Panagia Blachernitissa

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The '''Panagia of Blachernitissa''' (Gr. ''Παναγία η Βλαχερνίτισσα'', Turkish: ''Meryem Ana Kilisesi''), also known as '''Blachernae''', '''Vlachernae''', or '''Vlahernon''', is a 7th century Byzantine [[icon]] from [[Constantinople]] preserved in the imperial palace of Blachernai. The icon, according to tradition, was not written; rather, it was made from a composition of wax and the ashes of 6th-century [[martyr]]ed Christians.<ref>[[w:Blachernitissa|''Blachernitissa'' at Wikipedia]]</ref> Within the [[Church]], there is only one other icon of this type&mdash; the icon of [[Archangel Michael of Mantamados]]. The icon of ''Blachernitissa'' is currently located in Russia at the Tretyakov Gallery.
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The ''''Panagia Blachernae''' (Gr. ''Παναγία η Βλαχερνίτισσα'', Turkish: ''Meryem Ana Kilisesi'') <ref> Also known as ''Blachernitissa'' or ''Vlachernae'', or ''Vlahernon''</ref> is a 7th century Byzantine [[Hodegetria]] type [[icon]] from [[Constantinople]] preserved in the imperial palace of [[Church of the Virgin of Blachernae (Istanbul)|Blachernae]]. The icon, according to tradition, was not written; rather, it was made from a composition of wax and the ashes of 6th-century [[martyr]]ed Christians. <ref>[[w:Blachernitissa|''Blachernitissa'' at Wikipedia]]</ref><ref>The Eastern Orthodox [[Church]] tradition is that there is only one ''other'' icon of this type&mdash; the icon of the [[Archangel Michael of Mantamados]].</ref> This icon were defaced during the 1955 Riots in Istanbul. A rare copy of the ''Blachernitissa'' icon is also located in Russia at the [[Tretyakov Gallery]].
  
==History==
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==Origins of the name==
==='''Blachernae, Constantinople'''===
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There are two geographical places named "Blachernae" and "Vlachernae", respectivaly. The first, and recognised as the origins of the Blachernae icon and church tradition, is a district of Istanbul in Turkey and is spelt with a '''B'''. The second area, is a municipality in the prefecture of Arta, Greece; it is not so well known and is spelt with a '''V'''. The correct spelling for the icon and the Church should therefore begin with a "B".
The Church of Panagia Blachernae is near the northern tip of the walls of Theodosios built by the Empress [[Pulcheria the Empress|Pulcheria]] (ca. 450-453), and her husband, Emperor [[Marcian]] (450-457). They had the church built on the site of a sacred spring, which was a place of [[pilgrim]]age near the shore of the Golden Horn (known as ''Ayvansaray'' today). Inside is now the best known and most celebrated [http://www.ec-patr.org/afieroma/churches/show.php?lang=en&id=02 sanctuary to the Virgin Mary in Constantinople]. Emperor Leo I (457-474) completed the church by adding the [[Life-giving Fount of the Theotokos|"Hagiasma"]] <ref> the '''''Hagiasma''''' in this case, is the fountain of holy water where water flowed out of the hands of the marble statue of the Virgin Mary </ref>. <ref>[http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/byzans-l/log.started941201/mail-21.html ''Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium''] (ODB) 1:293; Janin, Eglises CP, 161-71 and the end map entitled "Byzance Constantinople," ref. D2; George P. Majeska, Russian Travelers to Constantinople in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, (Washington, D.C.: 1984), 333-337.</ref>He also built the "Hagion Lousma" <ref> the Hagion Lousma was a sacred pool where the emperors would participate in a bathing purification ritual</ref>.  
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Emperor Leo I also built the circular pareklision ''Hagia Soros'' ([[chapel]]), next to the church to contain the holy [[Protection of the Mother of God|robe]] and girdle of the Virgin Mary, brought from Palestine in 458 (or 473). The chapel of the Virgin's robe was covered in silver and considered a "reliquary of architectural dimensions." Lay people were not allowed inside but could pray in the main church.<ref>[http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/byzans-l/log.started941201/mail-21.html ''ODB''] 3:1929.</ref>  This very shrine housed the miracle-working icon of the '''''Blachernitissa'''''.
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There are many anecdotes attempting to describe the origins of the name '''Blachernae'' of Istanbul, Turkey:
 
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1) The first is that the origin of the name is derived from a type of fish pronounced in Greek as ''Palamyda''. This type of fish would be fished from the Bosphorus river. In Latin, the same type of fish is pronounced ''Lakernai'' and this anecdote says that the dialect of the region pronounced ''Lakernai'' as ''Blachernai''<ref> This opinion was supported by ''Skarlatos Byzantios'' who refers to this in Volume I of the Constantinople Theofilakton of 1351.</ref>
In 625-626, Constantinople was attacked by the Avards. Emperor Heraclius (575-641) campaigned against the Persians, however, the icon was carried in a procession along the city walls and so the saving of the city was attributed to the intervention of the Theotokos. In order to protect the sanctuary, and the city from such a siege, Leo I added the famous quarter of Blachernae in 627, with its venerated church, whose image was now considered the palladium of Constantinople. The circumference of the walls were then, and still are, eleven to twelve miles. By this stage, the church of Blachernae had around 75 endowed [[clergy|clerics]].
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During the iconoclastic period, and according to tradition, the icon disappeared and was then found hidden behind a wall during renovation works in 1030.
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The church was burnt down in 1070 and rebuilt by the year 1077 either by Romanos IV Diogenes (1067-78) or Michael VII (1071-87) and then destroyed again by fire in 1434. The church, at this stage, was connected to the Palace of Blachernae by a stairway. After the fire, nothing remained of the fire apart from the Sacred Spring.
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In 1867, the modern church was built and further additions have since been made to the structure. It is said, that the Akathistos was first chanted at this location and a special marble plaque, inscribed with the [[Akathistos verse]], a celebrated Byzantine [[hymn]], to the Theotokos, has now been placed above the Hagiasma. In addition, there are four wall paintings by the famous painter ''Eirenarchos Covas'' (1964)
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To this very day, the spring is reputed to have therapeutic powers. Also associated with the history of this shrine is:
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* the history of the [[Wikipedia:Blachernae|Palace of Blachernae]];
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* the history of the Monastery of the [[Panagia Hodegetria|Hodegetria]]
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* the icon, the [[Panagia Hagiosoritissa]].<ref>[http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/byzans-l/log.started941201/mail-21.html ''ODB''] 3:2171.</ref>;
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* a procession, originating from the time of the Patriarch Timotheos [511-18]&mdash;the "panhgur j"&mdash;which would take place every Friday from Blachernai to the [[Church of the Chalkoprateia]], near [[Hagia Sophia (Constantinople)|Hagia Sophia]], at the other end of the city.<ref>[http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/subject/hd/fak7/hist/o1/logs/byzans-l/log.started941201/mail-21.html Janin, Eglises CP, 177].</ref>;
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* the ''Eastern Council of Blachernae'' (Constantinople) in 1285. At this council, a significant statement was produced addressing the theological issue of the 'Filioque'. Despite the concern of Byzantine theologians to oppose the idea of the Filioque and its addition to the creed, there is no reference to it in the '''''Synodikon of Orthodoxy''''' <ref> a collection containing more than sixty anathemas representing the doctrinal decisions of Eastern councils through the fourteenth century.</ref>;
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* the original icon of [[Theotokos of Tikhvin|Tikhvin]] ([[Panagia Hodegetria|Hodegetria]]), painted by the Holy [[Apostle Luke]] and kept in the Church of Blachernae for about five hundred years. It was sent to Russia in 1383, before the fall of Constantinople. It is said that fishermen saw it surrounded in lights over the Lake of Ladoga in Russia. The icon was later found on the bank of the Tikhvin River and was placed in the local church. Recently, the icon was kept in Chicago and returned to Russia.
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==Churches==
 
==Churches==
*The Church of Blachernae, Pontikonisi (Corfu, Greece)
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*'''[[Church of Panagia Blachernae (Istanbul)|The first Church of Blachernae: Church of the Virgin of Blachernae, Istanbul (Turkey)]]'''.
*The Church of Blachernae, Peloponneso
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*Church of Blachernae, Pontikonisi (Corfu, Greece)
:A majestic 12th century church decorated with beautiful frescoes of St. John the Baptist.
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*Church of Blachernae, Peloponneso (Greece), ''a 12th century church decorated with beautiful frescoes of St. John the Baptist.''
 
*Isle of Dias, village of Kalligata (Kefalonia, Greece)
 
*Isle of Dias, village of Kalligata (Kefalonia, Greece)
  
 
==Monasteries==
 
==Monasteries==
*Panagia Blahernon (Corfu, Greece) - 17th century
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*Panagia Blahernon (Corfu, Greece), 17th century.
 
*[[Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery (Williston, Florida)]]
 
*[[Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery (Williston, Florida)]]
 
==Name ambiguity==
 
'''''Name ambiguity''''' - There are two places with the name "Blachernae." The first location, and most recognised, is in Constantinople and is spelt with a 'B'. The second, is a municipality in the prefecture of Arta, Greece. It is not so well known and most commonly spelt with a 'V'.
 
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
<references/>
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<small><references/></small>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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[[Category:Icons of the Theotokos]]
 
[[Category:Icons of the Theotokos]]
 
[[Category:Theotokonymia]]
 
[[Category:Theotokonymia]]
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[[el:Παναγία των Βλαχερνών]]

Latest revision as of 17:58, May 25, 2011

The 'Panagia Blachernae (Gr. Παναγία η Βλαχερνίτισσα, Turkish: Meryem Ana Kilisesi) [1] is a 7th century Byzantine Hodegetria type icon from Constantinople preserved in the imperial palace of Blachernae. The icon, according to tradition, was not written; rather, it was made from a composition of wax and the ashes of 6th-century martyred Christians. [2][3] This icon were defaced during the 1955 Riots in Istanbul. A rare copy of the Blachernitissa icon is also located in Russia at the Tretyakov Gallery.

Contents

Origins of the name

There are two geographical places named "Blachernae" and "Vlachernae", respectivaly. The first, and recognised as the origins of the Blachernae icon and church tradition, is a district of Istanbul in Turkey and is spelt with a B. The second area, is a municipality in the prefecture of Arta, Greece; it is not so well known and is spelt with a V. The correct spelling for the icon and the Church should therefore begin with a "B".

There are many anecdotes attempting to describe the origins of the name 'Blachernae of Istanbul, Turkey: 1) The first is that the origin of the name is derived from a type of fish pronounced in Greek as Palamyda. This type of fish would be fished from the Bosphorus river. In Latin, the same type of fish is pronounced Lakernai and this anecdote says that the dialect of the region pronounced Lakernai as Blachernai[4]

Churches

Monasteries

References

  1. Also known as Blachernitissa or Vlachernae, or Vlahernon
  2. Blachernitissa at Wikipedia
  3. The Eastern Orthodox Church tradition is that there is only one other icon of this type— the icon of the Archangel Michael of Mantamados.
  4. This opinion was supported by Skarlatos Byzantios who refers to this in Volume I of the Constantinople Theofilakton of 1351.

See also

Sources

External links

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