Orthodox icon | Pokrov | Intercession of the Mother of God | 24889


  • Russian icon
  • 19th century
  • 26.5 x 21.5 cm | 10.4 x 8.5 in


The Feast of the Protection (Pokrov) of the Mother of God, celebrated on October 1st, commemorates a miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary at the Blachernae Church in Constantinople. This church was renowned for housing several relics of the Virgin Mary, including her robe, veil, and part of her belt. As the story goes, during a divine service, Saint Andrew, known as the Fool-for-Christ (died 956), and his disciple Epiphanius witnessed the Mother of God descending towards the pulpit (Ambon), escorted by Saint John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, along with an assembly of other saints.

Upon reaching the altar, she faced the congregation, unfurled the veil that had enveloped her, and extended it to cover all those present in the church. This vision, only perceived by Andrew and Epiphanius, nonetheless pervaded the entire gathering with the sense of her grace-filled intercession.

This historic event is vividly encapsulated in the icon. The Virgin Mary is depicted floating on a small cloud, holding the protective veil. She is flanked by saints, with John the Theologian leading the ones on her right and John the Baptist leading those on her left. The figures of Saint Andrew, the Fool-for-Christ, and his disciple Epiphanius are depicted at the bottom.

In the center of the church, we see Romanos the Melodist (celebrated on October 1), a renowned hymnographer from the 6th or 8th century, standing alongside the Emperor and Empress. This finely detailed icon captures a profound moment of divine intervention, combining art and faith to illustrate an episode of deep spiritual significance.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox icon | Pokrov | Intercession of the Mother of God | 24889
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