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Panagia Ierosolymitissa: the Acheiropoieton Icon of the Virgin Mary of Jerusalem

The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary of Jerusalem was hagiographed in 1870 AD, in a miraculous way. At that time, there was an hagiographer nun named Tatiani, who lived at the Russian Holy Monastery of St. Mary of Magdalene, nestled at the foot of the Mount of Olives, opposite Jerusalem. 

 

The vision of Tatiani with the Theotokos

 

One night, while Tatiani was sleeping, she saw in vision that an unknown nun had visited her in the cell, telling her: «Sister Tatiani, I came to paint me». Tatiani replied: «Bless, sister, but I am a hagiographer and not a painter». Then the woman responded: «Then, craft a hagiography of me».

 

Tatiani was surprised by the courage of the stranger and said: «I have no wood, where can I paint you?». Immediately, her visitor gave her a plank, suitable for hagiography and instructed her to paint. But while Tatiani was painting the unknown nun, she suddenly saw that her vestments turned to gold and her face radiated brilliance. Then, she heard her say: «Oh blessed Tatiani, after the Apostle and Evangelist Luke, you will paint me now».

 

Tatiani realized she was painting the Virgin Mary! She got upset and woke up. Immediately, she rushed to the Abbess and narrated the vision she saw. The Abbess was distrustful of her words and told her to sleep and the next day to paint an icon of the Virgin Mary. But as she returned, she saw that her cell was bathed in the light and scent was coming out of it. 

 

The miracle with the ‘Acheiropoieton’ icon

 

Then, she notified the Abbess and together they entered the bright and fragrant cell, where they saw the most amazing miracle. The icon of the vision was placed in the cell, real, unmanned! In that way, the ‘Acheiropoieton’ icon of the Virgin Mary was miraculously made.

 

The word ‘Acheiropoieton’ (in Greek ‘Αχειροποίητη’) means that the icon is made ‘without hands’.

 

After these miraculous events, the Virgin Mary appeared once more to the nun, saying: «Take me down to my house in Gethsemane». Without a delay, the command of our Lady was fulfilled! 

 

Where is the Holy Icon of Panagia Ierosolymitissa today

 

Since then, the icon of the "Panagia Ierosolymitissa" is found in the Holy Shrine of the Historical Monument of Gethsemane. This place is the empty tomb of Our Lady, known as the Kenotaphios (empty tomb), since her body was taken up in Heaven on the third day of her Dormition and is capable of performing miracles. 

 

Here you can find icons with the Virgin Mary Ierosolymitissa.

 

The miracles of the holy icon are innumerable wherever it was found. In fact, three times when the Temple of Gethsemane was flooded, the Icon was saved by a miracle, coming out into the ventilation system without being supported anywhere.

 

The miraculous icon has traveled to several parts of Greece for veneration, while a faithful copy of it can be found in the town of Jenisea in Xanthi.

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