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Mother of God of the Sign

141 bytes added, 16:06, April 12, 2011
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The [[icon]] of the '''Mother of God "Of the Sign"''' and is also known by various names, including ''Abalatskaya, Abalakskaya, and Abalat''. The icon depicts a central panel with an icon of the Mother of God in an ''orans'' pose (prayerfully uplifted hands), and the Divine Infant, at her bosom, usually surrounded by a circular [[mandorla]] which represents the uncreated light and glory of God; in the left border is the figure of St. [[Nicholas of Myra]] and in the right border is St. [[Mary of Egypt]]. This icon is commemorated by the church [[November 27]].
[[Image:St Nick DC Altar.jpg|right|150px|thumb|Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign in the altar of St Nicholas Cathedral, Washington D.C.]]
==History==
This depiction of the Mother of God is regarded as one of the very first of Her iconographic images. In the mausoleum of St. Agnes at Rome is a depiction of the Mother of God with hands raised in prayer with the Infant Christ sitting on Her knee, which is ascribed to the fourth century. There is also an ancient Byzantine icon of the Mother of God “Nikopea” from the sixth century, where the Most Holy Theotokos is seated upon a throne and holding in Her hands an oval shield with the image of the Savior Emmanuel.
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