Mother of God "Softener of Evil Hearts"


The "Softener of Evil Hearts" icon is also called the Prophecy of Simeon, since St. Simeon said to Mary at the presentation of Our Lord in the temple:

Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also;) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

The Mother of God is depicted in this icon with her heart pierced by seven swords--a symbolic number possibly indicating the the fullness and boundless sorrow, pain and "sickness of heart" that she experienced at her Son's crucifixion. The “Softener of Evil Hearts” icon is commemorated on the Sunday of All Saints, although other references commemorate it on February 2 / February 15.

A myrrh-streaming copy of this icon often visits the Hermitage from Moscow during Great Lent. Read about it here >> 


Custom-fitting wooden shrines, called "kiots" in Russian, are also available for this icon. Find them here >>

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