The most humble Handmaiden of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, is shown the greatest honor in this icon by placing her on a throne with her Son and God. The Orthodox Church honors her by crying out in her church service, “Thou art a gold-entwined tower, and twelve-wall encircled city, a throne besprinkled with sunbeams, a royal chair of the King. O, unexplained wonder! That thou dost feed the Master with thy milk.” Those of the household of God repeat what she said to the great Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, “Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).
In this depiction originally from St. Ilie Church in Cimpulung, Roumania, we see the two Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel standing behind the throne with their heads bowed before God’s majesty and power, even though He is is only seen in the form of an infant. This Infant is different, however, and His face is that of an adult to portray that although He took on our human form, He was always consciously the All-Knowing God. O Lord Jesus Christ, let us bow, too, before Thy humble Majesty!