Orthodox icon | Mother of God “of the Life-giving Source” | 24915


  • Russian icon
  • around 1900
  • 35 x 28 cm | 13.8 x 11.0 in


The icon displays a large fountain bowl nestled within an expansive water tank. The Mother of God, cradling baby Jesus, is depicted within the bowl. From this basin flows life-sustaining water, providing relief to those who drink. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel are also portrayed.

In the early 5th century, the future Byzantine Emperor Leo, then a military leader, strolled through a cypress grove adjacent to the Golden Gate of Constantinople. Here, he encountered a blind man who had lost his way. Leo guided him to a shady spot for rest, subsequently seeking water to quench their thirst. He then heard a voice directing him: “Emperor Leo! Venture into this grove, extract the water you’ll find there, and satiate the thirsty. Apply the mud from the spring to his eyes. You will establish a church here in my honor with my assistance; anyone who comes here and invokes my name with faith shall have their prayers answered and their ailments healed.”

Depicted on the icon, the imperial family, along with the princes and commoners, gather around the fountain. Additionally, those afflicted with ailments are shown seeking solace in the well’s water.

Commemoration is held during the Friday of the Light (Easter) week, which is the first week following Easter.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved.

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Orthodox icon | Mother of God “of the Life-giving Source” | 24915
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