Made in egg tempera, this icon was made in the Monastery of the Evangelist in Patmos, Greece. Patmos was the island that St. John the Beloved Disciple was exiled to after an unsuccessful attempt to kill him by the Roman authorities who had boiled him in hot oil. It was in a cave at Patmos where St. John had the vision of the Lord and His Second Coming, which is recorded in Revelation. He dictated this to his disciple St. Prochorus, one of the first seven deacons.
Shown here in the style of icons of the Passion, two angels are above carrying the instruments of the Passion of Christ, which will come to pass 33 years later: the Cross, the Nails, and the Spear that will pierce His Side. In His humanity, He is frightened by such a revelation, and holds tightly with both of His hands to His mother’s left hand. As God, all things were known to Him before the Ages, but taking on our weakness without sin, He still experiences pain, suffering, and fear as we all know from personal experience. The Virgin is looking intently at this vision too, for this Mystery is just being first revealed to her.