Panagia Hodegetria

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The Hodegetria icon

The Panagia Hodegetria or "Directress" icon depicts the Theotokos holding her son and gesturing to him with her hand.

History of the icon

This icon had long been in the Katholikon of the Monastery of Vatopedi, on the column of the left choir. In 1730, however, it suddenly disappeared from its place, although the gates of the Monastery were locked, and was found at the Monastery of Xenophontos. Everyone thought that someone had secretly stolen it, and so the icon was brought back to its old place, while the Vatopedi fathers took stricter precautions and locked the church. A short while afterwards when the church was opened for service, the icon was again missing from its place, and soon afterwards news arrived from the Xenophontos Monastery that it was again in the same place in the katholikon there. The Vatopedi monks were now convinced that this was a miracle and determined to withstand the will of the Theotokos no longer. They hastened to Xenophontos to reverence the "hodeghetria," and for a long time afterwards used to send oil and wax for her in her new home.[1]


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