During the time of Peter I (beginning of the 18th century), one painter was sent to study in Italy. Upon returning to Russia, he brought a copy of the Italian icon “Holy Family” painted by Raphael with him and left it with his relative, the senior priest of the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Gryazekh. After the artist’s death, the priest placed an icon on the porch of the Church.
About forty years passed. A certain noblewoman’s husband was slandered for something and exiled. Because of this her estates were impounded by the Treasury. To top it all off, her only son was captured by the enemy during the war.
The poor woman was praying for a long time to the Blessed Virgin Mary with a request to help in these troubles. And one day, praying to the Holy Mother of God, she heard a voice commanding her to find an icon of the Holy Family and pray before it. The sufferer found an icon on the porch of the Church of the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Gryazekh and prayed in front of it. And she soon received three pieces of joyful news: her husband was vindicated and returned from exile, her son was liberated from captivity, and her estates were returned to her by the Treasury. For this reason the icon was named “The Three Joys”.
The Russian people took a great liking to this icon, especially it was revered on the Don and Kuban. It was believed that the prayer in front of it helped Cossacks who stayed out late to return home.
Over time, copies of this image appeared, made in the Russian icon-painting tradition. Saint John the Baptist and Saint Joseph the Betrothed were depicted, as a rule, on opposite sides of the Most Holy Theotokos.
When rebuilding the church in 1861, the main throne was consecrated in honor of this icon.
The icon of the Mother of God “The Three Joys” was lost with the closure of the church in 1929.
At the opening of the church in 1992, as well as to other opening churches, several icons seized at the customs were transferred from the Patriarchate to the parish. No selection was made, among the “randomly” transferred icons was an analogion image of “Three Joys” – a copy of the mid-19th century.
In addition to this image, another copy was painted in the Russian icon-painting tradition. In mid-1996, a typewritten copy of Akathist in front of the Icon was handed over to the church. Controversy began to rise: wether they should read the akathist weekly? In the midst of these disputes, a vigil lamp litted itself before the “Russian” icon. And from that time on, every Wednesday, prayers with an akathist began to take place before the image of the “Three Joys”, which is taken out of the Altar these days.
The feast of the icon of the Mother of God “The Three Joys” is celebrated on January 8 (December 26, O.S.) on the day of the Synaxis of the Mother of God on the next day of Christmas.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds