Mount Athos Icons

Mount Athos Icons of the Mother of God

The Holy Mount Athos is known for numerous monasteries that house valuable religious artifacts, including Mother of God icons. The Athos icon is a unique relic merging Byzantine and post-Byzantine iconographic traditions. As early as the Renaissance, Athos had monastic workshops where talented iconographers created many shrines highly revered by Christians worldwide. Check out this blog post to learn more about the Mount Athos icons depicting the Virgin Mary.

Mount Athos icons of the Mother of God

Theotokos Ktitorissa

The wonderworking image of the Mother of God Ktitorissa or “Altarnitsa” is located in the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos. The icon holds many miracles, one of which is the story of its discovery. According to the legend, Arkady, son of Theodosius the Great, survived a terrible shipwreck and was carried to Mount Athos. He saw the icon of the Mother of God in the place where Vatopedi stands now. The shrine was placed near the temple altar, hence its name “Altarnitsa.”

The Iveron Mother of God

The Iveron Mother of God is another miraculous image found on Mount Athos. According to the legend, the icon was found in a fiery pillar at the famous healing spring that appeared when the Blessed Virgin Mary stepped on the ground. Like other Mount Athos icons, it is highly revered and considered one of the main Orthodox shrines.

The Hodegetria Mother of God

For a long time, this icon was kept in the Vatopedi monastery. However, one day, it disappeared and miraculously reappeared in the Xenophontos monastery. Several times, the icon was returned to Vatopedi, but it ended up in the Xenophontos monastery. The inhabitants of Vatopedi eventually decided to leave the Hodegetria icon in the place chosen by the Virgin Mary herself.

Mother of God “Joy and Comfort”

The Mother of God “Joy and Comfort” icon is a unique miraculous image that saved the Vatopedi monastery from robbers in 1320. According to the legend, the icon of the Mother of God miraculously came to life and commanded not to open the temple gates to prevent the robbers, who had surrounded the monastery, from entering. The postures of the Child and the Mother of God also changed that night: Christ stretched out his hand to the Virgin Mary’s mouth, and she gently held it back and turned her head away from the Savior.

These were some of the Mount Athos icons depicting the Virgin Mary. Read about other Christian shrines on our blog.

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