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  • Category: Paintings

Orthodox Carpathian Theotokos Holy Protection icon

Orthodox Carpathian Theotokos Holy Protection icon

This icon is dedicated to the Protection of the Blessed Virgin or Theotokos.

The icon of the Holy Protection shows the Theotokos (Mother of God) standing above Tsar and Tsarina with her arms stretched open in prayer and draped with a veil. This Carpathian icon was painted in 19th century. Roots of this type of orthodox icon date back to the 10th century and Constantinople, capital city of the Byzantine Empire.

There was a church in Blachernae, a suburb of Constantinople. This church housed several relics of the Virgin Mary (robe, veil and part of her belt). These items were brought to Byzantium from Palestine in the 5th century. The Church of St. Mary remained outside of the walls until 627.

When Blachernae was threatened by invasion, Saint Andrew of Constantinople, his disciple Saint Epiphanius and a group of others had vision in the church. They saw Mother of God praying and her face in tears. Afterwards she spread her veil over people as a sign of protection. This event is commemorated in the icon of Holy Protection.