Virgin Mary Hodegetria | Mount Athos Icon on naturally aged wood

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The monks of Mount Athos, with their passion and art, create works of unique value using even humble perishable materials. Old woods that have been used on Mount Athos for many years and a refurbishment have led to their withdrawal. Thus, another work of Byzantine art was created, the icon of Virgin Mary Hodegetria on naturally aged wood.
Dimensions: 26 x 24.5 x 2.5 cm

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Description

Icon with Virgin Mary Hodegetria on naturally aged wood

The icon depicting the Virgin Mary Hodegetria (Panagia Odigitria) is historically the first icon of the Church. It has been crafted by Evangelist Luke himself.

According to tradition, Evangelist Luke created the icon of Theotokos as she was in life. Indeed, the Virgin Mary received it with great joy and blessed her by saying “the grace of me that is brought to her”.

The icon of Panagia Odigitria was rescued in Palestine. When Theodosius II was king, it was sent to Constantinople by Empress Evdokia as a gift to Theodosius’ sister, Saint Pulcheria. Saint Pulcheria deposited it at the monastery she had built, the holy monastery of the Drivers.

A copy of this historical icon is found in the holy monastery of Xenophontos on Mount Athos.

Wood that came out of Paradise

In Mount Athos, even perishable materials continue to live after their primary use. The monks make use of everything for their preservation but also for the glory of God.

The uniqueness of this particular icon lies in the old wood where the icon of Virgin Mary Hodegetria is placed on canvas. It is a wood that has been used for many years in Mount Athos as a beam in a holy cell. When the time of the renovation came, it was turned into a unique icon. The cracks of the old wood in which the icon is placed bear witness to the years of its life on Mount Athos.

 

Dimensions: 26 x 24.5 x 2.5 cm

Additional information

Weight 0.88 kg

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