Духовне життя

In Lviv, prayer continues throughout June in front of the icon of the authorship of Sofia Sheptytska

Throughout June, from Monday to Friday after the Divine Liturgy at 6:00 p.m., on Sunday after Vespers at 5:00 p.m., in the Archcathedral of St. George in Lviv, the Prayer to Christ the Lover of Men continues in front of the icon “The Most Sacred Heart of Christ”, authored by the mother of the righteous Metropolitan Andrey — Sofia Fredro-Sheptytska.

As is known, Sofia from Fredry Sheptytska had a remarkable artistic talent. Sophia’s paintings were mainly on religious themes. She also created several portraits of her relatives and self-portraits, painted the family estate. Unfortunately, most of Sofia Sheptytska’s works were destroyed in 1939 by the Bolsheviks, who burned down the Sheptytsky family estate in Prylbychy.

Her work “The Sacred Heart of Christ” has been preserved. Sofia Fredro-Sheptytska painted the image in 1878, after the birth of her seventh and last son, Leon, the youngest brother of Metropolitan Andrey. The image was originally located in the Church of the Holy Trinity, next to the family village of the Sheptytskyi – Prylbychi, in the village of Bruchnal (now Tarnovitsa) Yavorivsky district, Lviv region, where in August 1865, Roman Maria Alexander Sheptytsky was baptized – the future Metropolitan Andrey.

On January 17, 1901, when Andrei Sheptytskyi became a metropolitan, his mother gave him this image. Metropolitan Andrey took the icon with him to the Metropolitan Chamber on Svyatoyurska Gora, where the image was kept until 1946, when the UGCC was liquidated. After 1946, the fate of the icon was unknown.

In 1990, after the legalization of the UGCC, it turned out that in the Metropolitan Chambers on Svyatoyurska Gora there is a completely unknown work by Sofia Fredro “Christ the Shepherd”, which depicted Jesus holding a lamb in his hands.

In 2012, this icon was given to the studio of Studite monks for restoration. During detailed examination and research, the restorers discovered that there was something else under the image. When the experts removed the top layer, they saw the Sacred Heart of Christ, an image long thought lost.

For what reasons and why was the “Most Sacred Heart of Christ” drawn and a lamb served in Soviet times? It is unknown. Perhaps in order to save the image from destruction, or in connection with the fact that in the Eastern tradition there is no veneration of the heart of Christ, as it is in the Western tradition.

After the restoration, the icon is kept in the Metropolitan Chambers on Sviatoyurska Gora, and during June it is traditionally exhibited in the Archcathedral of St. George for veneration, since in the month of June the Church devotes great attention to prayers to Christ the Lover of Men, praying the Prayer to Christ.

Information Department of the UGCC
according to the materials of the press service of the Lviv Archdiocese

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