Recent Comments

A Detail of the Icon of the Virgin Mary

One of the most important icon types of the Virgin Mary is known as Ἡ Ὁδηγήτρια (Hodegetria, ‘Directress’). She holds Christ in her left hand, and with her outstretched right hand, she points the way to her Son. He, in turn, is depicted holding a scroll in his left hand, his right hand raised in blessing.

The icon of the Virgin Mary in the Chapel of the Dormition is known as Ἡ Ἀμόλυντος (Amolyntos, ‘Undefiled’, ‘Immaculate’). Here also, she holds Christ in her left hand, and points to him with her right. But in this icon, with his two small hands Christ grasps the outstretched hand of his mother, who in turn comforts him. It is a detail of inexpressible tenderness and affection.

8 comments to A Detail of the Icon of the Virgin Mary

  • Janice

    One of your most amazing and beautiful photos!


    Thanks Father Justin,
    I need this expression of our Virgin Mary..


    I love the photographs as well as the language..
    Bye from Munich..

  • Caroline Lees

    That is indeed very beautiful. I wonder if full image is in any of the few St C books I have. must look. Maybe there will be a full image posted later?

    • Father Justin

      I do not think this icon has been published before. It would need to be removed from the iconostasion in order to photograph it successfully. I would welcome the opportunity to do so. An icon showing the same detail was published in Sinai: Treasures of the Monastery (Ekdotike Athenon, 1990), page 212, where it has the title Μαρία Μ[ἠτηρ] Θ[εο]ῦ, ἡ Κυρία τῶν Ἀγγέλων, ‘Mary Mother of God, our Lady of the Angels’, painted in 1579.

  • Meg Schaefer

    Dear Father Justin–

    We would like to make a contribution to St. Catherine’s Monastery and could not find anywhere on the website to do that. What is the best method for making a contribution to the monastery?

    I look forward to your blogs every day! Thank you so much!!

    Meg Schaefer

    • Father Justin

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog. It has allowed me to post beautiful photos of Sinai, with captions or brief words of explanation, to share with friends.

      There are two Foundations that support our work at Sinai. The Saint Catherine Foundation was chartered to support the Sinai library and other conservation projects. The London foundation was chartered in 1996, and an affiliated foundation in New York was chartered the following year. There is also a third affiliated foundation in Geneva. They are supporting the renovation of the library building. They have also published important books about Saint Catherine’s Monastery.

      Just last year, yet another foundation was chartered by those who wanted to support the monastery in a more general way. They are the Friends of Mount Sinai Monastery.

      Both have a US address where you could simply send a check. Their web sites also allow one to make an online donation.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>