One of the famous 16th century Stavronikita Festal set of icons, this icon depicts the Greeting of the Myrrh-Bearing Women, here represented by the Virgin Mary and St. Mary Magdalene bowing down and worshipping before Him. Christ appears with His wounds in His feet still visible for His Body was not just a phantasm, but the real flesh and blood of Humanity now glorified and restored to its Risen nature above Nature. God does not shun materiality, but glorifies it when we let Him by active cooperation, especially in our own bodies when we are washed and renewed by Him.
The monk Theophanes the Cretan painted this set of icons on the iconostasis, or icon screen which separates the Bema, or sacred Altar, from the body of the Church, or Nave, where the Faithful stand for Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services. The set shows many of the most important events in the life of Jesus and the Church in its early and formative stage. This icon is the 11th in that set. Theophanes’ icons are considered masterpieces of iconographic art, still adorn the church at Stavronikita Monastery on Mount Athos, and show marvelous Cretan post-Byzantine form.