This a.d. 1579 icon is of the “Panagia” (the Greek term for “All-Pure”) Virgin Mary for she was truly all pure and ever Virgin, for the Orthodox Church has taught in every generation of its history (from the Day of Pentecost) that she was pure from sin by her choice over her entire life, even though she was born under the effects and inheritance of fallen human nature that we all share. Her virtue is that she so thoroughly chose not to sin, and to be so completely obedient and loving towards God, that He Himself had a unique and loving relationship with her. We call her blessed in fulfillment of her words at the time of her visitation from the angel Gabriel who brought her the news (the Annunciation) of the imminent Incarnation of Christ in her womb, “for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)
Icons of the Passion refer to the revelation to Christ of His coming Passion (rejection, beating, Crucifixion, and Death) at the end of His life, and here He looks up to see two angels showing Him the instruments of His Crucifixion. He holds the Virgin’s hand tightly, and his sandal falls off as His very real humanity recoils.