The image of the icon comes from the South-West of Russia, however, there is no historical information about it. It is unknown know where and when the icon appeared.
There are the symbolic signs of the prophecy of St. Simeon the God-receiver on the icon.
“The Virgin of Softening of cruel hearts” is painted with swords plunged into her heart – three on the right and left, and one on the bottom.
In the in Scripture number “seven” usually means completeness, redundancy, and in this case – the fullness and vastness of grief, sadness, and “heart disease”, experienced by Our Lady during her earthly life.
The Virgin is depicted alone, which symbolizes her lonely suffering for her Divine Son.
In the very title of the icon “The Virgin of softening of cruel hearts” there is a hope that someday all people will be kinder to each other and there will be peace on earth. Sometimes the only view of one’s suffering can soften the heart.
Praying before the icon can help to be cured from lameness, physical sickness, cholera, it promotes reconciliation and pacification of the warring, gives salvation in hostility and persecution. The believers, praying before the icon of “The Virgin of softening of cruel hearts”, feel like their hearts are softened, bringing relief to mental and physical suffering, and the hostility is replaced by the sense of mercy.
Each of the Eggs is unique because all of its components are hand-made. Thus there are no existing absolutely identical copies of any of the Easter Eggs offered to your attention.
According to the Russian Orthodox tradition, all of the products offered (icons, pectoral crosses, candles, church plate elements) are sanctified in the Temple by sprinkling with Holy water.