Popular Orthodox Images of Mary, the Mother of God
In the Orthodox Church, images of Mary, the Mother of God, are considered the most revered. Many Orthodox people know and keep icons of the Virgin Mary in their homes for prayer purposes. In this blog post, we cover the most popular images of the Theotokos you should know.
Popular Orthodox images of Mary, the Mother of God
1. The Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God
The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of the Feodorovskaya icon of the Mother of God on August 29. The original image is believed to be painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist, but it is still unknown who brought it to Russia in the 12th century. According to the legend, this icon of the Mother of God survived a terrible fire during the invasion of Batu Khan. Besides, it is regarded as the main shrine of the Romanov dynasty. Today, the icon is kept in the Epiphany Cathedral in Kostroma.
2. The Iviron icon of the Mother of God
This sacred image of the Mother of God is also believed to be painted by Saint Luke. It has been in the Iviron monastery on Mount Athos since 999. The distinctive feature of the icon is a wound on the cheek of the Virgin Mary, caused by the blow of an iconoclast warrior. The Iviron image is highly revered by Orthodox believers, and its copies are kept in many churches and monasteries.
3. Our Lady of the Sign
Among the most popular images of Mary, the Mother of God, is Our Lady of the Sign. According to the legend, in 1170, this sacred image (pictured) saved the city of Novgorod from the attack of the Suzdal army. People prayed in front of the icon of the Mother of God day and night, and a miracle happened. Once the image was placed on the city wall to protect the people from the enemy, a pitchy dark covered the city. Ultimately, the Suzdal army retreated, and the icon was called “The Sign.”
4. Our Lady of Kazan
The icon of Our Lady of Kazan was found in 1579. The Virgin Mary appeared to a little girl and commanded to excavate the icon at the site of a fire that had recently occurred in Kazan. The image turned out to be miraculous and healed many sick and infirm people. The original shrine was destroyed, but its copies were spread around the world.
5. “Assuage My Sorrows” icon
This miraculous image is kept in the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Sadovniki. It depicts the Mother of God with the Christ Child lying on her lap. The Virgin Mary bows her head to her son who extends His hand toward His mother. Orthodox Christians pray with the “Assuage My Sorrows” icon, asking the Mother of God to help them comprehend spiritual peace and find a solution in difficult situations.
These were the most popular Orthodox images of Mary, the Mother of God. Read our new blog posts to learn about other famous religious icons.