Theotokonymia (Gr. Θεοτοκονύμια) is the defining of various names and titles given to the most holy human person of the Theotokos. These are numerous in number but the primary title for the Theotokos Maria is Panagia from around the third century as the most holy among Saints.
In the Greek Orthodox church, Panagia has been established as the most reliable name for the Virgin Mary and is often combined with other titles to give more honour to her person.
a) From the pictorial representation of the Theotokos, such as the Megalomata, the Glykophilousa etc.
b) From the personal properties of the Theotokos, such as the Giatrissa, Faneromeni, Hodegetria, Eleousa etc.
c) From the age or the state of the iconographic image, such as the Machairomeni, Gerontissa, Mafriotissa, etc.
d) From the position or how the image was found, such as the Plataniotissa, Myrtidiotissa, Spilaiotissa, Theoskepasti, Tripiti, Fodeliotissa, etc.
e) From a miracle, such as the Portaitissa, Fidoussa, etc.
f) From the origin of the image, such as Soumela, Politissa, Athiniotissa, Chrysokastriotissa, etc.
g) From the site of the Church the image was found in, such as Sea,
h) From the Special gifts the image offers, such as Ampelakiotissa, Damasta, Palatiani, Olympiotissa, etc.
i) From the owner/founder of the Church the image is found in, such as Lykodimou, Kaligou, Perligou, Edge, etc.
j)From the date of an agricultural festival which coincides on that day, for example Flevariani, Mesporitissa, Polysporitissa, etc.
k) From the date of a local festival, for example in Sifnos there is an icon called the Virgin of Fifteen, which coincides with the fifteen day preparation period before August 15. In Samothraki, they celebrate the middle of Pascha and thus an icon has been awarded the title Virgin Eikospentaroussa.
Though the term Theotokonymia is derived from the Virgin Mary's Greek name Theotokos, her surname's are derived from the various icons that exist and in iconography Panagia is the term used for any particular icon of the Theotokos.
Listed below are a few of the most popular of these names:
- Panagia Axion Esti - the official icon representing Mount Athos
- Mother of God Assuage My Sorrow icon
- Panagia Athonitissa
- Panagia Blachernitissa
- Panagia Chryssopodaritissa
- Panaghia Galaktotrofoussa
- Panagia Glykophilousa
- Panagia Gorgoepikoos
- Panagia tou Harou
- Panagia Hodegetria
- Panagia Ierosolymitissa (Jerusalem) - The icon at the tomb of the most Holy Virgin Mary
- Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow icon
- Panagia Koukouzelissa
- Panagia the Life Giving Spring - ΖΩΟΔΟΧΟΥ ΠΗΓΗΣ
- Panagia Pantanassa
- Panagia Pelagonitissa
- Panagia Phaneromene
- Panagia Platytera
- Panagia Portaitissa (Mount Athos) - This most popular icon from Mount Athos
- Panagia Prousiotissa
- Panagia of Soumela (Pontos) - Painted by St Luke the Evangelist
- Panagia of Tikhvin
- Panagia of Tinos
- Panagia Tricherousa
- Panagia Vlacharnea or Panagia Vlahernon
- Panagia of Vladimir
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