From among the saints commemorated on the 9th of December, we especially remember the Icon of the Mother
of God, "The Unexpected Joy".
The “Unexpected Joy”
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is painted in this way: in a room is an icon of the Mother of God, and beneath it a youth
is kneeling at prayer. The tradition about the healing of some youth from a bodily affliction through this holy icon is recorded
in the book of Saint Demetrius of Rostov, The Fleece of Prayer [See Judges 6: 36-40].
The sinful youth, who was nevertheless devoted to the
Theotokos, was praying one day before the icon of the All-Pure Virgin before going out to commit a sin. Suddenly, he saw that
wounds appeared on the Lord’s hands, feet, and side, and blood flowed from them. In horror he exclaimed, “O Lady,
who has done this?” The Mother of God replied, “You and other sinners, because of your sins, crucify My Son anew.”
Only then did he realize how great was the depth of his sinfulness. For a long time he prayed with tears to the All-Pure Mother
of God and the Savior for mercy. Finally, he received the unexpected joy of the forgiveness of his sins.
The “Unexpected Joy” icon
is also commemorated on January 25 and May 1.