History of Things. Simonov Monastery's prosphoron survived after fire

June 9

A prosphoron from the Museum of Moscow's holdings is a highlight of the new History of Things’ issue. Initially, the so-called liturgy offerings, such as candles, bread, wine, water or anointing oil were called prosphora. A little later, the word phosphoron acquired the meaning of a small round communion bread only. It consists of two parts to symbolise divine and human hypostases of Jesus Christ.

Wheat flour, water and salt is all you need to make a proper prosphoron. It usually has a cross on top or 'Ис' and 'Xc' (Jesus Christ) marks, some of them have images of Virgin Mary or other saints.

The prosphoron exhibited in the Museum of Moscow has an image of Virgin Mary on. A unique exhibit was discovered in 1987, during research in the Simonov Monastery's ground floor. The prosphoron had miraculously survived the fire, which could most likely be associated with the events of the Time of Troubles.

This monastery has a rich history: founded in 1370 and blessed by Sergius of Radonezh, it was a kind of fortress that protected southern Moscow borders. It comprised six churches, and at one time it was the most visited Moscow monastery, with even the members of the Royal family coming here to pray.

In the 1930s, the monastery was destroyed. Its bell tower and the Cathedral Church's site houses now ZIK Cultural Centre.  However, some buildings have survived, including the Orthodox parish of the Tikhvinsky Church. Today it is listed as a Patriarchal Metochion.

You can see the prosphoron at the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Moscow 'Moscow History for children and adults' that displays more than 2,000 items: hunting and fishing appliances, ceramic and wooden products, medieval coins, a headdress of a voivode's wife woven with gold thread, battle axes, chain mails, 14th century iron sword and more.

Read more stories related to items from the Museum of Moscow in the History of Things project 

Source: mos.ru

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