“Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.” (from the Saturday evening All-Night Vigil). The Mother of God is shown here with her most beloved Child in her arms as she indicates to us the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6) of her Divine Son as is shown in all Hodegetria or Directress icons. The Divine Infant is depicted here leaning on His mother’s shoulder, thereby teaching us to turn to her for consolation and comfort.
His adult-like face and the inscription in His halo (“I AM”) remind us that although He was born of the Virgin on earth He was also knowingly the Lord of the universe from all Eternity. With His right hand He is blessing: His three touching fingers represent the three persons in the Trinity and the two fingers up symbolize His two natures–fully God and fully man. His forefinger is slightly bent to symbolize the descent of God to earth as a man at the Incarnation. This contemporary Greek icon from 1985 is the work of Monk Michael from the Holy Mountain of Athos.