A curious reader in Germany asked about the image in my blog “header” — what icon it is from, who the figures are, and what the inscription on the scroll means.
It is a detail from this icon of the “Joy of All Who Suffer”:
Here is a wider view of the “header” detail:
The saints depicted in it are from upper left (below the angel):
Prepodobnuiy Maron — Venerable Maron
Svyashchennomuchenik Antipa — Priest-martyr Antipas
Prepodobnuiy Sergiy Radonezhskiy — Venerably Sergiy of Radonezh
Prepodobnuiy Ioann Novgorodskiy — Venerable John of Novgorod
Prepodobnuiy Ioann Damaskin — Venerable John of Damascus.
The scroll held by John reads:
льная деснице [-а]
но в к-
[-вися: та бо, Безсмертне, яко всемогущая, противныя сотре, Израильтяном путь глубины новосоделавшая.]
It is the Irmos from the Canon of the Resurrection, Ode 1:
“Your victorious right arm in godly manner has been glorified in strength;
[it continues: for, Immortal One, as almighty it struck the adversary, for the Israelites making the path of the deep anew.“]
The Canon of the Resurrection was written by John of Damascus.
The scroll just below the angel is the Stikhera, tone 2 from the Moleben to the “Joy of All Who Suffer” icon.
Всемъ скорбящимъ радость
и обидимымъ предстателница и
алчущимъ питательница страннымъ…
“Joy of all who sorrow, and intercessor for the offended, and feeder of the hungry, of travelers…
[it continues “… the consolation, harbor of the storm-tossed, visitation of the sick, protection and intercessor for the infirm staff of old age, you are the Mother of God on high, O Most Pure One”]
So that is the origin and significance of the present “header” image on this blog.