Category Archives: The Theotokos

The Icons of the Iconostasis

An earlier post has already discussed the symbolism of the iconostasis, or icon screen, within Orthodox churches. The conclusion there was that iconostasis represents the division of Heaven and Earth, and how the barriers between the two have been broken. … Continue reading

Posted in Iconography, Icons of Christ, Icons of the Incarnation, The Saints, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Nativity of the Theotokos Icon

Together, the Great Feasts serve to tell us the story of the Incarnation, which has its climax in the centre of the year with the celebration of the “Feast of Feasts” – Pascha. It is therefore fitting that the first … Continue reading

Posted in Icons of the Incarnation, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Akathist Hymn in Icons | Prophecies and Praises

In my last post about the Akathist Hymn in Icons, I mentioned the Old Testament Saints who surround the Mother of God, offering her praises. It is Old Testament Saints who surround the Mother of God, rather than St Roman … Continue reading

Posted in Icons of the Incarnation, The Saints, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Akathist Hymn in Icons

The Akathist to the Mother of God is a hymn of praise most probably written by Roman the Melodist in the 6th century. This joyous hymn entered the Orthodox consciousness 100 years later, in 626, when a massive besieging army … Continue reading

Posted in History, Icons of the Incarnation, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Milk-Giver Icon | Not Scandalized by the Incarnation

On July 3, the Icon of the Virgin “Galaktotrophousa” (Γαλακτοτροφουσα, meaning “the Milk-Giver”) is celebrated. The Icon shows the Mother of God breast-feeding Christ. Not many modern icons use this composition, which may hide just how ancient and widespread this … Continue reading

Posted in Icons of the Incarnation, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Pentecost Icon as an Icon of the Church

The Icon for the feast of Pentecost is also called the Descent of the Holy Spirit, as it is a depiction of the event described in the Book of Acts (Acts 2:1-4) when the Holy Spirit descended as tongues of … Continue reading

Posted in History, The Saints, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Tenderness Icon | Inspiration of St Seraphim

On January 2nd, 1833 the great ascetic, Christian mystic, wonder-worker and spiritual father Seraphim, was found dead in his small cabin in the woods surrounding the Sarov Monastery, Russia. He was found kneeling in prayer before an icon of the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Zhirovits Stone Icon of the Mother of God

Posted in History, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The meaning of objects held by Saints in Icons

Iconography can be an extremely concise way of communicating the Faith. Therefore, what the Saints hold in their hands in portrait icons help in identifying them and in telling us about their lives. I hope to show that what is … Continue reading

Posted in History, Iconography, The Saints, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , | 59 Comments

Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring

On Bright Friday, the first Friday after Easter, the Life-Giving Spring is celebrated. The Life-Giving Spring is all at once a title given to the Mother of God, an actual miracle-working spring near Constantinople, and an Icon of the same … Continue reading

Posted in History, Special Icons, The Theotokos | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring