This icon is a contemporary copy of the famous original icon of the Virgin “Donskaya” which is the Russian translation of “of the Don” (our icon T80). It is the tradition that this icon was brought by the Cossacks of the Don to Prince Dmitri Ivanovich before the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 to help the Prince defeat the Tartars in that decisive battle that began to free the Russian land from Tartar subjection and invasions. The famous iconographer Theophanes the Greek painted the original at around that time.
Icons of the Virgin have played an important part in the history of Orthodox nations, and there have been many times when, in the face of very unfavorable military odds by a threatening enemy, the people have gathered together before an icon of the Virgin to pray and ask her help to intercede before her son Jesus Christ to save and protect His people. In many cases these prayers have averted the disaster of a most surely impending defeat.
The Monk Michael of Mount Athos painted this copy of the Donskaya icon in 1984. The Lord’s fingers of His right hand are formed into a priest’s blessing as made in the Orthodox Church.