Recently one of our sisters wrote this beautiful icon of ‘The Mother of Hard Hearts’ under the guidance of Icon Master Mihai Cucu. while attending an icon course hosted by the Redemptoristine community in Drumcondra.

The Mother of Hard Hearts is one of the few icon types where the Mother is shown without the Child. It is a relatively recent development in Orthodox iconography and reveals evidence of the increasing influence of Western religious painting and concepts. This iconographic type represents Mary’s meditation on the Passion of her Son and has its origins in the Western representations of the Mother of Seven Sorrows, in turn inspired by the words of Simeon to Mary during the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple …”and a sword shall pierce thy heart” (Lk 2:55).

The seven swords in the icon each designate one of the following sorrows:
– the prophecy of Simeon
– the flight into Egypt
– the Boy Jesus leavng his parents to visit the Temple in Jerusalem
– the Mother of God’s meeting her Son on the Via Dolorosa
– the Crucifixion of Christ
– the deposition from the Cross
– the Entombment of Jesus

During the coming weeks you will find on our web-site meditations on each of these sorrows of Mary – from this link– (also found on top left of this page)