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Metropolitan Joseph’s (Chernov) cell icon, the Iveron image of the Most Holy Theotokos, was transferred to the memorial home of the confessor of the faith

March 21, 2024. Alma-Ata. A unique exhibit - the Iveron Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Athos script) - was transferred to the house-museum of the confessor of the faith, Metropolitan Joseph (Chernov), which is being created in the southern capital on the initiative of Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan.

The image of the Queen of Heaven, painted in the 19th century on Holy Mount Athos in the St. Panteleimon Monastery, for many years was the cell icon of the blessed saint - in front of it he fulfilled the prayer rule, interceded with the “Good Goalkeeper” for his flock and numerous spiritual children.

In 1970, Metropolitan Joseph gave this icon to his spiritual daughter, Maria Ivanovna Sashchina (nee Lyubykh). On the back side of the shrine, in a neat handwriting, Maria made the inscription: “This icon of the Mother of God of Iveron was presented by Metropolitan Joseph (Chernov) of Alma-Ata in 1970 to me, Lyubykh Maria Ivanovna. Alma-Ata".

During the period of the saint’s ministry in the city of Petropavlovsk, from 1956 to 1960, Maria Lyubykh, then still a very young girl, was a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Supreme Apostles Peter and Paul and performed the special obedience of the “co-worker” of the bishop - she carried the archpastoral staff during divine services.

Maria Ivanovna kept a small prayer book - a gift from Metropolitan Joseph, signed by him personally: “To the Lady Mary in Petropavlovsk. '57 To Kazanskaya icon Mother of God, summer Ep. Joseph".

After the hierarch was appointed to the Alma-Ata See in 1960, he continued to spiritually care for Maria Ivanovna and her family. Subsequently, her elder sister Nina in 1995 became the abbess of the Verkhoturye Intercession Convent, which she led until 2013.

Having learned that a memorial house was opening in Almaty in honor of the ever-memorable elder saint, M.A. Sashchina decided to donate the shrine to the church museum. Also for the exhibition, the bishop’s spiritual daughter donated a pocket prayer book, a rosary and some other things that belonged to Metropolitan Joseph.

In a telephone conversation, the Head of the Orthodox Church of Kazakhstan cordially thanked Maria Ivanovna for the gifts for the museum. During the conversation, the spiritual daughter of the hierarch-confessor shared with Metropolitan Alexander good memories of Vladyka Joseph.