The great union that Fátima's message has with Russia has already led many people to contributing in different ways to the expansion of this Marian devotion in this country. The icon of the Mother of God of Fátima that now I show you is a symbol that reinforces the predilection that Our Lady has for Russia. Certainly this love was shown very specially in the appearances of July 13th, 1917 in Fátima (Portugal), and of June, 1929 in Tuy (Spain), in which the Virgin spoke about the future of Russia as drill of mistakes and pursuit to the Church in the XXth century and about its conversion when the Pope consecrated this country to her Immaculate Heart. It serves to remember that because from these appearances million of persons have prayed for Russia during decades, and there has born in the whole world a current of love and prayer towards this country. In this respect the icon can help also to that Russia pays the great debt of gratitude that has with the Virgin of Fátima.
The idea of realizing this icon began in a trip to Moscow in the year 2000, but only at the end of 2002, when I started working as priest in Russia, the project began to be seriously prepared. First I asked about the project to priests, religious and lay people of Saint Petersburg, who encouraged me to put it into practice.
Then, for several months I devoted myself to study Marian iconography and also the diverse representations that until now have been done of the Virgin of Fátima. There are two principal types, which, in fact, were both images that sister Lucia had in the shelf of her room: that of our Lady of Fátima of the "Capelinha" and that of the Manifestation of Maria's Immaculate Heart in Coimbra. The latter is the one that has more influenced the icon for being, in my opinion, closer to the Marian iconography and because Russia has been devoted to the Immaculate Heart.
Both images have in common the elongated figure of the face and of the image, the white cloths - garment and mantle- Of the Virgin, the Rosary and the ball that hangs from the chest of Saint Mary, symbols that have remained in the icon. Of Coimbra's image there has been taken the trimming that crosses the mantle, as well as the centrality of the heart surrounded with thorns. Finally, when I already had the well-considered project I wrote to Coimbra's monastery, to know if sister Lucia liked it. The Prioress of the Monastery answered me sending information and saying to me that I could carry on.
In this moment Father Igor Chabanov introduced me to the orthodox Russian iconographer Ivan who was ready to realize it and both of us started working on it, with the idea that if the icon liked the catholic priest and the Russian iconographer, we would have obtained our aim.
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