St. Seraphim of Sarov held this image of the Mother of God in the greatest reverence, praying before it in his monastic cell, and naming it “Joy of Joys”. St. Seraphim used oil from the lamp set before this icon to anoint the sick, healing many. Our Lady is depicted with downcast eyes and arms crossed, an example of humility and silent prayer to her Son. The faithful continue to pray before this icon, seeking the intercessions of the Mother of God for healing of body and soul.
The icon is rare within Orthodoxy in that it shows the Mother of God without the infant Christ. The reason for this is because it is a depiction of Mary at the moment of the Annunciation (Luke 1:24-38). With arms prayerfully folded in submission to the Lord, eyes downcast in humility, she is at the point of uttering her humanity-saving reply to the Archangel Gabriel: “Let it be to me according to thy word.”