The wonderworking, myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, “Softener of Evil Hearts,” is one of the sacred treasures of the Russian Orthodox Church today. The icon depicts the boundless sorrow and pain of heart that the Theotokos experienced during her earthly life, as prophesied by Simeon the Godreceiver, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also... (Luke 2:35). The icon first began to stream myrrh in 1998 and continues to stream, often in response to occurrences in the world, including the 9-11 terrorist attack and the Beslan school massacre. On Pascha night, 2020, bright red drops resembling blood appeared on the icon. I n an interview with the guardian of the icon, Sergei Fomin, he speaks of the many healings that occur. Everywhere, the icon is received with joy and hope. Multitudes of people come to venerate the holy icon and to ask for healing from bodily illnesses (including cancer), for consolation in sorrows and afflictions of life, for the softening of their own hearts and those of their neighbors, for help and support for their spirits and souls. All those who turn to the Mother of God in prayer before the icon sense an easing of spiritual and physical suffering. They begin to recognize that when they pray for their enemies before the icon, their feelings of enmity are softened, and that strife and hatred abate, giving way to kindness.
Full-color cover and inner pages, abundantly illustrated.