Orthodox icon | Mother of God of Damascus (the "Three-handed") | 24796

Russian icon

54 x 41.5 cm | 21.3 x 16.3 in

19th century

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


The famous Greek miraculous icon is celebrated in Russia on June 28 and July 12. It is located in the Serbian monastery Hilandar on Mount Athos in Greece. Saint John of Damascus (Dec. 4, d. 777), a devout defender of the icons and governor of Damascus, was defended by the iconoclast emperor Leon III. (717-741) accused of traitors before the caliph of Damascus. The caliph had his right hand chopped off and displayed. That evening, the Saint’s friends requested the severed hand and brought it back to John of Damascus. He put his hand to the sore spot and prayed for his healing in front of the icon of the Mother of God. She appeared to him in his sleep and healed his hand by growing it on the stump. In gratitude, John had a silver hand made and attached it as a votive offering to the icon in front of which he had prayed. So from now on one saw a three-handed Mother of God. After the miracle proved John’s innocence, the caliph wanted to reinstate him in his previous office, but John went to Palestine as a monk in the Lavra (monastery) of Saint Savva. There he took “his” icon with him, which was kept and venerated in this monastery until the 13th century. At the beginning of the 13th century, Saint Savva, Archbishop of Serbia (January 12) came to the monastery and received the icon from the monks. Savva brought them to Serbia. But because of the unrest there, the icon miraculously fled on the back of a donkey to the Serbian monastery Hilandar on Mount Athos.

Above: Saint Martyr Eudocia of Persia (August 4).

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