Theotokos Prodromitissa - Holy Skete of the Forerunner
In the Roman Cloister of the Holy Prodromos of Mount Athos there is the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary Precursor (Prodromitissa). It is one of the rarest icons of the Orthodox Church because it was not painted by a human hand. This miracle of the acheiropoieton hagiography of the image occurred as follows:
In the year 1863 the owners of the Cloister, fathers Nephilos and Nektarios, wished to acquire a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary, as all the monasteries of Mount Athos.
Thus, they sought and found in Iasi, Romania, a pious hagiographer called Iordakin Nikolaou, and begged him to paint with prayer and fast the image they wished. The hagiographer agreed and very devoutly began to work.
Every day he read the Supplicatory Canon to the Holy Theotokos. At first, he painted the vestments of the Virgin Mary and the Lord. Then, he tried to paint the faces, but he could not make it. Painfully and sadly he interrupted the hagiography, covered the picture with a cloth, locked the laboratory and retired to his room to pray.
The next day, determined to try to paint the Divine Persons, entered the lab and when he removed the cloth from the picture, he saw amazed that the venerable and Most Holy Persons were prodigiously perfected! The picture was completed and it was in its present form!
The fathers of the Romanian Cloister received and transported the wonderful image on Mount Athos. The icon performed many miracles and continues to do miracles to this day. It is honoured on July 12th.