Icon of the Theotokos (from Annunciation, 12th c.) – T98


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Virgin Panagia


Church of Panagia Peribleptos, Ochrid, Macedonia




This is one half of the dual panels of an icon of the Annunciation, and this part depicts the Virgin Mary sitting and using her spinning wheel so that she would not be idle, but productive.  Idleness is fought by almost every spiritual teacher and writer.  The Annunciation happened when she was in Nazareth and she was surprised at her spinning by the Archangel Gabriel’s visit and greeting “Rejoice….”    This icon has a beautiful and intricate ornate metal cover (oklad or risa) made in silver covering most of the upper half of the icon.  The Virgin is looking up as she would have been when the great Archangel appeared and was speaking with her about the impending Incarnation if she agreed to say yes to this unheard of miracle, God becoming Man, and a Virgin giving birth and yet remaining a virgin.

Most Christians today have forgotten just how amazing this news was when it was new and not yet accomplished.  We often make the life-changing news of the Holy Gospel into a mundane and everyday story, not that challenge that it should make in our lives.  O Lord, let us, too, say yes with the Virgin and welcome you!