Icon of the Panagia “Hodegetria” (Thessaloniki, 15th Century) – T82


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The All Pure Virgin Mary directs our love and attention to her Son and Lord Jesus Christ with her right hand, indicating to us that He is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)  The Lord sits serenely in the loving support of her left arm and blesses us with His hands, giving the blessing with His three fingers touching to represent the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and with two fingers raised to symbolize the two Natures of Christ, fully God and fully human.  His forefinger is slightly bent to indicate the descent of God to earth as a man at the Incarnation.  The Divine Infant holds a prophet’s scroll, for He is the fulfillment of the hope of the Prophets of Israel who looked most earnestly for His Day, the Day of the Lord.

As we look at this icon, St. John the Baptist stands in the upper left-hand corner carrying a cross symbolizing his martyrdom and a prophet’s scroll.  In the upper right-hand corner is St. John the Theologian with his pen to write and the Gospel in which he most clearly showed that  “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)  May we choose to dwell with Him!

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Hodegetria (Directress)


Private Collection, Thessalonica, Greece


15th c. (Late)