Sunday, March 29, 2009

Orthodox icon to protect British royal family

Queen Elizabeth II ordered a unique Russian Orthodox icon to be delivered to the Buckingham Palace, Russian web-site reports. She hopes it will protect her family and help avoid conflicts and other misfortunes.

His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent expressed his wish to obtain a holy Orthodox icon as a gift for the British Queen a year ago during his informal visit to the town of Nevjansk in Sverdloskiy Region. His Royal Highness was particularly impressed by the icons he saw at the House of Nevjansk Icons, a local artisan work shop, world famous for its priceless icon painting.

“The Nevjansk artisans have preserved the ancient craft’s secrets, not only reviving old traditions, but also applying new modern technologies,” Natalya Savkina, deputy director of the House of Nevjansk claims.

Michael of Kent admired the holy icons and wondered if he could get one of the wonderwork to bring to the Queen. "I'd love her to see this miracle," the Prince explained. “There’s an amazing energy emanating from your icons!”

The Prince particularly liked one of the most highly cherished icons in Russia, Our Lady’s icon, “Tenderness.” St. Seraphim of Sarov, (see pic to right) a highly revered 19th-century Russian monk, kept it in his cell and treasured its magical power of healing the sick. He called this icon “Umilenie” (Tenderness), representing Mary's feelings of tenderness at the Annunciation the “Joy of All Joys”.

“Besides having a miraculous healing power, it also has a pacifying holy effect,” icon painters explained to the Prince. People turn to this icon in times of distress and family discord, asking for apology. The Prince agreed that it was exactly what the Queen needed – young Prince Harry who had recently parted with his girl friend, was making her constantly worried.

Painting the “Tenderness” icon took Nevjansk icon painters almost a year. In the process, they used the most modern technology while religiously observing all ancient traditions. “It is an extremely time consuming process. The icon is made of copper, covered with braid gold and painted with special dyes made by a special formula minerals found only in the Urals", they explained.

The Queen’s Private Secretary’s office sent to Nevjansk a formal reply confirming that the icon had found its place in one of the Buchingham Palace halls. “Her Majesty sincerely thanks you for the miraculous icon, “ it said.

Queen Elizabeth has already offered her prayers for her family and her subjects before the icon, reports.