Orthodox Icon of the Theotokos the Holy Protection, Theotokos "Agia Skepi" (2).
Commemorated October 28th.
This miraculous appearance of the Mother of God occurred at in the Blachernae church in in Constantinople the mid-tenth century. It was in this church where her robe, veil, and part of her belt were preserved after being transferred from Palestine in the fifth century. On Sunday, October 1, during the All Night Vigil, when the church was overflowing with those at prayer, the Fool-for-Christ St Andrew, at four o'clock in the morning, the Most-holy Theotokos appeared above the people, holding her omophorion outstretched as a protective covering for the faithful. She was clothed in gold-encrusted purple, and shone with an ineffable radiance, surrounded by apostles, saints, martyrs and virgins.
The Most Holy Virgin tearfully prayed for Christians for a long time. Then she came near the Bishop's Throne and continued her prayer. After completing her prayer she took her veil and spread it over the people praying in church, protecting them from enemies both visible and invisible. The Most Holy Lady Theotokos was resplendent with heavenly glory, and the protecting veil in her hands gleamed more than the rays of the sun. St Andrew gazed trembling at the miraculous vision and he asked his disciple, the blessed Epiphanius standing beside him, Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world? Epiphanius answered, I do see, holy Father, and I am in awe.
The Ever-Blessed Mother of God implored the Lord Jesus Christ to accept the prayers of all the people calling on His Most Holy Name, and to respond speedily to her intercession, "O Heavenly King, accept all those who pray to You and call on my name for help. Do not let them not go away from my icon unheard."
On the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we implore the defense and assistance of the Queen of Heaven, "Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you."
Theotokos "Healer" icon
Orthodox icon of our Most Holy Theotokos the "Healer"
Theotokos "Comforter" icon (2)
Orthodox icon of our Most Holy and Even- Virgin Theotokos "Comforter" (2).
Annunciation of Theotokos Icon(SSC)
Byzantine icon of Annunciation (Evangelismos, of the Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Commemorated March 25.
This beautiful icon is made with the specific technique of silkscreen on real gold foil. This Orthodox icon depicts the Archangel Gabriel (left), and the Virgin Mary (right). Gabriel is shown with his feet apart indicating the joy and urgency of his message. The staff he holds in his hand is to symbolize that he is a messenger of God. He extends his right hand towards Mary as a blessing from God. The virgin Mary stands in an elevated place indicating that she is greater in honor than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the Word.
She holds in her right hand spindle of scarlet yarn indicating her task of making the veil for the Temple in Jerusalem. Her raised right hand is an indication of her acceptance of the message brought by Gabriel and her stance shows her willingness to cooperate with God. On her clothing are three stars symbolizing that she was a virgin before , during and after the birth of Christ. At the top we can see a circle which indicated the Divine realm and the descent of the Holy Spirit acting on her. On this feast day we celebrate not only the work of God's plan for our salvation through the Incarnation of Christ, but also the human response of Mary who with voluntary obedience accepted the role God gave her.
Orthodox icon of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos (5). Copy of a contemporary icon, Greece.
Commemorated March 25.
Note: the sizes are not exact.
Theotokos "The Mother of Love" icon
Orthodox icon of our Most Holy and Ever- Virgin Theotokos "
"The Mother of Love".
Theotokos "Axion Esti" icon
Orthodox icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Axion Esti". Copy of a contemporary icon
Dormition of Theotokos icon (4)
Orthodox icon of the Dormition of Theotokos (4). Fresco of 14th cent. Monastery of Chora, Constantinople.
The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the fifteenth of August, preceded by a two-week fast. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ’s mother. It proclaims that Mary has been “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence.
As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast. The Tradition of the Church is that Mary died as all people die, not “voluntarily” as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world.
The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins. In the Gospel of the feast, however, in the liturgical services and in the Dormition icon, the Church proclaims as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings and death of this world; and that having truly died, she was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise which is prepared and promised to all who “hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
"In giving birth, you preserved your virginity. In failing asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You were translated to life, O Mother of Life, and by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death. "(Troparion)
"Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb." (Kontakion)
The services of the feast repeat the main theme, that the Mother of Life has “passed over into the heavenly joy, into the divine gladness and unending delight” of the Kingdom of her Son. (Vesper verse) The Old Testament readings, as well as the gospel readings for the Vigil and the Divine Liturgy, are exactly the same as those for the feast of the Virgin’s nativity and her entrance into the Temple. Thus, at the Vigil we again hear Mary say: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:47) At the Divine Liturgy we hear the letter to the Philippians where St. Paul speaks of the self-emptying of Christ who condescends to human servitude and ignoble death in order to be “highly exalted” by God his Father. (Philippians 2:5-11) And once again we hear in the Gospel that Mary’s blessedness belongs to all who “hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
Thus, the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is the celebration of the fact that all men are “highly exalted” in the blessedness of the victorious Christ, and that this high exaltation has already been accomplished in Mary the Theotokos. The feast of the Dormition is the sign, the guarantee, and the celebration that Mary’s fate is, the destiny of all those of “low estate” whose souls magnify the Lord, whose spirits rejoice in God the Saviour, whose lives are totally dedicated to hearing and keeping the Word of God which is given to men in Mary’s child, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.
Finally it must be stressed that, in all of the feasts of the Virgin Mother of God in the Church, the Orthodox Christians celebrate facts of their own lives in Christ and the Holy Spirit. What happens to Mary happens to all who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love. With her all people will be “blessed” to be “more honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim” if they follow her example. All will have Christ born in them by the Holy Spirit. All will become temples of the living God. All will share in the eternal life of His Kingdom who live the life that Mary lived.
In this sense everything that is praised and glorified in Mary is a sign of what is offered to all persons in the life of the Church. It is for this reason that Mary, with the divine child Jesus within her, is call in the Orthodox Tradition the Image of the Church. For the assembly of the saved is those in whom Christ dwells.
"Odegetria" icon (1)
Orthodox icon of The Most Holy Theotokos "Odegetria" icon (1). Contemporary icon.
NOTE: the name of the store in the icon is just a watermark. Your icon will NOT have it.