This is a beautiful cross depicting Our Lady of Tenderness also known as Our Lady of Vladimir.
The miraculous image given the title, Our Lady of Vladimir, is known as an Eleousa,the Greek word meaning, Mother of Tenderness. The Christ Child nestles tenderly close to his mother, he gazes at her and is so closely linked to her that his left arm embraces her fully. His right hand gently touches her left cheek. The original image is a large painting of the type known as the St. Luke icons. Mary looks out at the people. Yet, there is no doubt that she is intimately united to her Divine Son.
The origin of the ancient Marian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir, can be traced back to 1125. For many, The Lady Who Saves Russia is the most loved image of the Eastern Church.
The oldest known representation of Our Lady of Vladimir is presently located at the Tretjakow Gallery in Moscow. According to research, this excellent representation of an Eleousa was commissioned in Constantinople by a Russian, who then had the painting taken from city to city during the period of united Ukranian-Russian history. In 1169, Duke Andrej Bogoljubskij had the icon brought from Kiev to the new cathedral of Vladimir. Due to the honor and reverence of the people, who attributed gracious assistance to Our Lady’s help throughout the Ukraine, a large cathedral was built for her in Vladimir.
When the Mongol invasion threatened Moscow in 1395, the icon was brought to Moscow, where she was honored as the unconquerable shield of the Russian people. Important state transactions took place before her image; her blessing was sought before battle. In time, Our Lady of Vladimir became the sign of the Russian Orthodox Church.
18cm x 12cm.