One of the icons attributed to the hand of St. Luke the Evangelist and painted from life by the Beloved Physician and first iconographer, this famous icon came from the Holy Land and later was a part of the holy treasures of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire and kept in its capital Constantinople. It was given to Russia after her conversion in the tenth century to Orthodox Christianity, coming as a part of a dowry of a Byzantine princess. During one of the many border wars between the Russian states and Poland, it was carried off to Poland and has remained there until this day. It is the national icon treasure now of Poland.
Like the other icons attributed to St. Luke “Portaitissa” or “Of the Portal” (our icon T81), “Of Three Hands” (our icon T27), “Of Tikhvin” (our icon T114), and “Of Smolensk” (our icon CT718), this icon is spirit-filled and miracle-working for it was painted of the Virgin directly and is a completely open “window into Heaven” which all icons are meant to be. We look in, and she with her Son looks out at us, and may that Heavenly vision profoundly affect our speech, our minds, our hearts, and our very lives!