For us on earth, the Virgin Mary is an Unfading helper from whom flowered the Giver of Life. She is all-holy and all-pure, or Panagia in Greek, for she was a virgin before, during, and after giving birth to the God-man Jesus Christ. The stars on her veil and shoulder represent her ever-virginity. Here she also holds a rose to represent the sweet fragrance of her life to God and to us, and if we will follow this scent to its source, we will see that her love and obedience to Jesus Christ is that source, as Christ also points to us her rose in this icon.
Here Christ also stands in the robes of a Greek philosopher, as He was the true Lover of Wisdom, and He holds a prophet’s scroll, as He was the true fulfillment of their words. Christ fulfills all that has ever been truly good and wise in this world. What can we do to follow her to the source of all wisdom and all good? First, we can learn to open our hearts so that love of God is the reason that we do everything, and then we can be willing to follow Christ anywhere, even as she did up to Golgotha. May we now turn to this never fading blossom, the Theotokos!