Panagia Ierosolymitissa (Gr. the Mother of Jerusalem). This is a very popular icon of the [Theotokos]] because it is Gethsemane's Panagia - overlooking the empty tomb of the Most Holy Theotokos, blessing the numerous pilgrims to the Holy Land of Jerusalem. Today's small underground tomb is situated at Gethsemane, next to the Mount of Olives where the Saviour often prayed with His disciples. It was there that the Apostles gathered and buried the most-pure body of the Mother of God. Her icon remains there as an endless spring of blessings for all the Christians, celebrated (or venerated) by the name 'Panagia Ierosolimitissa'.
History of Icon
According to Holy Tradition this miraculous icon was painted through the revelation of the Holy Theotokos to a nun named Tatiana, according to sources in Gethsemane, perhaps around 1870. The story narrated is as follows:-
- In 1870, there lived a monastic iconographer called Tatiana. One night, a lady appeared to her in a vision saying, "Sister Tatiana, I have come so that you can paint me.". Tatiana replied, "Let it be Blessed Sister however I am an iconographer and not a painter.". The lady replied, "... well then, you should paint me using your iconographic style."
- Sister Tatiana was furious with the boldness of this ladies response and said, "I do not have any plank of wood to use". The lady then gave her the plank of wood the sister would need and told her to "paint".
- In obedience to her guest, the sister started her iconography. Sister Tatiana glanced at her guest, and she noticed the guests appearance metamorph in front of her. The ladies clothing (άμφιά) started to turn into gold and her face was glowing intensely. This change in the appearance of the lady, worried Tatiana but the lady spoke to her, saying: "Oh Blessed Tatiana, you are next after the Apostles and the Evangelist Luke to αγιογραφήσει again.". Sister Tatiana then realised that she was in the presence of Our Holy Mother the Theotokos. In shock she awoke from her vision.