her will was to take icon to another place. And at night, secretly without asking his father, Andrei left old Vishgorod with the icon which was priceless for him. The citizens of Vladimir at the Klazma river met the icon with happiness. Then Andrei moved to Rostov town but the horses carrying the icon stopped having ridden about 6 miles away from Vladimir and refused to go further. Urging them on was of no help. New horses were harnessed but they also refused to go further. During a passionate prayer Andrei found out that the will of Our Lady was to keep the icon in Vladimir. Andrei urgently built a cathedral in Vladimir and honourably installed the icon in it.

The icon remained at the great fire on 13th of April 1185 when the whole Vladimirskiy Cathedral was burnt down by flames. After 40 years, when on the 7th of February 1237 khan Batiy destroyed Vladimir, the icon remained whole again. The famous victory of Dmitriy Donskoy over khan Mamai on the 8th of September 1380 is said to be inspired by this icon. And after 15 years the icon of Our Lady Vladimirskaya which fame had been developing during two and a half centuries of its presence in Vladimir saved Moscow being removed there as the great symbol of the capital of Russia.

In 1935 khan Tamerlan "the whip on nations" invaded Russia and entered with his hordes the Rjazan region. He took the town of Eletz with its prince and, slaughtering many people, approached the Don river.

The Great Prince Vasylyi Dmitrievich went with an army to stop him at the Oka river not far from Kolomna town. But mostly he counted on heavens intercession. Our Lady did not fail the praying people and with her own power without army, drove Tamerlan away. That very hour when the icon was taken to Moscow Tamerlan was napping in his tent. Suddenly he saw a strange dream: a high hill and priests descending from the top of it with golden batons. And above them Our Lady was standing magnificiently and greatly in rays. Numerous Angels surrounded Our Lady carrying fiery swords. Raising their swords the angels rushed at Tamerlan.

Tamerlan woke up in horror and called all his wizards and fortune-tellers to interpret the dream. He was told that it was Our Lady; the patron of Russians, the mother of Christian's God and her power couldn't be conquered.

Tamerlan ordered his armies to retreat. Both Russians and Tatars were surprised by this event. A contemporary writer, describing it, added: "Tamerlan retreated pursued by the power of Our Lady".

Our Lady defended Moscow and Russia through its sacred image many times. "The great city of Moscow is looking beautiful at dawn like in the halo of the sacred image of Our Lady".

©Екатерина Ильинская
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