Famous Greek Orthodox Icons of the Mother of God
The Orthodox tradition is abundant in iconographic images associated with the Mother of God. There are more than 300 types of religious icons depicting the Virgin Mary, and the Orthodox Church highly reveres nearly all of them. Greek Orthodox icons of the Theotokos are also among the valuable relics in the Christian tradition. The majority of them can be found on Mount Athos, but their reverence extends throughout the country and beyond. Below we have compiled a list of the most famous Greek icons that every Orthodox believer should know.
Famous Greek Orthodox icons of the Mother of God
Icon of the Mother of God “Triherussa”
In Russian iconography, this Orthodox image (pictured above) is called the Mother of God “Of the Three Hands.” It is kept on Mount Athos and is considered miraculous. The history of the icon veneration is associated with St. John of Damascus. After writing several treatises against idolatry and defending icon worship, he was slandered and had his right hand chopped off. The saint prayed tirelessly with the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary all night, putting the wrist to his hand. When he awoke, he discovered his hand was completely healed. In honor of the miraculous healing, Saint John attached the silver wrist of his hand to the image of the Mother of God. Thus, the icon acquired its current name.
Icon of the Mother of God “It Is Truly Meet”
Like most Greek Orthodox icons, this image of the Mother of God has a remarkable history. About 982, an Orthodox elder and a monk were living in Karyes. When the elder was out, a stranger knocked at the door. The novice let him in, and together they prayed in front of an icon of the Mother of God. The mysterious traveler said that the prayer is sung differently in his land: one must say “It Is Truly Meet…” referring to the image of the Virgin Mary. Right after that, the icon burst into bright light.
Acathist icon of the Theotokos
This Greek icon of the Mother of God is in the Hilandar monastery on Mount Athos, the only Serbian monastery on the mountain. The shrine got its name due to the acathist chanting performed standing in front of the icon. Once there was a fire in the monastery, which destroyed the building. However, the icon of the Mother of God remained unharmed.
Famous Greek Orthodox icons also include other images of the Virgin Mary, such as the Iveron Mother of God and Hodegetria. They all are important relics that every believer or religious art lover should know about.