Virgin Mary of Sorrows "The Softening of Evil Hearts" (Semistrelnaia) Gold Foil Orthodox Mini Icon
Icon measures: 3" (H) x 2 1/2" (W), thickness of wood: 3/8"
The "Softener of Evil Hearts" icon
is also called the "Prophecy of Simon" (or Simons Prophecy) since St Symeon said to Mary, upon the presentation of Our Lord
in the temple.
The Theotokos is depicted in this icon with her heart pierced by seven swords; a symbolic number possibly indicating the the fullness and boundless sorrow, pain and "sickness of heart" that would have been experienced by the Mother of God
at His crucifixion.
Three of the swords enter her heart from the left, three swords enter from the right and one sword from underneath.
This icon is very similar to the Seven Swords icon and they differ only in the arrangement of the swords.