SKLADEN’ (FOLDING ICON) - A CAMP ICONOSTASIS IN KIOT (ICON CASE)
Skladen’ (folding icon) was created in memory of “the miraculous rescue of the Emperor and his entire Royal family from the danger that threatened them in the train crash on October 17, 1888...” Detailed descriptions of the “miracle” were made on many “memorable” icons dedicated to this event, which were then presented to the Emperor. At the bottom of some icons, instead of visionary “landscape”, in small washed images, as if through the fog, would be depicted the train crash. This triptych was created immediately after the incident and was presented on November 6, 1888to Alexander III by the soldiers of the Life Guards 4th Imperial Family Rifle Battalion, as it is indicated on a plaque.More information...
Contemporaries in Russia and abroad believed that escaping death, survival of the Royal family was a true miracle: the dynasty was saved. The French newspaper “Echo” exclaimed: “The God have saved him!” This cry escaped from the hearts of a hundred million Slavs at the news of the miraculous deliverance of Tsar Alexander from death...".
Since 1888 throughout Russia a lot of “Protecting icons” have been created with images of the Holy Heavenly Patrons of members of the Royal family (as in this icon) and of the Saints whose memory days coincided with this day; “On the day of the Monk Martyr Andrew of Crete, tortured by the enemies of Christ and His Church, was rescued the heir, and subsequently the Emperor Nicolay (Nicholas II) Aleksandrovich; and also on the day of St.Andrew of Crete, who peacefully ended his days on earth, the Emperor was killed by infidels and traitors. On the day of Martyr St.Andrew Russia also glorified and celebrated on the same day the day of the prophet Hosea, who predicted the Resurrection of Christ; in their honor were built churches, where the Russian people thanked God for the salvation of the Emperor. And 30 years later, on the day of St.Andrew, who preached repentance, the Emperor was killed in front of all the people, who did not even attempt to save him." (St.John Of Shanghai).
The memoirs of contemporaries tell that all walls in the Winter Palace were covered with such memorable images; monumental temple icons and paintings were also created in memory of this; bells were cast; shelters, almshouses were organized; monasteries were laid to commemorate this. Churches and chapels were built in Moscow as well as in Yaroslavl, Anapa, Riga, Kiev, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Kursk and Finland.
In the Central part and on the flaps of this folding icon is depicted the intercession in front of the Savior and the Mother of God of the saints namesake to the members of the Royal family. In the center are Great Martyr George the Victorious, Prince Michael, equal-to-the-apostles Mary Magdalene, St.Xenia Roman and equal-to-the-apostles Princess Olga. Above the saints in the center is placed the image of the Mother of God "the Sign". Back in 1964, the 4th Rifle Battalion was stationed in Tsarskoye Selo, where the oldest stone building was the Palace Church of the Sign of Our Lady. There was a miraculous icon of the Mother of God the Sign of the Tsarskoye Selo, a generic icon of the Romanov dynasty. (The icon became famous for many miracles: deliverance from cholera; rescue from fires and drowning; healings ... In 1942 from the besieged Leningrad, across the front line, to Tsarskoye Selo came sisters Zoe and Vera Shamoninys - daughters of Archpriest Vladimir, the spiritual son of St.John of Kronstadt. They asked to give them the Image (Icon) (copy of the XVIII Century) located in the Church of the Sign. With this icon they went to Riga, where the icon was until the end of the War. In 1946 Metropolitan Gregory of Leningrad and Novgorod (Chukov) transferred it to the Church of St.John the Theologian. In the Church of the Sign is a copy of XX Century.
On the flaps of the foldingicon are placed Patrons of the Emperor and Heir to the Throne – Prince Alexander Nevsky and St.Nicholas the Wonderworker.