Smolensk icon of Theotokos (Hodegetria, early 15th cent.)

Smolensk icon of Theotokos (Hodegetria, early 15th cent.)
/upload/iblock/dd8/bda7bd030c4e0257d259247216e124bf.jpg Smolensk icon of Theotokos (Hodegetria, early 15th cent.)
blessed. Virgin

Direct print on linden panel.
Feast day: July 28 (August 10 by Gregorian calendar) 
The icon comes from the Ascension Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin's Ascension Monastery. This is the most ancient of preserved icons by Dionysius. According to a chronicle, in the fire of 1482, the Greek icon lost its paints and casing, yet the wooden panel was safe. Dionysius was commissioned to paint the icon anew, replicating the lost initial image. The icon is peculiar for the half-length images of Archangels in the upper corners. At present it is kept in the State Tretyakov Gallery. 
The term «Hodegetria» is also used for the iconographic type in which the faces of Theotokos and the Babe do not touch each other. 'Hodegetria' means the 'Path Guide'. On Hodegetria icons, Theotokos is depicted in a solemn position, with Her hand raised as if pointing the path to salvation for the mankind. 
According to a Church legend, the Hodegetria icon was brought to Russia from Byzantium in the 11th century. From the 12th century till 1941 it was kept in the Dormition Cathedral of Smolensk. The icon disappeared during the German occupation of the city. But even after its disappearance, Theotokos never failed to provide Her graceful support through Her icon. Wonderworking copies and replicas still exist and continue to heal the faithful through Her prayers. People would pray before the Smolensk icon of Theotokos 'Hodegetria' for recovery from incurable diseases and peace in families.

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