Holy Icons of the Mother of God on Mount Athos. Part III
In our previous articles, we told you about some of the best holy icons of the Mother of God preserved in different monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. This time, we want to focus on several more important Eastern Orthodox icons of the Theotokos, all carefully kept in the Vatopedi Monastery (see photo above).
The Vatopedi Monastery, as we know it today, was built in the 10th century by disciples of Athanasius the Athonite: monks Antonius, Nicholas, and Athanasius. This ancient monastery is currently home to many religious treasures, including a precious reliquary with the skull of St. John Chrysostom and a piece of the Cincture of the Theotokos. Besides, it also has a significant collection of holy icons of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God, some of which are listed below.
Holy icons of the Mother of God
- Icon of the Mother of God “Panagia Pantanassa”
Painted in the 17th century, the icon “Panagia Pantanassa,” or as it is also called “Most-Holy Queen of All,” depicts the Mother of God enthroned, with Christ Child on her knees. It is one of the most important holy icons of the Vatopedi Monastery, which is additionally considered miracle-working.
- Icon of the Mother of God “Stabbed”
The antique icon of the Mother of God “Stabbed,” which was painted in the 14th century, is another example of miracle-working holy icons preserved in the Vatopedi Monastery. It got its name because of an incident occurred many years ago, when the icon was stabbed with a knife by a deacon who was immediately blinded for such a terrible sin.
- Icon of the Mother of God “Panagia Vimatarissa”
It is believed that the antique icon of the Mother of God “Panagia Vimatarissa” or “Panagia Ktitorissa” was given to the monks living on Mount Athos by the Emperor Theodosius the Great in gratitude for saving his son. The Emperor was called a ktitor, meaning a decorator of the monastery, hence the icon’s name.
- Icon of Our Lady the Merciful
One more amazing example of holy icons of the Mother of God kept in the Vatopedi Monastery is the antique icon of Our Lady the Merciful, which was painted in the 15th century. According to the legend, it was found by builders during the large-scale reconstruction of the Islamic mosque in Constantinople.
It is needless to say that Mount Athos has many other holy icons of the Mother of God and other significant examples of religious icon art preserved in its monasteries. So if you have an opportunity to visit this sacred place, do it without hesitation!