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    This 16th century icon is a part of a celebrated set of festal icons showing important events in the life of Jesus plus a few other renowned feasts of the year.  It was painted by George the Cretan for the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos, and together they are known to be great examples of Post-Byzantine Greek iconographic art.  This icon is the first of that set of icons.

    The Nativity of the Virgin Mary came about in a wonderful manner.  After SS Joachim and Anna had been married for fifty years without having a child, which was a source of great shame in Israel at that time, they often prayed to God to give them this great blessing in their life and take away this shame.  The great Archangel Gabriel appeared to both St. Anna and to St. Joachim separately advising them that they would have a most special child  “a daughter most blessed....through whom will come the salvation of the world.”    Shortly afterwards, St. Anna did conceive the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Because of their vows to God regarding this child, they brought her to the Temple as  a gift to God when she was only three, where she remained until she was 14, fed by an angel.

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    This icon portrays the Theotokos holding the Christ Child in the first Burning Bush, that which the Prophet Moses saw.  Around the Theotokos and her Son are many scenes from the life of the Prophet Moses.  To the left is Moses taking off his shoes for he is entering into holy ground.  On the top of the icon is Christ, as the Ancient of Days, pictured surrounded by angels, handing down the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone to Moses.

    Behind the Theotokos to the right are the idolatrous Hebrews who began to worship a golden calf while Moses dwelt on the Holy Mountain receiving the Law from God.  Behind and to the left are many drinking from the spring of water that sprouted up when Moses struck the ground with his staff.  And to the right of the Theotokos is St. John Damascene who composed the hymn that inspired this icon which compared this second unburnt bush, the Mother of God and her eternal virginity, to the first Burning Bush which remained unburnt.  Written by the Cretan painter Michael Damaskinos in the late sixteenth century, the icon is now found at St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, the site of the Burning Bush.

  • Handcrafted icon of the Grandmother of Christ, the Holy and Righteous Anna. Made by the nuns at Agia Skepi Monastery in White Haven, PA.
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    Theotokos Enthroned


    The most humble Handmaiden of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, is shown the greatest honor in this icon by placing her on a throne with her Son and God.  The Orthodox Church honors her by crying out in her church service, “Thou art a gold-entwined tower, and twelve-wall encircled city, a throne besprinkled with sunbeams, a royal chair of the King.  O, unexplained wonder!  That thou dost feed the Master with thy milk.”  Those of the household of God repeat what she said to the great Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, “behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”  (Luke 1:48)

    In this contemporary Greek icon painted by the Monk Michael of Mount Athos in Greece in 1987, the Divine Child sits in glory on her All-Pure lap and blesses us.  He was aware of His Divine Nature and Rulership at every moment of His Life, as is seen in His icons which show the intelligent and aware face of an adult even when He was a child.  In the halo around Christ’s head is a cross with the Greek letters for “I AM” as the infant silently proclaims to be the King of Glory and ground of Existence Itself.

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    Approximately 10" x 10"
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    The Virgin Mary is truly the “Birth-Giver of God”, for the Second Person of the Holy Trinity was born in time and temporality as the child Jesus Christ; thus we have the term “Theotokos” which is the exact translation of this concept from the Greek.  In this modern Greek icon the Holy Virgin is shown holding her Divine Son on her lap, securely enfolding Him in her arms.  In a like manner, those who lovingly worship her Son as Lord, as God, and as Saviour are protected by the embrace of her intercessions.  The Orthodox Church teaches that although she was born in this world with our same nature, and having received the same wound of fallenness and illness as all men, she preserved herself from all sin from her very infancy by her active cooperation with God’s saving Grace, and this made her All-Pure, All-Holy, and Most Blessed.

    We are meant to follow on this same path of holiness, as have our older brothers and sisters, the Holy Saints, until we too are sanctified and fully remade into His Image and Likeness.  If we follow Him, we will follow all of them, for they are now with Him in glory in the Heavenly Realm of the Eternal Kingdom.

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    This mid-14th c. icon was done in a.d. 1365 in the time of Archbishop Gregory Devolski at Ochrid, Macedonia.  The small figure of the Virgin Mary can be seen in the midst of other virgins who accompanied her to the Temple to fulfill the vow of her parents SS Joachim and Anna to dedicate this most precious gift back to the service of the Lord when she was just three years old.  The priest Zacharias, later the father of the John the Baptist, receives this pure flower of humanity and brings her in Divine inspiration into the Holy of Holies of the Temple where only the High Priest himself is supposed to go once a year, and not without blood.

    Harmoniously, human wills are united with the Divine Will and with the wondrous plan for Mankind for the preparation of the most pure Virgin Mary to receive nearly a dozen years later the Incarnate God in her womb, the new tabernacle and throne of God on earth.   Each face here is peaceful and loving as all unite in love to do God’s sweet Will on earth for the impending Mystery.  Above we see here an angel later feeding the Virgin in the Temple, as icons often show simultaneous spiritual time.

    Sizes are approximate

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    3" x 2 1/2" Please note: Background of icon is a bright blue color, not white like pictured.
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    Bright embossed golden and silver foil ornamentation. Mounted on wood, hinged for easy display on your desk, nightstand, or library. 9 1/4” x 5 1/4”
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  • Large
    This is a copy of the miraculous, myrrh-streaming Tender Heart icon of the Mother of God at St. George Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Taylor, PA. It is beautifully made by the nuns of Agia Skepi Greek Orthodox Monastery in White Haven, PA. Includes a hanger on the back for mounting on the wall and also includes decorative beads around the halo of the Mother of God. Measures approximately: Large: 6.5'' x 8.5'' Small: 3.5'' x 5''
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    8.25" x 7.25" Framed icon with protective glass to keep this wonderful piece intact for years. It has a hook in the backside and the thickness of the icon with the frame is 1".
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    She Who is Quick to Hear

    Now everyone can have their own mounted copy of St. Tikhon's wonder-working icon, She Who is Quick to Hear.