Thousands of believers came to venerate the miraculous myrrh-streaming icon of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II brought to Minsk for only two days as part of the exhibition project titled “Crown-bearing Family: the Way of Love”.
On May 12, the shrine was available for public veneration in A. Pushkin exposition hall of the Minsk Regional Library. Among those wishing to bow down to the icon were not only residents of Minsk but also visitors from Gomel, Mogilev and other regions of Belarus. Late in the evening, the shrine was brought to the capital's church of the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" icon of the Mother of God where it remained until the middle of the following day.
It is worth mentioning that the popular veneration of the Tsar-Martyr played an important role in the canonization of the Royal Family at the Jubilee Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000 among the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.
Studying the life of the Royal family, I saw it as a model of family life, worthy of imitation. This prompted the creation of such a large-scale project,” said the architect of the exhibition, press secretary of the Mogilev diocese, Ilya Sidorovich. “We have been putting together the exhibition since 2014. Today you can see about two hundred exhibits, including rare items. The creation of this global exposition is based on work with archives in Minsk and Moscow.
Of course, the apogee of the current exhibition is the opportunity to venerate the myrrh-streaming image of the Tsar. The icon began to stream in 1998. The history of the icon is very interesting, with many healings that took place through prayers before it.
When the miraculous image of the Sovereign is not travelling, it stays in the Ascension Church on the Pea Field in Moscow.
The keeper of the miraculous image, the Moscow surgeon Oleg Belchenko, has travelled with it to churches and monasteries in Russia and abroad for many years. Lately, due to his age, Oleg has handed over this honorary mission to Alexander Fedorovich Chernavsky, a publicist, head of the NGO "Orthodox Mission for the Revival of the Spiritual Values of the Russian People".
The prototype of the Moscow myrrh-streaming icon of the Tsar-Martyr was painted in 1996 in California, by the icon painter Pavel Tikhomirov, commissioned by representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, – said Alexander Fedorovich. – In 1997, color lithographs of this icon were brought from the USA to Russia and distributed among Orthodox parishes and families. One of them, presented to the Moscow surgeon Oleg Ivanovich Belchenko, exuded myrrh on the anniversary of the October Revolution, November 7, 1998. The fragrance and myrrh streaming of the icon is especially strong on the memorable days of the Royal Family.
In the left part of the miraculous icon of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, the righteous Job the Long-suffering is depicted (Nicholas II was born on the day of his memory); on the right there is an image of his heavenly patron, St Nicholas the Wonderworker. The size of the icon with the case is 43x37 centimetres.
According to Alexander Fedorovich, the icon has visited more than 50 dioceses and dozens of countries around the world.
The scale of the icon's "social service" is very wide. It includes military units, hospitals, and remote monasteries.
One of the miracles through prayers before the icon is the healing of a woman suffering from a severe kidney disease, – said Alexander Fedorovich. - After venerating the myrrh-streaming icon with a prayer, in some incomprehensible way she lost eight kilograms. The excess liquid was gone from the woman's body without a drop of sweat or any other physical sign. This is just one of the many miracles.